As millions of cicadas began emerging in Loudoun County about two weeks ago, Chef Tobias Padovano at Cocina on Market in Leesburg began foraging for the noisy insects and serving them in tacos.
That is, until last week when a customer ordered and ate the cicada tacos, only to later complain to the Loudoun County Health Department, which then forced the restaurant to temporarily stop serving them.
Victor Avitto, an environmental health supervisor with the Loudoun County Health Department, told the Times-Mirror that the cicadas needed to be sourced from an approved food source, and only then it would it be fine to serve them.
“They need to be sourced from a farm that is inspected and certified,” he said.
On Wednesday, Padovano said he found an online source for cicadas from Dubai which was approved by Avitto, allowing for the sought-after cicada tacos to again be served.
“We are all set to put them back on the menu,” he said.