Ohio Restaurants Tries Out New Cicada Pizza Recipe

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Billions of cicadas are about to emerge in parts of the eastern, central and southern United States
Billions of cicadas are about to emerge in parts of the eastern, central and southern United States UNL / UNL ENTOMOLOGY

A restaurant in Ohio recently tested a new pizza recipe featuring Brood X cicadas currently pestering the Midwestern United States. 

The Pizza Bandit, a restaurant located at 700 East 4th Street in Dayton, came up with the “Spicy Thai Cicada Pie” having blanched and sauteed versions of the bugs and a “wing-adorned crust.” 

During a Facebook Live, the restaurant’s tasting panel -- comprising a food scientist and a beer pairing expert -- tried the new 18” hand-tossed pizza with miso hoisin sriracha sauce, mozzarella and provolone, cicadas, a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and a crunchy crust adorned with cicada wings. 

However, the restaurant noted that the “Spicy Thai Cicada Pie” has not been added to its menu.

 “You can NOT get this pizza by the slice or whole pie because we're not even sure if we legally can sell you locally foraged Cicadas but there are tons of other delicious pizzas to round out your Sunday,” the restaurant said in a post.

Cicadas are not toxic and are safe to consume. Like crickets, they are high in protein and low in fat. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned people with shellfish allergies not to eat the bugs. 

“Yep! We have to say it! Don’t eat #cicadas if you’re allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters,” the FDA said in a Twitter post. 

Symptoms of shellfish allergy may include hives, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and shortness of breath. Other people may also suffer from more severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis which causes the body to go into shock and airways to block. 

Dr. Beth Czerwony, an outpatient dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, warned pregnant or lactating women from eating cicadas as the bugs contain mercury which can be harmful to a developing baby’s brain. Young children are advised to avoid ingesting cicada-based snacks to prevent accumulating harmful levels of mercury. 

Dr. Czerwony also advised anyone at risk for gout or who has struggled with gout in the past to avoid eating cicadas, which may cause flare-ups. 


Billions of cicadas are emerging from the ground in the United States -- but authorities warned seafood-allergic people not to eat them
Billions of cicadas are emerging from the ground in the United States -- but authorities warned seafood-allergic people not to eat them
Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / CHIP SOMODEVILLA

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