Shop told to stop selling cicada flavour ice cream – although it sold out in hours

June 8th, 2011 by Staff – With large parts of the U.S. thick with swarms of cicadas, one ice cream shop came up with a novel idea for turning a pest into a profit.

But a public health official soon stepped in to slap a ban on the insect flavoured ice cream – even though customers loved it.
Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream in Columbia, Missouri, got through its only batch of the insect-flavoured dessert within hours of unveiling it on June 1.

Several U.S. states are currently dealing with vast swarms of cicadas, which only emerge from the soil every 13 to 17 years to mate.
This gave staff at Sparky’s plenty of raw ingredients to work with, and they even collected the bugs from their back gardens.

After removing the insects’ wings, they boiled them and covered them in brown sugar and milk chocolate.
They then added the bugs to a sugar and butter flavoured base ice cream.

According to Sparky’s staff, the bugs have an almond-like taste, and are very crunchy.

Jonathan Hammos, a worker at Sparky’s, told ‘We try to kind of do things that are out of the ordinary.’
Customers seemed to approve, and the first batch was snapped up within hours.

Sparky’s workers were all set to make more, until a quick check with health officials scuppered their plans.

‘Before we made a second batch we thought, “bug ice cream?” We should get this checked out,’ said Mr Hammos.
‘[The environmental health department] said: “We really advise you against serving bugs in your ice cream.”‘

Gerry Worley, an environmental health chief with the Columbia County Department of Public Health, said the agency’s food code ‘doesn’t directly address cicadas’.

He advised against their use as an ingredient. However, all is not lost for Sparky’s novel new flavour.
Public health officials spoken to by said that if Sparky’s find a certified supplier of cicadas to put in their ice cream, they will sign off on its sale.

Treble scoops all round!

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