(KTAL/KMSS) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people to not eat cicadas if they are allergic to seafood.
“Yep! We have to say it!” the FDA said on their Twitter account Wednesday morning.
“Don’t eat #cicadas if you’re allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”
The cicada invasion this year only happens once every 17 years. For almost two decades, they have been maturing underground, sucking sap from tree roots. Now millions of insects are set to burst forth once the days are consistently 64 degrees or warmer for several weeks.
The Brood X is the biggest of the 17-year cicada broods, according to Cicada Safari, which says they occur in parts of 15 eastern states from Indiana to Georgia to New York.
Cicadas, like many non-venomous insects, are safe to eat (if you don’t have an allergy).
But what do they taste like?
“Not bad! Certainly not buggy,” writes Haley Weiss in The Atlantic. She tried an air-fried cicada, which she recommends over other methods of preparation.
“The entire critter crackled in my mouth like a piece of earthy popcorn,” she continued. “I caught a subtle nuttiness underneath the crunch, almost reminiscent of a roasted chickpea. By the fourth or fifth chew I was almost starting to like it, until I swallowed and realized that a teeny-tiny leg was lingering on my tongue.”
So, cicadas might not be to everyone’s tastes. If you’re not into munching on them, the Park Service says you can safely compost dead cicadas.