This Restaurant Is Serving Up Cicada Dishes Just in Time for Brood XIII and XIX's Re-Emergence

Trillions of cicadas that haven't crossed paths in over 200 years are getting ready to emerge and dominate our eardrums for months to come. Rather than try to drown them out, one business in New Orleans is taking advantage of the opportunity and incorporating the insects into new dishes.

Audubon Insectarium, located in the city's iconic French Quarter, is a zoology museum that also serves insect-based treats in its adjacent Bug Appétit cafe such as "Cinnamon Bug Crunch," chili-fried waxworms, and Cajun-spiced crickets. Now, with the impending historic re-emergence of Brood XIII and XIX this spring and summer, some special cicada dishes are being added to the menu.

According to The Associated Press, the Insectarium's curator of animal collections Zack Lemann has been brainstorming ideas for cicada-based plates to serve at Bug Appétit. This includes a green salad topped with apple, almonds, and roasted cicadas with a blueberry vinaigrette. There's also fried cicada nymphs with a mustard and soy sauce mixture drizzled on top.

Consuming insects isn't exactly new, especially outside the U.S. Lemann emphasized this when speaking to the AP.

"Every culture has things that they love to eat and, maybe, things that are taboo or things that people just sort of, wrinkle their nose and frown their brow at," he said. “And there’s no reason to do that with insects when you look at the nutritional value, their quality on the plate, how they taste, the environmental benefits of harvesting insects instead of dealing with livestock."

Southeast Louisiana isn't included in this year's cicada map, but Lemann is working to legally be able to source and serve cicadas from other parts of the country. "I can’t imagine, given the fact that periodical cicadas are national news, that we won’t have guests both local and from outside New Orleans, asking us about that," he said. "Which is another reason I hope to have enough to serve it at least a few times to people."

Insects are certainly a great source of protein, so don't knock it until you try it.