A Maryland Candy Shop Is Selling Chocolate-Covered Cicadas

First, they're cleaned and cooked up in an air fryer, of course.

If you couldn't tell from the buzzing, or the exoskeletons left behind on the sidewalks, or the seemingly unending local news coverage, the Brood X cicadas have finally returned to the east coast for the first time in 17 years. The insects' reappearance has been met with a mixture of fascination, curiosity, and semi-regular reminders that yes, cicadas are edible.

cicada Swarm - brood x
Douglas Rissing/Getty Images

Chouquette Chocolates, for one, is welcoming our new Magicicada neighbors, by doing what you'd (kind of) expect: by covering them with chocolate and trying to convince everyone that they're delicious. "It's really like a chocolate-covered potato chip," Sarah Dwyer, the owner of the Gaithersburg, Maryland confectionery told WBAL. "It's really crunchy because we air-fry them. So, we clean them first, then air-fry them and then dip them in chocolate and you sprinkle whatever spice you want on top." (This proves that you can air-fry literally anything.)

If you'd like to try the chocolate-covered cicadas before 2038, then you can special order a dozen ($18) from the Chouquette Chocolates website. Each batch of bugs can be coated with a combination of milk chocolate and Old Bay seasoning (they are coming from Maryland, after all), milk chocolate and cinnamon, or dark chocolate and cinnamon.

"NOT A JOKE — these are REAL Brood X cicadas — currently gathered from Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and Potomac MD," the website explains. "Recipe: Gather Fresh Cicadas. Freeze. Boil. Airfry. Cinnamon Sprinkle. Cover in Chocolate. Enjoy??"

Dwyer told WBAL that the cicadas are the shop's "best seller" for the year, edging out last year's top chocs, which featured a pic of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the slogan "I [Heart] Dr. Fauci." Some of Chouquette's other limited-edition sweets have featured pictures of singer Harry Styles, Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai, and vice-president Kamala Harris.

The chocolate shop has posted about its cicadas on its Facebook page, and some commenters have responded with... well, with nothing but the barfing emoji. Dwyer is completely undeterred, however, and has encouraged her customers to push past their comfort zones and try something new — something like, say, a chocolate-covered insect.

"Most humans eat bugs as a delicacy and for survival," she commented on a post about the limited-edition snack. "They are amazing — probably cleaner than all those poop-eating lobsters and shrimps. Aristotle enjoyed them, St. John the Baptist survived the desert with them, Benjamin Banneker tracked them, Bob Dylan was inspired by them. Little tasty miracles."

They're certainly little. We'll give them that.

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