Illinois chefs are serving up unique foods infused with, inspired by cicadas: Where to find them

One suburban brewery is even offering cicada-infused Malort shot

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Cicada-infused Malort at Lombard Brew Pub
Lombard Brew Pub is offering shots of Malort infused with cicadas for a limited time.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Are you feeling "in your cicada era" and want a cookie to show it?

The double brood of cicadas has already begun taking over parts of Illinois. In a matter of weeks, billions of the bugs are expected to be swarming trees and lawns.

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To celebrate the once-in-17-years event, many chefs, bakers and brewers are finding unique ways to honor the insects by cooking up recipes inspired by, and some infused with, the bugs.

With massive swarms incoming, one big question has had social media in a frenzy -- can we eat cicadas?

Research shows that cicadas are a low-fat, high-protein food.

The idea of introducing insect protein to our diets has chefs cooking up cicada recipes from drinks to tacos. However, unlike most insects, the Food and Drug Administration warns anyone with a shellfish allergy to avoid eating cicadas because they are related to shrimp and lobsters.

For those looking to avoid eating the insects, but still want to take part in the fun, there are plenty of delicious bug-free options to celebrate the rare emergence. Many of those are available nearby.

SEE MORE: Cicada emergence begins in parts of Chicago area, mostly bugging suburbs: 'Don't be alarmed'

Deerfields Bakery

Deerfield and Buffalo Grove

Celebrate your love for cicadas with these unique desserts. Deerfields Bakery offers multiple cicada-themed cookies and cupcakes. Four designs are available to choose from, and all of them are under $5 each.

Cicada-Infused Malört at Lombard Brew Pub

Lombard Brew Pub is offering shots of Malort infused with cicadas for a limited time.


Did you know that to some people, cicadas may taste like lobster? Lombard Brew Pub is offering shots of Malört infused with "locally harvested" cicadas for a limited time. The pub encourages patrons to bring their own cicada husks to get the full experience.

Custom Cookies by Jill


Berwyn baker Jill is calling her cookies "the only cicadas you should eat." Custom Cookies by Jill offers designs with edible cicada images, and even ones that proudly state, "In my cicada era."

Aunt Diana's Old Fashioned Fudge


A variety of chocolate cicadas are available at Aunt Diana's. While they don't contain any traces of the bugs, try the ones with Rice Krispies inside for an extra life-like crunch.

Amber's Custom Cookies


Amber's Custom Cookies is taking orders for cupcakes decorated with edible fake cicadas. Place your order here or by visiting Amber's Custom Cookies on Facebook.

Bent Fork Bakery


This bakery is serving up cicada cakes, complete with beady red eyes and chocolate wings.

Big Star

West Town

If you are inspired to taste other bugs, stop by Bug Bites on June 11 at Big Star West Town to get a taste of grasshopper tacos, ant mole and other insect dishes inspired by the flavors of Oaxaca, Mexico. Experts from the Field Museum will be sharing fun facts about insects, including the "guests of honor," cicadas. There will also be a live bug zoo and other surprises to keep the fun going.

Chicago Pastry


Mini chocolate cicada cakes are all the buzz at Chicago Pastry. Visit them in Bloomingdale to get yours.

Sweet Street Bakery LLC


This Chicago bakery created some intricate iced cicada cookies to celebrate the emergence of the bugs. Get your custom cicada cookies on their website.

Tates Old Fashioned Ice Cream

La Grange

Tates' chocolate covered cicadas made from homemade ice cream are served in a bug catching box for your convenience, and so you can catch some real ones after the sweet treat.

Wolf's Bakery

Evergreen Park

Cupcakes adorned with cicadas made of buttercream frosting are flying off the shelves at Wolf's Bakery. Visit them in person or call to see how to get your hands on some.