Eating frogs and toads.
Posted on: 17 February 2012 by DAWN CANNING
Eating frogs and toads.
Well, it must be Spring as I've seen the first toads and frogs of the year. Our village is overrun with them in the Spring because there is a lake nearby, where they go for sex. On my run this morning I helped two punters across the road. Dave, ever the cheeky wag, asked me how long it took me to catch them up.
I run slowly admittedly, but even I can outrun a frog. On a good day.
I looked up the Common Toad on the Internet and found out that they can live for up to 50 years. That'll be down to the fact that they shun motor transport and rarely drink, smoke or take drugs, like the Amish.
I also looked up toad recipes, but kept getting variations on 'toad in the hole' which got on my nerves after a while, as I know how to make that already.
I did find lots of frog recipes though, and some of them actually sound quite nice. Apparently, frog doesn't really taste of much and is usually described as a cross between chicken and fish. I like chicken and I like fish. As our American friends say 'It's all good'. Although perhaps not all, as it also has a slightly rubbery texture, but I can live with that, I just need to avoid the 50 year olds.
I was surprised to learn that the U.S. consume a lot of frogs, as well as Spain, Italy, Greece, Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean. Obviously, they love a frog in France and they have frog festivals during which tons are consumed. In fact, frogs are so thin on the ground in France now that they are having to import them from Indonesia.
I didn't realise that there was such a prized source of free protein literally on our doorstep, in the shed and under the car.
What with the never ending and frankly, old hat, craze for 'foraging' and local food, I would've thought that Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and his ilk would have been frog munching for years. Hugh has done rooklets, umbrella's, placenta and even slugs, so a bit of toad should be a walk in the park.
Even the supremely contrived Eurovision hopefuls and foraging boy band, The Three Hungry Boys haven't jumped aboard the amphibibandwagon.
I can just see them trolling round the country in their milkfloat, bartering a days' heavy labour in return for a fresh, juicy toad apiece. Come dusk, they'd be sat round the campfire, **frying their toads up with an egg and happily chowing down, toad juice mingled with ketchup running down their chins whilst they indulge in a bit of good natured tomfoolery over who gets the last blow sac...
Apparently a sharp rap on the head is enough to see them off, and it works for frogs and toads too.
They seem quite easy to skin, although you must start at the head end otherwise it all gets a bit messy, plus their anal glands secrete the deadly Muskaric acid, which is best avoided, being as it's deadly.
And of course, I'd be doing mankind a favour by keeping the numbers down. They are a hugely destructive pest, having caused swathes of deforestation across Europe.
Hereabouts we used to have acres of forest, but it's all gone now, along with the orangutans, having been destroyed by frogs and toads.
Classic frog damage.
So, for the sake of humanity (and hopefully to make a few quid with my Toad Quiche at Haverfordwest Farmers market), I'm going into frog hunting, complete with four, very rare and specially imported under licence, Cajun Froghounds.
Watch out Kermit.
** When frying up a toad, with or without an egg, pierce and use a moderate heat as they are prone to exploding.
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