Sparky's to debut cicada ice cream Thursday

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | 6:24 p.m. CDT; updated 11:46 a.m. CDT, Thursday, June 2, 2011
Sparky's manager Ashley Nagel shows her mother, Debbie, a batch of cicada ice cream in the store Wednesday afternoon. Ashley said the bug filled, brown sugar and butter based creation "tastes like peanuts."

COLUMBIA — When Christian Losciale began his first day of work at Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream on Wednesday, he did not expect to volunteer to de-wing cicadas for a new batch of ice cream.

"Scott Southwick tossed the idea around the other day, so I had some idea, but he figured now was a good chance," Losciale said. Southwick is the owner of Sparky's.


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After doing some research and discussion, Sparky's employees got the green light from their boss to incorporate the buzzing insects into their ice cream.

"We always try to push the limit," Sparky's Manager Ashley Nagel said about their flavors.

The new ice cream will soon sit among flavors like Lavender Honey, Cake Batter and Lemon Poppyseed Muffin.

The manager said the new flavor will be easy to spot.

"Most of the wings are off but the top layer has wings so that people know what they are getting into," Nagel said.

To make the ice cream, Sparky's employees collected cicadas from their backyards and brought them in to work on Wednesday. The cicadas are fully cooked through boiling, then covered in brown sugar and milk chocolate. The base ice cream is a brown sugar and butter flavor.

Sparky's patrons Joan Masters and her son Jack Masters, 5, took one look at the ice cream and said they would not try it.

"One landed on me at lunch, and I just screamed," Joan Masters said.

Sparky's workers are hoping patrons will give the insect-inspired flavor a try. It will make its debut in the store on Thursday. For hesitant customers, free samples are available.

"Cicada itself is purely a texture, and the flavor is like a peanut," Losciale said. "It's not that strange because we coated them in so much sugar. It's worth trying."

While the strange looking pests are abundant, the dessert might not be found so easily elsewhere.

"You probably won't find any other ice cream shop in the surrounding states doing this," Losciale said.

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Nicholas Blond June 1, 2011 | 10:36 p.m.

For Columbia, cicadas are kind of like Greek Town's inhabitants--they descend upon our city every now and then, annoy the crap out of everyone but themselves, mate, then die. They dawn new "shells" every so often, but on the inside, they're all just the same old cicada.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 2, 2011 | 12:00 p.m.

Send it to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer June 2, 2011 | 12:15 p.m.

The cicada ice cream is sold out! Our reporter, Melissa, was at Sparky's by noon today. After being open only an hour or so, they'd sold the entire tub. The plan, Melissa learned, is to make more on Saturday for sale on Sunday.

— Joy Mayer,

(Report Comment)
josh kaplan June 2, 2011 | 12:34 p.m.

Dear Nicholas Brown,
Like most GDI's you try to relate everything negative to Greeks because for some reason its our fault your still a virgin. In between the mating and dying you referred to we will also get lots of high paying and powerful jobs, because not only is joining a greek affiliation the only way to completely fulfill the COLLEGE experience of having the best time ever it's also a great way of networking. Oh yeah how many presidents are greeks?


(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 2, 2011 | 12:43 p.m.

Send them to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble June 2, 2011 | 12:46 p.m.

Josh, in one brief statement, you've reinforced many of the worst stereotypes Greeks are labeled with. In the pursuit of the wealth and power you describe, best of luck in picking up humility, grace, and a sense of humor along the way. And I say that seriously, not as snark - you'll be a lot happier for it, believe me.

I also hope that you and your brethren do better at those high-paying jobs and presidencies than the lot who've nearly crashed our entire country through greed and exploitation over the last decade or so. We can all use the help - hope you're up to the task.

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer June 2, 2011 | 1:45 p.m.

Hey, guys. Thanks for commenting. Please take note of the comment policy posted beneath this conversation. Be civil, and no name-calling.
— Joy Mayer,

(Report Comment)
Craig Thomaz June 2, 2011 | 2:09 p.m.

I think I will leave this here and allow the readers of these comments to make their own judgements about josh.

(Report Comment)
josh kaplan June 2, 2011 | 2:24 p.m.

Kevin, yes my comment may have contained ignorance but is it not ignorant to take and article about bugs and ice cream and use it to slander a group of people that spend countless hours volunteering and raising money for charities through various philanthropies. I don't really see the connection but maybe im just stupid

(Report Comment)
Craig Thomaz June 2, 2011 | 2:46 p.m.

As a former involved greek, i can attest that the "countless hours" spent on philanthropies and volunteering is an outright lie. So maybe youve spent about 10 hours working on this stuff and then you pretend in arguments like you have been working on this stuff day-in and day-out for the past couple years. This is the same excuse that us greeks used to fall back on to cover ourselves when a group of us look like crazies in public and get called out. Many of you need to take an outside perspective to the way you act so as people dont carry around this opinion of your organization(s).

Also, the "networking" to get "high-paying powerful jobs" is something i am sure they told you in recruitment and is something you still hear. This power networking does not so much take place here at the University of Missouri, it happens at elite schools with elite families such as Harvard and Yale. This is the place where you earn your prestige so you can become powerful, not a place where you wait to get a hand-out.

Earn your entitlement!

(Report Comment)
Jeremy Calton June 2, 2011 | 2:57 p.m.

Not sure which is harder to believe--the story or the comments.

Most exciting comments we've had since the Trib became a non-entity, though.

(Report Comment)
Morgan Bearden June 2, 2011 | 5:27 p.m.

Yo Bro Josh,

"its our fault your still a virgin."

Did you mean to use the contractions of “it” and “is”, as well as the contraction of "you" and "are"? Did you mean to use the words “it’s” and "you're"?

Maybe you have been "completely fulfill(ing) the COLLEGE experience" to such an extent that you have become semi-literate. Oh no, wait...Standard English is something you were supposed to have mastered BEFORE you came to Columbia!

And please, put a cork in that volunteer and philanthropy nonsense - your involvement is far exaggerated and you folks only do it to justify your (not “you’re”!) existence. You are nothing but a bunch of cornpone buffoons.

(Report Comment)
Tracy Greever-Rice June 3, 2011 | 9:04 a.m.

In the manner of the (ancient) Greeks:

(that's a very cute pic of Ashley and her mom)

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 3, 2011 | 3:18 p.m.

"but is it not ignorant to take and article about bugs and ice cream and use it to slander a group of people that spend countless hours volunteering and raising money for charities through various philanthropies. [?] I don't really see the connection but maybe im [I'm] just stupid [.]"

And cultivating academic excellence? Do they spend as much time with the charities as you spent learning to write?

(Report Comment)
Dean Andersen June 3, 2011 | 6:28 p.m.

I hope they make more of the cicada ice-cream! I was wanting to try some and they were all out! And maybe even share the recipe!

(Report Comment)
Mike Bellman June 4, 2011 | 4:58 p.m.

THE SPARKY'S CICADA ICE CREAM FLAVOR WAS A GIMMICK. They never had any for sale. They are not making any, it was a media stunt. There aren't any pics of anyone selling or eating any.

Party Foul.

(Report Comment)
Nick Jungman June 4, 2011 | 5:40 p.m.

Mike, what makes you say that?

-- Nick Jungman, Missourian

(Report Comment)
Nick Jungman June 4, 2011 | 6:50 p.m.

OK, just to clarify this: Mike replied to me on Twitter (see He's not denying that Sparky's ever made any cicada ice cream -- just that they ever intended to really sell it to the public. They now have a sign on their door saying they won't have any more for sale. We're following up with Sparky's.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett June 4, 2011 | 9:39 p.m.

A gimmick?

As in there were never any cicadas in the ice cream that would be for sale?

How would it pass the health department inspection?

We all know that there are no turtles in turtle candy - so why would there have to be cicadas in cicada ice cream?

: )

(Report Comment)
Mike Bellman June 5, 2011 | 12:19 p.m.

@Delcia. It's a good point to be made. When we went in the store to check, I noticed they do have a "grasshopper" flavor, and there probably aren't and grasshoppers in it.

I also suppose there aren't and Russians or Geese in the White Russian/Grey Goose flavor either.

It was for a lark and this ice cream store has a reputation with a lot of people so it would have been a fun dare. That's all.

While visiting for lunch, I told all the first graders in my kids class, the next time these cicadas are out of the ground, the first graders will have all graduated. This is the ONLY time during school you'll see these... (they were impressed. :) )

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 5, 2011 | 2:59 p.m.

In thirteen years we can SEND them to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)

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