Cicadas Illinois

Suburban brewpub goes all in on Chicago cicada craze with ‘Cicada-infused Malört'

Those who aren't allergic to shellfish are invited to Noon Whistle Brewing in Lombard to try the cicada-infused drink

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As more and more cicadas come out across the Chicago area, the cicada frenzy is real -- and some are growing curious to taste the big-eyed bugs.

One brewery in suburban Chicago is going all in on the tasting craze, creating a "Cicada-Infused Malört."

"Prepare yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime experience" Noon Whistle Brewing in Lombard posted on Instagram. "We're thrilled to unveil our exclusive locally harvested Cicada-Infused Malört at Lombard Brewpub!

According to the Instagram post, cicadas have a "lobster-like flavor sensation." Customers can also add their own cicada husks for "extra flavor."

"Want to take your shot of Cicada-infused Malört to he next level? Bring in your saved cicada husks and infuse your drink with even more of that unique flavor," the post goes on to say. "Its the ultimate personalized alcoholic cicada broth experience."

The post noted that eating cicadas is safe, nutritious and packed with protein, but advised customers with shellfish allergies to stay away.

That's because cicadas and shellfish actually contain the same protein, explained Dr. Sindhura Bandi, an allergy and immunology specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

Cicadas are also safe for dogs to eat, experts say. According to Allen Lawrence, associate curator of entomology at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, cicadas will likely be viewed as a tasty treat to many animals.

"As far as insects go, they're very large and meaty. They have a lot of nutrients there. That's a big meal just from catching one insect," Lawrence told NBC Chicago.

However, consumption should be monitored.

While cicadas aren’t toxic to pets, gastrointestinal upset can occur if a pet consumes too many cicadas or their discarded 'shells' (exoskeletons)," an alert from the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control said. "Intestinal obstruction or perforation could occur as exoskeletons move through the gastrointestinal tract, particularly if a small pet consumes many cicadas in a short period of time."

At Noon Whistle Brewing, the Cicada-infused Malört will only be available onsite. Human customers are encouraged to stop by and try the Chicago-style creation responsibly.

"With our expert preparation, you can indulge in this delicacy with confidence."

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