Friday, 18 October 2013

More cicadas

At the risk of sounding obsessed with cicadas, I came across an article in the Smithsonian Mag no less, giving a recipe for culinary adventurers. Mille's sister lives in the Cicada-belt on the east coast of the US, and I know that the insects there are not quite the same, as they come out of the ground en masse every seven years, so there is less of an association with summer than round here. Loud and inconvenient? I take exception. That applies more to some of the the tourists than the insects.

Apparantly, only the females are worth eating, as the males tend to shrivel away upon cooking, (yes, yes Freud would have had a field day). Ancient legend round here tells of the people of Sauve fooling their neighbours in St Hippolyte into collecting male cicadas for them. I won't bother you with the details, but the story does suggest that they might once have been a part of the CĂ©venol diet.


  1. The ridiculous film "Pitch Black" that features the unlikely named Vin Diesel mumbling throughout seems to be based on a Cicada-like life cycle. An English-speaking film that needs subtitles.

    Anyway, as you are obviously obsessed with them, how did the St Hippolytes easily tell the males from the females? I can barely see them whenever I'm in the middle of a swarm chirping away. Or is it just my poor eyesight?

  2. The story goes that the Sauvains led their neighbours on a wild goose chase, offering to pay them for cigales, so they could listen to the 'music'. Part of the brief was that they'd only pay for males, or maybe females. Apparantly, only one sex sings. The wily Sauvains stipulated the collection of the other sex to make the St Hippo people look foolish. At least that's how they tell it in Sauve.