Foods Indigenous to the Western Hemisphere



By Jeremy Trombley

Frogs are considered to be a wonderful meat by many cultures. However, among the English and those places which were culturally influenced by them (i.e. many parts of the U.S.), the idea of consuming frogs is repugnant. Why this is the case is not easy to tell, though it has been suggested the it could be a result of English bias against the French, for whom frogs legs are thought to be a staple, or as a result of the distasteful conditions in which they are found. Others have suggested that it is the result of the unfortunate english name “frog,” which is unappetizing in itself. What ever the truth may be, the English are an anomaly among the cultures of the world which generally find frogs to be quite excellent.

Catching and Cultivating Frogs

Wild frogs are easily hunted using a variety of tools. The most popular method is to use a frog spear. This is a small trident which can be attached to a pole, either long or short, depending on the preference of the hunter. The hunter walks along the middle of a stream or along the edge of a pond and spears the frogs as he goes. Other methods include using a slingshot, a bow and arrow, or a small .22 rifle.

More commonly, however, frogs are cultivated in farms. These are vast artificial swamps with thousands of frogs – usually bullfrogs – raised together. Much lie other farmed animals, the meat from the frogs is shipped worldwide so that farming has almost replaced the old techniques of hunting.

Frogs Legs

The most commonly eaten parts of the frogs are the legs. Their meat is white and stringy, and is often compared to that of chicken. They are considered to be a fine food in many parts of the world, but are most commonly associated with French cuisine. They are also consumed in many other parts of the world including parts of South America, North America, Asia and Africa.

The legs can be cooked in any number of ways. The best method, however, is generally thought to be poaching or frying. Poaching frogs legs are often served in a manner suggesting their watery source – with jellies, and water plants as sides and garnishes. Fried frogs legs are described as being similar to fried chicken, and are a popular fast food in many parts of the world where frogs are easy to come by.

Resources – Frogs Legs

Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food 2nd Ed. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, USA, 2006.

Gibbons, Euell. Stalking the Wild Asparagus. Field guide ed. New York: D. McKay, 1962.