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87 comments

"They taste like asparagus!" (4, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | 1 year,19 days | (#43348999)

You know, in Japan, parents tell their children that chicken tastes just like squid.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349039)

I'll take everyone's word for this.

I'd rather listen to them sing, than eat them. Something about their song puts me in mind of tall Cottonwood treeds, whiling away summers along the lazy rivers of the midwest, where I spent my youth fishing for carp (didn't eat them, either) with corn for bait and a lugnut for a sinker.

Now I spend summers dealing with technology issues. Hmm.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349185)

I spent a year in Kentucky and one of the restaurants served Cicada breaded and deep fried. I didn't try it.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349277)

Funny you should mention that.. I can still remember the sounds the cicadas made in the trees during the warmer months of my childhood spent growing up in Japan (my parents called them "locusts" but you'll have to excuse them; they were from the Midwest so I expect they couldn't have told a plague of locusts from a plague of boils).

I seem to recall that they were called "semis" in Japanese...

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349711)

Now that mention that.. I can still recall the sounds the semis made hauling off trees to the lumber mills during the warmer months in my youth in the Adirondacks.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350117)

Type44Q, hajimemashite!

Where in Japan were you at? I spent most of my childhood in Misawa (north end of Honshu), and fondly remember the cicadas showing up every few years while I was there, too.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350445)

Yea, your cicadas sound interesting. They have a call pattern and such.

Here they just sound like tiny air-raid sirens blaring for 5 minutes at a time :/

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.....

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350815)

Where in Japan were you at? I spent most of my childhood in Misawa (north end of Honshu), and fondly remember the cicadas showing up every few years while I was there, too.

You'll have to forgive me; bokuno nihongo wa... totemu warui? Ipai no nihongo wasuremashita? Something along those lines, anyway. :p

I was born in Tokyo while my dad was studying at Tokyo University; we moved out to Kamakura after he'd graduated and taken a civilian job with the U.S. Navy at Yokosaka. My parents wanted the "full immersion for me" so rather that send me to school on base, I attended a rural yochii-en (sp?) for two years (where I was the only other person who spoke any English besides the old Japanese Catholic priest who ran the place) - until we moved back to Tokyo. I attended an internation school in Ropongi for ~1.5years until I got kicked out (too hyperactive lol) and had to take a school bus out to ASIJ (American School in Japan) for another year and a half. We moved back to the States shortly before I turned ten (late '82).

When were you there and what led to your family being there, if I may ask? :)

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | 1 year,15 days | (#43388473)

I was there twice, from '74 to '76 and then again from '79 to '83. My dad was in the Air Force, and Misawa was his first assignment after getting out of Basic. We really enjoyed it, so he requested Misawa again, thus the second tour.

It sounds like you got a lot more immersion in the culture than I did -- I went to a DoD school on the Air Force base. While we spent lots of time off-base, I still lived in a small microcosm of the U.S. for the most part. Still, it was enough to fill me with a life-long love of both the country and culture :)

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350431)

The only thing their "singing" does for me is put me in a nasty mood.

From a distance they sound fine - but when they are right outside your window it sounds like someone screeching "EEEEEE" in your ear non-stop.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350629)

There are many different varieties of cicadas. Each with their own song. In northern MS when some of my family lives, they have a long 2 to 5 min drone and each individual has a slightly different pitch so it's a continuous diatonic white noise that pretty much starts in the spring and doesn't stop until fall. There are so many of them they are impossible to escape.

In North Carolina, where I used to live near the mountains, they were more like frogs. They had shorter 3 to 5 seconds drones that weren't so bad.

where I live now in southern Wi, each individual seems to play the same tone almost exactly. it usually starts with a short "chirp chirp" and then they lay into a long 5 min drone. Because they are all playing basically the same tone it doesn't seem to end. But, there are far fewer here and they collect near certain areas where there's food. So you can escape them by driving elsewhere if you're about to go over the edge because of them.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

nospam007 (722110) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350655)

"I'd rather listen to them sing, than eat them."

Come back if one of them got behind your fake ceiling or the drywall. You'll prefer to eat them so that you can sleep. They can make noise for _weeks_.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43352561)

You should try fly fishing for carp. It's a blast.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43353241)

"I'd rather listen to them sing, than eat them."

the japanese?

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

CTachyon (412849) | 1 year,19 days | (#43355177)

I grew up in the Wichita, Kansas area with Tibicen pruinosa. Here's a YouTube video of one singing [youtube.com].

One year (summer of '98?) the cicadas emerged in such numbers that they refused to stop singing at night. A wall of sound, blaring like a siren 24 hours a day, so loud you couldn't escape it indoors. After the first 50 kills on the front porch, my cats didn't know what to do with themselves. Tibicen is an annual genus, so I can only assume that the previous year's generation had simply been... busy.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349581)

Who the fuck modded this troll up? Chicken is and has been readily available in Japan for years. Even rural Japan has had KFC since the early 1960's (Yes KFC)
The motherfucking Colonel was the go to exotic food to buy every Christmas. Stupid fucking trolls.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43350613)

Humor. Some people don't get it.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

kwerle (39371) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349691)

You know, in Japan, parents tell their children that chicken tastes just like squid.

OK, seriously. They don't, do they?

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349777)

If I had gone with the more standard backwards "In Soviet Russia, cicadia eats YOU!", perhaps you and the adjectivially-challenged AC directly above you would have gotten the joke. Then again, probably not.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349835)

No, that was just a funny bit of anachronism. Emperor Temmu issued a decree banning the consumption of non-fish meat, including chicken, in 675 A.D. And the culture was slow to warm back up to non-fish meat in the ages to come.

The 6 Tokyo Outback Steakhouses use different seasonings than the US versions (much to the disgust of my Japanese girlfriend), but their culture is quite integrated with all forms of modern food... except mint, which she claims is like eating toothpaste.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,19 days | (#43351637)

which she claims is like eating toothpaste

That's because it IS like eating toothpaste!

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | 1 year,19 days | (#43351925)

There is nothing finer in life than a good mint julep, sitting in the shade of a warm summer day as a calm breeze works its way across the porch and you.

Re:"They taste like asparagus!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43352169)

A drink of water after eating a mint leaf fresh from the plant will also prove quite refreshing.

Not just with Shellfish Allergies (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349009)

Many people who don't have shellfish allergies are still allergic to insects like cicadas and scorpions. It's surprisingly common... so if you want to be adventurous, take precautions to make sure you don't bite down and keel over.

Re:Not just with Shellfish Allergies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349515)

Just FYI, scorpions aren't insects any more than spiders are.

Re:Not just with Shellfish Allergies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349603)

You could read it as "....to scorpions and insects like cicadas."

Re:Not just with Shellfish Allergies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43350089)

The combination of the preposition "like" and the conjunction "and" actually make it so that it cannot be read that. The "and" joins scorpions to the prepositional phrase started by the "like", implying that the speaker is calling scorpions insects. It could have been phrased the way you suggested but it can't reasonably be read the way you suggested.

No. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349063)

No.

Why not? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349267)

No.

we humans evolved to eat pretty much anything that moves. And thinking about it, we do ingest some horrid things of our making like booze. And we eat mushrooms, fungi, bacteria, and other nasty shit that makes these bugs seem like steak.

Re:Why not? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349925)

Because we live in the West and have a deeply ingrained cultural taboo against insect consumption, and there's nothing wrong with that. If you really want to embrace diversity, then you must embrace the fact that Americans don't eat insects and horses.

Re:Why not? (2)

Kreigaffe (765218) | 1 year,19 days | (#43351949)

That's all fine and good, and I agree wholeheartedly.

That said, I'm.. I'm full. I ate earlier, at home. Naw, really. Thanks but no thanks. I suddenly developed a severe allergy.

Re:No. (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350315)

Ha, shrinking violets, you probably eat more insects than this on a monthly basis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Food_Defect_Action_Levels [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entomophagy#Unintentional_ingestion [wikipedia.org]

Take off the wings, head, legs and identifiable bits like you do with any other animal and poof, delicious food. Better for you than most other foods as well, high in protein. Shrimps are more or less the same thing.

Re:No. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350521)

Shrimp is full of lipids that we should actually avoid consuming if possible. Wonder if that would be true with insects as well?

Taste like asparagus? (5, Funny)

Doug Otto (2821601) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349147)

Do they make your pee stink?

Re:Taste like asparagus? (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349879)

You've just eaten a handful of bugs. Seems to me what your pee smells like is the least of your worries.

Re:Taste like asparagus? (3, Interesting)

matrim99 (123693) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350249)

Why, because they look funny to us? Check out how freaky lobsters look.

Because they're small? So are all of those tasty yeast microbes.

Because you were told that bugs aren't food, so eating them is something to worry about? Some bugs are very tasty, and most are quite safe to eat and are quite nutritious.

Re:Taste like asparagus? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43350767)

Over an average life a person will swallow 2 spiders in their sleep. They drop real fast down the line they spin, I think they're attracted to the C02 we breathe out while sleeping on our backs with our mouths open. So, clean away those cobwebs in your bedroom! The more you know...

Re:Taste like asparagus? (1)

AJWM (19027) | 1 year,19 days | (#43353101)

That's okay, somebody else can have four and I'll just pass. Still averages two each.

Seriously, can't imagine why a spider would be attracted to CO2. Mosquitoes, yes. Spiders?

Re:Taste like asparagus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#43356365)

False
http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/spiders.asp

Know what goes well with a Cicada smorgasbord? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349213)

Nothing

Re:Know what goes well with a Cicada smorgasbord? (3, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350531)

Alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

Re:Know what goes well with a Cicada smorgasbord? (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | 1 year,19 days | (#43352007)

Actually, y'know, I could actually see that. Personally, at least. There is no way that right now I'd eat one (my dog LOVES them, but he's free to them..)..

but once I get good and drunk, well. There is not much that I won't put in my mouth. It doesn't make me proud to say that, but there it is.
Only way I'll eat crawfish or sushi, and sometimes maybe I buy beer for the singular purpose of drinking them and eating a can of sardines once I'm a little tipsy, because sardines are actually pretty damn good and healthy once you're too addled to think about what they look and smell like.

Re:Know what goes well with a Cicada smorgasbord? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43353795)

"because sardines are actually pretty damn good and healthy once you're too addled to think about what they look and smell like."

Reminds me of the old joke - You know what sardines are? They're little fish that smell like fingers ...

Re:Know what goes well with a Cicada smorgasbord? (2)

hey! (33014) | 1 year,19 days | (#43352789)

Well, I haven't tried cicada, but I *have* tried escargot (with champagne). To tell you the truth, broiled in garlic butter that way it *could* have been cicadas in that snail shell. If you broiled snot in that much garlic you wouldn't be able to tell what it was.

Totally irrelevant. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349239)

Cicada's are notorious for rejecting Libre software. They shill proprietary junkware every chance they get. This should not be on /.

The economy isn't that bad (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349261)

The economy isn't that bad. Yet.

Whew (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349701)

Thankfully, I already hate the taste of asparagus.

News for nerds? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349739)

C'mon guys, I was expecting at least a cool mashup with google maps showing the best zones, (far enough away from pesticide spraying but close enough to civilisation, beer, hospitals etc.)
No.
Maybe a Pi-powered robot to collect and cook the the things?
Nope.
Plans to 3d print-out your very own collection weaponry?
Negative.

What is this, the new Slashdot, news for survivalists?

Re:News for nerds? (3, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349841)

> What is this, the new Slashdot, news for survivalists?

We may all be survivalists someday.

Re:News for nerds? (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | 1 year,18 days | (#43357313)

We may all be survivalists someday.

Fuck that. That's the reason I have a gun.

Not to take food from other people and become a warlord, but to off myself if civilization falls apart. No desire to star in a real life version of "The Road", thank you very much!

Re:News for nerds? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,18 days | (#43357915)

We may all be survivalists someday.

Fuck that. That's the reason I have a gun.

Not to take food from other people and become a warlord, but to off myself if civilization falls apart. No desire to star in a real life version of "The Road", thank you very much!

Hm. Ok, well, more for us, then.

I guessing none of you have ever tried them. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43349861)

If it doesn't come from a factory of some sort it can't be food ...

So the point of all this is what? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,19 days | (#43349909)

Like, is this to get us used to eating bugs?

I foresee a time when government officials and executives eat steak, and the rest of us are eating freeze dried cicadas out of a cellophane bag. "I've tried to rehydrate them, but the smell is revolting. It's easier to eat them dry."

Hey, it's protein.

Re:So the point of all this is what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43350059)

If Deep Space 9 taught me anything it's that capitalists love a good beetle-steak, or fresh tube-grubs.

Re:So the point of all this is what? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350477)

If Deep Space 9 taught me anything it's that capitalists love a good beetle-steak, or fresh tube-grubs.

I think the point that deep space 9 was making is that the rich gauge food by its rarity, not by its flavor. So you'd aspire to be rich enough to afford beetle-steak, only because nobody else could, not because it was, you know, good. I'm sure you could think of real expensive foods that may fall into that category.

There was an article a few years back about an Al Gore fundraising dinner where the entree was some weird deep sea bass that (it turns out) was endangered. Once word got out, they took it off the menu and went with something else. (I always wondered, what did they do with the fish? Throw it out? Give it to the homeless?) I suspect that you don't pick an endangered entree by accident; you do it because it adds appeal to filthy rich benefactors.

Re:So the point of all this is what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43350129)

If/when things get that bad it would be a better idea to eat the rich instead. I for one would love to roast the Koch brothers on a spit very slowly (preferably while they're still alive).

Re:So the point of all this is what? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350241)

You should check the numbers -- eating the rich won't keep us full for long.

Re:So the point of all this is what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43350277)

And once you kill the rich, you will be the new rich, which is exactly why your class warfare is misguided.

Re:So the point of all this is what? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350555)

Pretty much true. This tends to empty out the levels between government official (which, since they make the rules, are immune from them) and the proles. The rich who cooperate with government may last a little longer.

Red Planet (2)

v1 (525388) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350017)

When I was younger I used to climb up trees and try to catch them. Wow, they've got quite a voice. Sounds like you have a fire alarm bell from school going off in your hands when you manage to grab one off a tree!

Anyway, I remember when I watched Red Planet, how much the bugs (cephlopods or whatever they called them) looked like cicadas. VERY similar looking.

And they're interesting to watch fly, sort of like Wyle E Coyote with an Acme Jet Pack. I don't think they even bother navigating as they fly through the air far too fast for their own good, running into walls, cars, houses, PEOPLE, whatever. If they can grab it after smacking it, they call it a "landing".

Neighbor went to Japan for a vacation. They apparently grow them extra large size there, and when they're in full chorus in the parks you can't even hear the person sitting next to you on the bench trying to talk with you.

AAANd one final thought. Another neighbor next door told me one time he got bit by one. I've seen then, they have a mosquito-like straw on their head, and they can tap into trees to drink sap during their 7-10 days alive as an adult, so I suppose it's possible they might confuse you for a tree... has anyone else heard of getting bit by one?

Re:Red Planet (1)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350565)

There are wasps that specifically hunt cicadas and, if there are lots of cicadas around, they will be too.

Re:Red Planet (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350731)

Cicada killer wasps are freaking scary as hell. I'm not afraid of bees/wasps/hornets, but I sure as hell take care not to mess with them either.

Given that Cicadas are pretty 'big' bugs, watching a giant freaking panzer tank of a wasp fly off with one is freaky as hell.

Re:Red Planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#43351493)

wikipedia:

"Although cicada killers are large, female cicada killer wasps are not aggressive and rarely sting unless they are grasped roughly, stepped upon with bare feet, or caught in clothing, etc. One author who has been stung indicates that, for him, the stings are not much more than a "pinprick".[2] Males aggressively defend their perching areas on nesting sites against rival males but they have no sting. Although they appear to attack anything that moves near their territories, male cicada killers are actually investigating anything that might be a female cicada killer ready to mate. Such close inspection appears to many people to be an attack, but male and female cicada killers do not land on people and attempt to sting. If handled roughly, females will sting, and males will jab with a sharp spine on the tip of their abdomen. Both sexes are well equipped to bite, as they have large jaws; however, they do not appear to grasp human skin and bite. They are generally non-aggressive towards humans and usually fly away when swatted at, instead of attacking."

Re:Red Planet (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | 1 year,18 days | (#43358635)

Larger scorpions tend to be less venomous as well. I'm not saying that I should be scared of them, but it's like seeing flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror. For a split second, your heart jumps as you think you are getting pulled over.

With cicada killer wasps, there is that brief moment where your brain goes, 'Look out! A hornet! HOLY CRAP A GIANT MONSTER HORNET!', this occurs just before the rational portion of your brain goes, 'Stand down, adrenaline trigger, it's a benign cicada killer. Reduce alert level.'

Like walking into a spider web. Sure, you checked that the spider isn't stuck in your hair, but what if...

Re:Red Planet (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | 1 year,19 days | (#43352079)

I get cicada killer wasps in my yard, last 4 years or so.

Yeah, it's kinda scary when they all come out. They swarm the lawn, very literally. They tend to not actually hit you, they're pretty agile, fast too.. but JESUS! SWARM OF BEES CIRCLING MY HOUSE! Yeah, little scary.

I let them go, though. They're just gettin their chow on, helpin me keep the cicadas in line (my dog helps with that too...), and to get rid of the wasps would take all kinds of nasty shit I don't want to dump in my lawn if I can help it (fleas one year, couldn't help it. beh).

Stand in middle of lawn surrounded by swarm of buzzing scary bees, pretend you're a super villain. Awesome.

Why the revulsion? (3, Insightful)

kbahey (102895) | 1 year,19 days | (#43350219)

Why all this revulsion at eating an insect? There are lots of exotic yet disgusting food [baheyeldin.com] out there in this world.

And how are Cicadas that much different from edible locusts [baheyeldin.com], which are eaten in the Middle East, Mexico and elsewhere?

Re:Why the revulsion? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | 1 year,19 days | (#43353923)

Why all this revulsion at eating an insect? There are lots of exotic yet disgusting food [baheyeldin.com] out there in this world.

And how are Cicadas that much different from edible locusts [baheyeldin.com], which are eaten in the Middle East, Mexico and elsewhere?

I wondered about this for a long time. Given how common insects are as a food in many parts of the world, why is it so taboo in Europe?

And then I learned they're not kosher.

That's right...

Re:Why the revulsion? (1)

kbahey (102895) | 1 year,19 days | (#43354085)

Actually, locusts are specifically kosher.

The recent locust swarms in southern Israel attracted lots of religious Jews seeking them as an exotic delicacy.

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