Photo Credit: Shannon Potter on Unsplash

So, as you may have seen on TikTok and other social media platforms, cicada season is once again here. This year is a heavy season with the largest brood, Brood x, emerging for the first time in seventeen years. While cicadas do not infest every state in the U.S., millions of them will swarm various states on the east coast. If you have never encountered cicadas, they are incredibly noisy insects that will leave their skins behind everywhere. Many kids from states where cicadas permeate have memories of picking up cicada skins and playing with their ghostly remains. To help reduce the number of cicadas in the states affected, McDonald’s has created a milkshake made with cicadas. I, of course, went out and gave it a try. Here are some of my thoughts. 

Initially, I was not overly impressed by the appearance of the milkshake. It seemed as if it was sloppily put together by a new employee. The chocolate drizzle on the cup was heavy towards the bottom and barely existent at the top. Not to mention, the whipped cream was shooting out of the top of the lid and slowly melting which made the sides of the cup have an unpleasant stickiness when I grabbed it from the worker. The crushed cicadas did not seem well blended either, and I was a tad uneasy seeing the bodiless cicada heads sticking to the sides of the cup. I wish that McDonald’s would have added a chocolate drizzle on top  to improve the appearance. I give the appearance a generous 5/10. I understand it is challenging to make cicadas look appetizing, but there could have been more effort in the presentation. However, despite its rough appearance, the milkshake surprised me in the flavor department. 

At first, I nearly spit the milkshake out; it tasted like dirt, although I think my mind still was not wrapped around the idea that I was drinking literal bugs. As I continued to drink it, the milkshake sweetened up and I began to taste the smooth chocolate flavor. Honestly, I think the cicadas acted as a flavor enhancer as the chocolate in the milkshake tasted much richer and creamier than it usually does. From my understanding, McDonald’s freeze-dried the cicadas before adding them to the milkshakes which gave them a refreshing and crunchier taste than if they were to add them in at room temperature. In addition to freeze-drying the cicadas, having the cicadas not fully blended added another depth to the texture of the shake which made the experience much more enjoyable. It also seemed like the cicadas were coated in a casing of sugar which added an additional layer of texture and crunch as well as a sweetness that took away from the buggy taste of the cicada. The milkshake genuinely reminded me of a chocolate chunk milkshake but with more protein. In terms of protein, the small milkshake alone kept me fully satisfied until dinner which was a huge plus for me. Overall, for taste and texture, I give the milkshake an 8/10.

After my experience with McDonald’s new cicada milkshake, I think cicadas should be added to all of McDonald’s milkshakes in the future; cicadas add protein and an interesting textural difference. If the fact that you are consuming dead cicadas does not bother you and seeing the sight of one in your drink does not freak you out, I highly recommend you try the new cicada milkshake at McDonald’s; it will definitely take you on a ride to flavor town. It is an experience you should not miss!


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