Frogs' Legs – A French Delicacy.


Frogs’ legs generally (at least by Anglophone societies) thought to be a French specialty, but since the end of World War II service men and women returning from continental Europe have popularized them.

These days, frogs’ legs are less popular than three decades ago, but the tides can turn at any time.

There are approximately 3000 frog species, grouped into two divisions – marine ad semi-aquatic. All species are distributed from Alaska to Sweden, and as far south as the most southerly point of Southern Hemisphere.

Frogs mature between one to three years and have a life expectancy of seven to 12 years.

They like damp environments, mate in ponds, and spend most of their life in temperate climes.

England is a suitable country, but the English have never taken to frogs’ legs as the French.

The plumpest frogs live in Vosges Mountains (France), forests, and thousands of “patches of waters” known as etangs in French.

The village of Vittel, world famous of its calcium-rich mineral water, organizes annually, a frogs’ leg festival (last Sunday of April) to celebrate one of the passions of French gastronomes. Vittel’s frog festival, now more than 40 years old, attracts Belgians, Dutch, Germans and a even a few Portuguese who live and work in Luxembourg and other Benelux countries.

Here, frogs’ legs are served sautéed in plenty of garlic butter. Some French gourmets claim frogs’ legs to be a vehicle to ingest copious amounts of garlic claimed to be good for health.

Of course the French term cuisse de grenouille sounds more elegant and sophisticated than plain frogs’ legs with linguistic nuance aside, how does it taste? Properly cooked, it has a finer, more tender and smoother texture than chicken, but needs to be seasoned subtly. Overcooked frogs’ legs turn rubbery!

Needless to say, the fine bones must be expertly sucked to appreciate their delicate marrow!

Serious frogs’ legs consumers employ bibs to save their clothing.

These days, frozen frogs’ legs come from Eastern Europe and Turkey. They are processed in Lucon, Charente, packaged and frozen, and shipped all over the world.

Beside sautéing them in garlic butter, one can cook them in a

creamy sauce and serve along with a zesty Alsatian Riesling or dry gewürztraminer.

In Ontario, a dry riesling, or auxerrois, or gruner veltliner, or aligote would be appropriate matches.

frogs’ legs