Dayton’s Pizza Bandit lands on CNN for cicada pizza experiment

Pineapple’s time in the controversial limelight might be over after a buggy decision made by The Pizza Bandit.

The Pizza Bandit, located at Yellow Cab Tavern at 700 E. 4th St. in downtown Dayton, made national news this weekend when CNN published an article about the pizza truck’s “Cicada Pizza” concoction. Since then, the story has been picked up by out-of-state NBC outlets, MSNBC’s “Way Too Early” program, “Morning Joe” and others, according to Pizza Bandit partner, Brian Johnson.

“An Ohio restaurant seems to have found a use for the Brood X cicadas pestering parts of the Midwest. The Pizza Bandit in Dayton tested out a Spicy Thai Cicada Pie,” reported CNN on Sunday.



On Friday, a Pizza Bandit regular brought a bucket of “freshly-foraged, local” cicadas to the truck, knowing The Pizza Bandit enjoys experimenting with unusual ingredients. Pizza Bandit partner and chef James Burton chose a Thai-inspired pie to go with the nutty-notes of the rare ingredient.

Though the pizza is not available for purchase by the slice or whole pie, the cicada-foraging customer and Pizza Bandit team put the creation to the test. Johnson said reviews were mixed, with some people really liking the flavor and others not being able to get past the texture of the cicadas.

“We’ve heard from customers both locally and as far as hundreds of miles away wanting to try the pie, some even offering to bring their own cicadas,” Johnson said. “We’ve also heard from people who were outright angry, indignant and threatening that we even made one tasting pie.”

The now infamous, 18′' pizza was topped-off with miso hoisin sriracha sauce, mozzarella and provolone, blanched and sautéed locally foraged cicadas, mushroom, cabbage, green onion, mango, cilantro, the spicy Thai sauce after the bake and a Cicada wing adorned crust.

“Before you get too excited — or repulsed — know that the restaurant is not selling cicada-topped pizzas,” CNN reported. “In a Facebook post showing off the new creation, the business noted, ‘We’re not even sure if we legally can sell you locally foraged Cicadas.’”

Buzz... Buzz... It's Cicada Pizza! From a distance this pie looks delightful but once you get closer you realize those...

Posted by The Pizza Bandit on Sunday, June 13, 2021

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