Let’s eat insects! Missouri ice cream parlor debuts a new flavor – cicada!

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Let’s eat insects! Missouri ice cream parlor debuts a new flavor – cicada!


Jackson Griffith
Clark Pest Control 

Lucky patrons of Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream parlor in Columbia, Missouri got to taste an intriguing new confection on June 1 – ice cream flavored with brown sugar, butter and, ahem, boiled cicadas. The maiden batch sold out in a few hours, and the Columbia County Department of Public Health told Sparky’s not to think about whipping up another vat with any cicada crunchies.

Sparky’s got its employees to bring in quantities of the noisy insects, which are plentiful this summer across large parts of eastern North America. Emerging adult cicadas rattle many people with the loud, buzzy mating calls the males make by vibrating membranes on their abdomens, and they do that in numbers that are overwhelming every 13 years. This meant easy pickings for ice cream parlor crew members, who collected and de-winged the insects, dipped them in sugar and milk chocolate, and then churned them with butter, brown sugar and cream. Cicada wings were added on the top layer as extra sprinkles. Yummers!

Unfortunately, not everyone saw the “foodie” charm in engaging in a little dessert-course entomophagy, and when the health department tells you to knock it off with the insects, it’s probably a good idea to pay attention. Perhaps in 2024, the next time cicadas emerge in huge numbers, health officials will be more open to the idea. – Jackson Griffith


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