Wednesday, March 09, 2011

To Dress Frogs.

I seem to have become distracted somewhat from my original intention to focus on liqueurs this week. I am going to give you a brief glimpse of frogs-as-food instead. I guess no-one makes a liqueur out of frogs, do they?

Amongst the English, the idea of eating frogs is so indelibly associated with the French, that the affectionate (not) nickname for persons of that nationality is, as you probably know, ‘frog.’ It may be somewhat surprising then, to find out that severable venerable English cookery books of the nineteenth century do include recipes for cooking frogs (albeit with a rather apologetic tone and a reference to the frog-eating habit in France. Here is what the author of The Domestic Dictionary and Housekeeper’s Manual, (G Merle; London, 1842) has to say on the topic.

"The use of frogs as an article of food is almost peculiar to France, although from the delicacy of the dish it is worth figuring on every table. As only the hind quarters, however, are used, this dish is an expensive one. The flavour resembles very much that of a very fine chicken, but is superior: and the flesh is more light of digestion than that of chicken. There are two ways of cooking frogs; the one is en fricassee, the other is by frying them in batter."

Frogs en Fricassee.

Cut off the hind legs, with so much of the loin as will hold them together. Having put them in boiling water, and subsequently allowed them to lie in cold water for ten minutes, put them into a stewpan with some champignons, a little parsley, chibols*, and some butter. After having given them two or three turns with the butter, add a little flour, a glass of French white wine a little stock, and some salt and whole pepper. Let them stew gently for a quarter of an hour, and then thicken with some yolks of eggs, butter, and a little parsley.
*usually taken to mean a type of young green onion (spring onion).

Quotation for the Day.

France has found a unique way of controlling its unwanted critter population. They have done this by giving unwanted animals like snails, pigeons, and frogs fancy names, thus transforming common backyard pests into expensive delicacies. These are then served to gullible tourists, who will eat anything they can't pronounce.
Chris Harris (2001)


Keith said...

I like frogs, & I would hardly cast a frog as a pest. They are in fact a sign of a healthy environment.
However, having said that, I have eaten frog stew. It was supposed to be just duck stew, but being late at night and camped alongside a billabong, a lot of frogs ended up in our stew kettle!!!
Good post, thank you.

Emmy said...

I ate frogs as a child and never thought anything of it. Isn't it funny how tastes change?

Shay said...

I'm afraid when I read the post title something else came to mind, namely Tenniel's drawing of the Frog Footman in "Alice."