HUFFINGTON POST
06/10/2011 03:55 pm ET Updated Aug 10, 2011

Cicada Ice Cream & Eating Insects: A Family Dinner Table Talk

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

Vanilla...chocolate...strawberry...cicada?? An ice cream shop owner in Columbia, Missouri was asked to stop serving cicada ice cream since the Columbia County Department of Public Health "doesn't directly address cicadas." The ice cream store created the bug batch by collecting the cicadas (which are molting insects with big eyes and wings) in employees' backyards and removing the wings. Then, the cicadas were boiled and covered with brown sugar and milk chocolate.

Somewhat similarly, a taqueria in San Francisco was recently banned from serving grasshopper tacos because the bugs, imported from Mexico, were not an FDA-approved source. The taqueria can no longer serve fried tarantula tortas as well.

Though it may be easy to scrunch one's nose and recoil about eating cicadas or grasshoppers, bugs are a part of many countries' food cultures. Entomophagy, the act of eating insects, is practiced from Africa to Latin America.

Do you think the shop owner should be allowed to sell cicada ice cream or grasshopper tacos? Would you try cicada ice cream? Would you eat bugs? If you wouldn't eat bugs, why not? What are some other food taboos you can think of? What makes a food item strange to you?

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