It has been nearly two weeks since our last cicada article, and we're starting to wonder: Where are the cicadas? Seriously, we were promised "Billions Of Cicadas" so WHY DON'T WE SEE ANY? We're hungry for cicadas, universe, please send them immediately...
Two days ago we were supposed to sit down to a nice staff dinner filled with dishes made of cicada, paired with some nice cicada cocktails. A week prior, Gothamist reporter Chris Robbins ventured around the city to find cicadas in the wild, as well as in Chinatown (where they sometimes have dried cicadas). Robbins was to pick up 2 lbs, and deliver the goods to our cicada dinner chef... but he came up empty handed. We put contributor Marc Yearsley to the task of doing one final sweep, but he reported back with bad news: there's a cicada famine in NYC right now:
"Google searches, variously, for 'cicadas, cicadas for sale, where to buy cicadas online, cicadas on sale, I WANT CICADAS' came up empty. eBay, craigslist, and Amazon searches... nothing. Someone is offering to BUY cicadas from California on the NJ Craigslist. My thinking is: NO ONE has cicadas yet. Scientists are saying that while it may have started, we haven't seen nothing yet, and once they come, we'll know it. Anyone who is saying they have cicadas now has to be fucking lying."
So for now, we are gathering information, and preparing even more... because we will be sitting down to a nice goddamn family dinner to feast upon cicadas if it's the last thing we do.
We contacted Gene Rurka, chairman of the exotics committee of the Explorers Club, and he prepped us on what we (and you, if you are also planning a cicada dinner) need to know:
- Cicadas can be purchased only when normal cycle occurs. No one is raising them in large numbers.
- You can hunt them as they go through their last cycle, and they can be found on trees in the northeast.
- Cooking them dried or fresh does not make a difference, BUT fresh gives you a wider range of recipe options and presentation styles.
And we want fresh molting cicadas... so Louis N. Sorkin, Entomologist and Arachnologist at the American Museum of Natural History, pointed us to a map that will show us where "emergences of Brood II are occurring," and what areas are currently in the midst of a “thick” emergence. So our search WILL continue...