For my birthday, my lovely girlfriend got me something called a beer class at L’Epicerie Market [EDIT: Now Closed] in Culver City. This was exciting as it turned out to be a multi-course set meal with a glass of beer per dish. Yet, as exciting and delicious as the beer and meals were, there was a particular course worth its own blog. It was one of the strangest meats I had ever eaten: frog legs.
First off, I should say that on this set meal, I had no clue what kinds of foods and beers I would be getting, so when a plate full of three fried legs appeared in front of me, I was in shock. But not necessarily bad shock. In fact, the most shocking part was that the chef had taken the time to cross the legs after cooking. How dainty. I always say any legs worth crossing are legs worth eating. Okay, so I’ve never said that before, but the crossed legs certainly added to the intrigue.
Although I know frog legs aren’t that crazy in France, I have to wonder who looked at a frog and decided they wanted to eat it. There doesn’t seem to be much meat, the color is the same as rancid meat and the sound it makes is a synonym for dying.
Yet, when I began to tear apart my frog legs I not only found that all the joints still worked and I could make the legs dance (froggeteering), but also found the look and feel to be quite similar to chicken wings. Inside, the meat was white and nothing like the green of frog skin. I bit in and was not nearly as repulsed as I expected to be. The meat was chewier than chicken, but mostly took its flavor from what it had been cooked in. There was something a little funny about the taste, though, and that was a slight fishiness. I know frogs aren’t fish, but there was no denying a sort of fishy taste to the legs.
I don’t know if this was due to preparation or because frog legs just always happen to taste that way, but the taste turned me off of the legs. I’m not exactly a fish guy and when I do like fish it is because it is fresh and lacking that classic fishy smell. And to back myself up, the halibut L’Epicerie served later in the meal was awesome.
So while I’m glad I tried frog legs, I know that I don’t need to eat them again. Despite this, I felt they were a great gateway amphibian meat and I can’t wait to get my hands on a salamander next.
And now that I know what frog legs taste like, I just have to wonder what happens to the rest of the frog. Does it get ground up into frog sausages? Fed to the family dog? Or does it simply wait to be served in the lesser-known dish of frog torso?