HAIL TO THEE, GRENOUILLE

This is a non-recipe for fried frog legs.   I am not in favor of eating the few amphibians we have left in America.  Destruction of their habitat and chemicals so easily absorb through their permeable skin have put frogs in the protected species category.

We all love frogs, kids especially. 

The song of the frogs along the muddy Colorado River used to serenade me to sleep.  All’s-right-with-the world. Croak.  Tadpoles, or pollywogs as we called them, were  mudpuddle pets.

My own father used to hunt bull frogs to supplement our diet, just as he hunted wild turkey and deer.  I never gave it a thought. Poor people survived on such fare.

When he went frogging,  it was at night. He took a burlap sack, a flash light, a club, and a spear with a nail on the business end.   I never went with him but he told me of blinding the frogs with the flashlight. They  were paralyzed by the light. Others said that in daylight frogging one could lay down a piece of red cloth and the frogs would jump to it.  (I like red too!)

My mother fried the legs which jerked in the pan, another sight I won’t forget.  She always had to explain that they were not alive, and the muscles were jerking because the hot grease caused the muscles to contract.

Prosperity took frog legs off our family menu.  I never tasted them again until they were offered as a delicacy at the home of our beloved French friends.  And as I have said before, I would not offend these dear people by turning them down.  Why should I?  And Ninette is an excellent chef.  They were delicious.

First of all the frogs were not ‘locals’, they are protected in France.  So the French import over 4 tons of frog legs every year.  Mostly from Indonesia.  I presume they are pricey.

In the USA, the Deep South still serves up frog legs that have been imported from Asia. I found this photo on the internet of our President eating what he was served in Louisiana.  If he’d refused them it would have been newsworthy.   Eating them was newsworthy too!   Ahh, politics.

Ninette fried  the legs in butter flavored with finely diced garlic, then salted and peppered them, then sprinkled with coarsely chopped parsley.

Mostly they tasted crisp, buttery, and garlicy.  Many say that they taste like chicken.  Not me. Just crisp, buttery and garlicy. Not a bad combo.  I send a merci beaucoup to the Lange family who served us their national delicacy with such generosity and hospitality.

When our French friends/family  came to our country for the first time, I wanted  to give them a taste-test of something they would not think of eating in France.  It came to me.   Salads are often topped with kernels of  corn.  When I asked if they ever ate it as a vegetable, specifically on-the-cob,  the reaction was one to remember.  Heads were shaken negatively, fingers wagged side-to-side.  And the word SAVAGE was used more than once. It was grown for the animals. The family patriarch announced he had seen an American cowboy movie where they had eaten it like animals.

When I served up the All-American summer picnic, fried chicken, watermelon, and yes, corn-on-the-cob.  They tucked right into it.  Gracious people.

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~ by dottiedoright on February 14, 2010.

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