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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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cicadas insects of the family Cicadidae, the males of which make shrill chirping noises, are in some regions of N. America referred to as ‘locusts’. Those who have explored the history and scope of insect-eating mention them in various contexts as providing food for human beings. Thus the indefatigable Bodenheimer (1951), ever scrupulous in fully citing his sources, tells us that a Mr W. S. Robertson informed Asa Fitch, who used the statement to support a report by the Revd A. Sandel of Philadelphia (1715), that ‘the Indians use the different species of cicadas as an article of diet, every year gathering quantities of them. They are prepared as food by roasting in a hot oven and are stirred until they are well browned.’