The Pizza Bandit, a pizza place in Dayton, Ohio, tested out a pizza topped with cicadas.
Officially called the Spicy Thai Cicada Pie, the 18-inch, hand-tossed pizza features blanched and sautéed locally foraged cicadas, with a crust adorned with cicada wings. Other ingredients include miso hoisin sriracha sauce, mozzarella, provolone, mushrooms, cabbage, green onion, mango, cilantro, and a spicy Thai sauce.
The Spicy Thai Cicada Pie looks delightful from a distance, but a closer look at the pizza reveals that its black toppings are not olives or raisins, but cicadas.
Last Sunday, The Pizza Bandit did a livestream on its Facebook page, in which a panel of taste-testers, comprised of a chef, a food scientist, and weird food enthusiasts tried the cicada pizza for the first time. Most of the taste-testers found it good, praising its crunchy texture and flavorful taste. Though one of the taste-testers admitted that seeing the cicadas on top of the pizza was a little disturbing, she still thought that the Spicy Thai Cicada Pie was not bad at all.
Part of the taste test was to determine what kind of beer goes well with the cicada pie, and the taste-testers came to the conclusion that the Spicy Thai Cicada Pie is best paired with a “summery” India Pale Ales or Lager.
Though a lot of pizza lovers are interested in trying out the cicada pizza, The Pizza Bandit is not selling it to the public, at least for now. “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,” read a portion of the restaurant’s post on Facebook.
Cicadas are edible, but the US Food and Drug Administration has warned people not to eat the insects if they are allergic to seafood, as “these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”