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FROGS & TOADS
© 2006 RogueTurtle.com

An Adventure in Alternate Food Sources


Of course you can eat frogs! Frog legs are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. No, not Kermit's legs — the real frogs that live in the water.

Toads, however, are a different story. The French word for toad is "crapaud" (kra-PO). And I think that about covers all I'm going to say about eating toads. Don't do it!

There are over 4,000 species of frogs found worldwide. Not all are edible. Some frogs are deadly poisonous, and some are delicious. It's up to you to determine which ones you want to eat. To my knowledge, outside of zoos or universities, there are no poisonous frogs in the United States. Africa, Asia and especially South America seem to have cornered this market.



POISON DART FROG
Phyllobates terribilis

The world's most poisonous frog, is tiny, multi-colored and lethal. This frog, also known as the Golden Poison Dart Frog, comes from western Colombia. Their name originated from early explorers who saw indigenous Indians tip their poison arrows with the secretions of this frog.

The toxins secreted by the skins of these frogs vary from irritants to hallucinogens, convulsants, nerve poisons, and vasoconstrictors (which narrow the blood vessels). The skin of one frog could kill up to 1,000 people. Don't mess with this one...


FROG FACTS

  • Frogs absorb water through their skin so they don't need to drink.
  • Frogs can lay as many as 4,000 eggs in frogspawn.
  • The eyes and nose of a frog are on top of its head so it can breathe and see when most of its body is under the water.
  • Frogs need both water and land to live.
  • A frog can change the color of its skin depending on its surroundings.
  • Frogs have long back legs and webbed feet for jumping and swimming.
  • Certain frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap.
  • Frogs usually eat meat (bugs and worms) and swallow their food whole.
  • The world's biggest frog is the Goliath frog from Cameroon in West Africa. Their body can be one-foot long.

    Black areas show frog distributions all over the world.
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frog#Poison

    FROGS WITH BRIGHT COLORS
    ARE USUALLY POISONOUS


  • MORE FROG FACTS

    Like all amphibians, frogs spend their lives near water because they must return to the water to lay their eggs.

    When they hatch into tadpoles, they breathe with gills and swim using a tail. As they mature, they lose their tail, and develop lungs for breathing air. In harsh climates, frogs bury themselves in sand and mud to hibernate (sleep very deeply) through the cold winter.

    Diet: Frogs eat insects, catching them with their long, sticky tongue. They also eat small fish and worms.




    FROGS FOR FOOD

    Almost every kid in the world has caught, or at least handled, a frog. Unlike toads, frogs don't leave your hands full of "icky" stuff, they just kick and then seem to relax. Set down the frog, and off they go, jumping to freedom. Frogs don't bite, don't scratch, or even make a sound. They just jump. It's what they do best.

    These tremendous leg muscles are what make the frog good eating.

    When I was in high school, back in the middle ages, our biology teacher taught us the inner "guts" of the frog the old-fashioned way. We were divided up into teams of 2 or 3 students, handed a live frog and a "pithing tool". This was a sharp needle with a wooden handle. To "pith" a frog properly, you would insert the needle in through the base of the skull, into the brain. Once into the brain, you moved the needle around (a lot) to destroy the frog's brain. Theoretically, the frog died immediately. However, the frogs didn't read the text book, and most of the students were poor at their work, and many of the frogs suffered a long time until the teacher finally got around to finishing the job for us.


    www.biopac.com
    The above web site is available for those of you interested in this subject. It works if done right.

    The frogs will remain "alive" even when their brains are scrambled. They will slowly die, however, but they won't feel a thing.

    The frog's brain is located between its eyes. The needle has to go in at least that far to destroy the brain. Double pithing: Once the brain is dead, the spinal cord is cut to prevent autonomic muscle movements. Use the needle to sever the spine at the same point you entered the skull to kill its brain. To test your success, touch the needle to the eye of the frog. In a normal frog, as soon as you touch its eyelid, it will blink. With no brain, there is no response.

    Why am I telling you this? Because this is one way to kill the frog you are about to eat, without causing it too much pain. The first time is the hardest, after that it's just routine. Eventually, you are going to cut off the legs where they attach to the body and skin them. This is the part you eat. I don't like to torture animals. Frogs are too small to shoot, so this is a fast and effective way of doing the job.


    CATCHING FROGS

    This is a great job for kids. All you need is a flashlight, a cloth bag, and (sometimes) a gig. A frog gig is a small spear with barbed points. Most young boys get a kick out of just grabbing them up off the shoreline or in the water. "Gigging," for those not in the know, is hunting for bullfrogs by first spotlighting and then spearing them.

    RT has caught frogs by hand and by the gig method, usually from a flat-bottomed boat or a canoe. No outboard motors, please. Stealth is important so you don't spook the frogs before you get to them. All you have to do is sneak up on the sounds of a frog sounding off at the water's edge and shine a bright light on them. (Like jack-lighting a deer.) Then sneak up and catch them by hand or gig them with the spear. Put the frogs into a bag to keep them. DON'T PUT FROGS INTO AN ICE CHEST. Frogs JUMP. The first time you open the ice chest, at least one, if not all, of the frogs will jump out.

    Of course, the ones who have been speared won't jump, but if caught by hand, they sure will. It can be really funny, actually. Kind of like herding cats.

    If you just have to use an ice chest, cut the hamstrings behind each knee, and they will never jump again. Painful but efficient. I prefer the bag. Just open the bag enough to stuff in another frog. The floppy bag will give too much for them to jump out.

    The frog gig can be mounted on a pole of any length you want. Making it too long will make it too hard to handle. Start at about 5 to 6 feet in length, and adjust from there to suit your needs. After a couple of attempts, you quickly find out if it needs to be shorter or longer.

    Get the gig within six inches of the frog and thrust hard. It usually helps to pin the frog against the bottom. A timid stab will simply send a wounded frog into the water not to be seen again.

    If you are in the woods without a gig, you can split the ends of smaller straight branches and carve points on the split ends. Use small pieces of wood to space the tines out, and wrap the spot where they meet with some sort of string, fishline, or cloth wrapping. It would only take about an hour to build a quick gig. Split bamboo makes an EXCELLENT gig. Put as many tines on the spear as you think you'll need. Three should be enough, though, for most productive frog gigging expeditions.

    Some states have a "season" for gigging frogs so check with your local fish and wildlife folks to find out if you need a permit. If you are shooting frogs with a .22 rifle, you probably WILL need a permit. I don't like "hunting frogs" from a unstable platform like a boat. If you shoot the frogs, do it from the bank of the water, not from a boat.

    The key to gigging frogs is the flashlight. The bright light "stuns" the frog into immobility. You can get very close to them while they are in this "stupor. Then either grab them, or stab them, your choice. You have a better percentage chance of a meal with the gig.

    Another advantage to the frog gig is that it can also be used to spear fish caught in fish traps or weirs. The same tool can do more than one job. Most spear heads run in the $10 to $20.00 range, so without a handle attached, they are cheap and easy to haul around in a back pack. Make your handle when you get to your destination, or along the way. The handle could be as simple as an old broom handle, or as fancy as seasoned walnut. Only you make that choice. I prefer a small, straight, sapling that I can also use as a walking stick. (A stick used for balance while hiking.)

    FISHING POLE

    A more challenging method (but less productive) is the line and hook, and some even use this method in the middle of the day. Simply line out a cane pole as if you were heading out for bluegill. Tip a small hook with a cricket, fly or worm and quietly slip in close enough to dangle the hook in front of a sitting frog. The frog will snatch the bait. Set the hook and haul him in. RT has caught many a bull frog while fly-fishing during the day. Lay that imitation bug right in front of the frog and wiggle it. He'll stare at it for a few seconds, then attack it like a large mouthed bass.

    MYTH BUSTING

    THE MYTH You start with the frog in tepid, lukewarm water . . . you slowly and gradually increase the heat until the water reaches a boil . . . voila . . . the frog is cooked. If you place the frog in a pot of boiling water, the frog will make a quick exit. But, in the tepid/lukewarm water, the frog feels good and does not notice that the temperature is rising. NOT TRUE!

    THE TRUTH Professor Doug Melton, Harvard University Biology Department, says, "If you put a frog in boiling water, it won't jump out. It will die. If you put it in cold water, it will jump before it gets hot — they don't sit still for you."
    Slowly bringing a pot of water with frogs in it is NOT the humane way to kill the frogs. Pith them or shoot them in the head. Get it over with FAST.


    WHAT FROG IS IT?

    With over 4,000 species, I don't have the web space to show you them all. You will be looking for the biggest frogs you can find, simply because they have the most meat on their legs. The following are but a few of the typical frogs found in the US today.



    EDIBLE FROGS

    All found in the U.S.A.
    (Ribbet…)

    BULLFROG
    Rana catesbeiana
    Designed and copyrighted 1997 by Lang Elliott, NatureSound Studio, PO Box 84, Ithaca, New York 14851-0084. Telephone: 607-277-9034. Lang Elliott e-mail: lang@naturesound.com
    http://www.naturesound.com/frogs/frogs.html


    Habitat: Shown in red areas

    GREEN FROG
    Rana clamitans



    Habitat: Shown in Red Areas


    STUPID TRIVIA

    Because frogs come out in the rain, people used to think that they fell to earth in the rain! And in nineteenth century England, people tried catching them to prove it.


    Frogs and alligators have been around for over 260 million years. Humans have not been here that long.


    SOUTHERN LEOPARD FROG
    Rana sphenocephala

    Habitat: Shown in Red Areas


    Pickerel Frog
    Rana palustris


    River Frog
    Rana hecksheri

    Pig Frog
    Rana grylio



    IF THOSE PHOTOS DON'T MAKE YOU HUNGRY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL...?

    OK, you have identified and caught the biggest frogs in the pond. You have killed the frogs and skinned the legs. Now, you have to cook them.

    The following recipes were stolen/borrowed off the web to give you a head start in frog cookin'. They taste like….frog's legs. Some say chicken….I say….frog's legs. Actually, a lot of the taste will be in how they are prepared. Like any meat, they will take on some of the flavor of the other ingredients in the recipe.

    As a last resort, use the favorite trick of the US Servicemen and women in Iraq: HOT SAUCE


    Crispy Frog Legs
    From: .backwoodsbound.com
    5 lb's small frog legs
    ~ 3/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar
    ~ crushed ice
    ~ 1 cup milk
    ~ 6 eggs, separated
    ~ 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
    ~ 1/4 tsp salt
    ~ salt and pepper
    ~ 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    ~ vegetable oil

    Wash the frog legs thoroughly. Place in a large pan and sprinkle with lemon juice. Cover with crushed ice and refrigerate 1 to 3 hours.

    Combine the milk, egg yolks, olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt.

    Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the batter.

    Sprinkle the frog legs with salt and pepper to taste. Dip legs into the batter then dredge in the flour.

    Fry until golden brown in deep oil heated to 375 degrees. Drain on paper towels.

    Serve and Enjoy


    Spicy BBQ Frog Legs

    decent amount of frog legs
    ~ 5 - 10 drops of tabasco or to taste
    ~ salt
    ~ pepper
    ~ onion powder

    Wash the frog legs thoroughly. Place on a large enough piece of foil to wrap them in.

    Sprinkle on the tabasco. Season to taste with the salt, pepper and onion powder.

    Wrap and seal the foil to create a packet.

    Grill over medium heat until meat is crispy.

    Serve with green beans and baked potatoes.
    Enjoy.


    Frog Leg Sauce Piquant
    Ingredients:
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    1/4 cup all purpose flour
    3 tbsp butter
    1 large onion diced
    1 celery stalk diced
    1 small bell pepper chopped
    3 cloves of garlic minced
    1 can tomato paste 6 oz
    1 can whole tomatoes
    16 oz drained and chopped liquid reserves
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 tsp Tabasco pepper sauce
    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    3 pounds frog meat (15 to 20 legs) or 8 to 10 carcass
    salt cayenne pepper

    Directions:
    In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the oil and 2 tablespoon of flour to make a roux. Stir constantly until the roux is a light to medium brown about 15 minutes.

    Stir in the butter and add the onion, celery, green pepper and garlic and sauté' for 5 minutes or until soft.

    Add the tomato paste and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes with the liquid, chicken broth, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Cover and
    simmer over low for 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile dust the frog legs or carcass with the remaining 2 tablespoon flour seasoned with a small amount of salt and cayenne pepper. Coat a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray or a small amount of oil, add the frog meat and sauté' until lightly brown about 3 minutes on each side. Add the eggs to the sauce and simmer for an additional 15 minutes if frog legs and 30 if using carcass meat. Serve over rice.


    Frogs' Legs With Mushrooms And Green Peppers
    Recipe ID: 6978
    This recipe is from CDKitchen
    © 1995-2006 CDKitchen, Inc.
    CDKitchen http://www.cdkitchen.com

    Category: Frog Legs
    Serves/Makes: 4 | Difficulty Level: 3 | Ready In: < 30 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 pound frogs' legs
    1/2 pound mushrooms, washed, quartered
    3 green peppers, seeded, cut in pieces
    4 tablespoons butter
    flour
    seasonings to taste

    Directions:
    Dredge frogs' legs with flour. Put frogs' legs and other ingredients in a sauce pan. Cover. Let cook slowly for about 18 minutes. Then serve.


    Frog Salad

    One pound white, medium sized frogs,
    one half teaspoonful salt,
    one teaspoonful pepper,
    one tablespoonful butter,
    one tablespoonful lemon juice,
    two artichokes, three potatoes,
    three hard boiled eggs,
    rule for French dressing.

    Cook the frogs in water until tender, and season with salt, pepper, butter and lemon juice; when cold cut the meat into inch squares, and put them into a bowl with cooked artichoke bottoms, potatoes and hard boiled eggs, all cut the same size as the frogs. Macerate with French dressing for fifteen minutes. Drain the salad in a sieve, and arrange it in a salad bowl, dressing it with a mayonnaise, and smoothing the top to a dome. Split some lobster claw meat in two, season and form into a rosette in the center of the salad; decorate around with truffles and gherkins, having a lettuce heart exactly in the middle.


    Frog Legs and Mushroom Teriyaki

    Ingredients:
    1/4 cup margarine
    2 cups chopped onions
    1 cup chopped bell pepper
    1 cup fresh snipped parsley
    1 pound sliced mushrooms
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    3 tablespoons hot sauce
    2 cups de-boned frog legs
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

    In a large wok or pot, melt margarine. Add onions, bell pepper and parsley. Sauté until onions are clear. Add mushrooms and garlic. Stir well and continue to cook until mushrooms are hot. Add salt, hot sauce and frog legs stir well. Add wine and teriyaki sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for ten minutes. May be served over rice.


    Stuffed Frogs

    6 lg Edible frogs, skinned, whole
    1 c Finely chopped pork
    1/2 Head garlic, chopped fine
    1/4 Vinegar
    1 Heaping teaspoon brown sugar
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Mix pork with garlic, vinegar and seasonings. Stuff body cavities of well cleaned frogs. Rub with seasoning and hang in the sun to dry. Fry in deep, hot fat until frogs are a golden brown.


    Frog's Legs a la Parisienne From: wikibooks.org

    16 lg. Frog legs
    Boiling water
    Juice of 1/2 Lemon
    Salt and Pepper (lightly)
    2 Eggs, well beaten
    Fine dry Bread crumbs
    Fat, for deep frying
    Onion Cream Sauce
    2 tbsp. Butter
    2 tbsp. All-purpose flour
    1 1/2 c. light Cream
    1/2 tsp. Salt
    2 tbsp. minced Onion
    1 tbsp. minced Parsley
    1 Egg, well beaten

    Blanche frog legs in boiling water with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Drain legs and pat dry. Dip legs into eggs and roll in bread crumbs. Deep fry at 370°F for 2 to 3 minutes until legs are tender (check the temperature of the fat with a thermometer). Serve with Onion Sauce



    Batter Fried Frog Legs

    Category: Frog Legs
    Serves/Makes: 4 | Difficulty Level: 3 | Ready In: < 30 minutes

    Ingredients:
    1 egg -- beaten
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 pounds frog legs
    1/2 cup cornmeal
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 cup cooking oil

    Directions:
    Mix the egg, corn meal, salt and pepper together to form a batter. Dip the frog legs into the batter, then fry in the oil in a large heavy skillet for 25 minutes, turning so they brown evenly on all sides.

    Recipe Location: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/47/Batter_Fried_Frog_Legs2360.shtml
    Recipe ID: 12557
    This recipe is from CDKitchen
    © 1995-2006 CDKitchen, Inc.


    Cajun Frog Legs

    Category: Frog Legs
    Serves/Makes: 4 | Difficulty Level: 3 | Ready In: > 5 hrs

    Ingredients:
    16 good sized frog legs
    1 cup shortening
    1/2 cup flour
    3 cups milk
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon garlic juice
    1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 dash white pepper
    1 dash oregano
    1 dash rosemary
    salt to taste

    Directions:
    Skin, clean and rinse frog legs well. Cover with whole milk and garlic juice in a plastic mixing bowl, refrigerate overnight. Pat dry, season with paprika, onion powder, cayenne, black pepper and desired amount of salt. Add white pepper, oregano and rosemary to the flour. Heat shortening in a skillet. Lightly flour the frog legs and fry until golden brown.

    Recipe Location: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/47/Cajun_Frog_Legs54980.shtml
    Recipe ID: 23996
    This recipe is from CDKitchen
    © 1995-2006 CDKitchen, Inc.


    Sauteed Frog Legs

    Category: Frog Legs
    Serves/Makes: 1 | Difficulty Level: 3 | Ready In: < 30 minutes

    Ingredients:
    4 pair frog legs
    4 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    1/4 cup fine bread crumbs

    Directions:
    Heat butter, garlic, and parsley over medium high heat in sautee pan. Add frog legs and sautee until tender. Roll frog legs in fine bread crumbs before serving.

    Recipe Location: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/650/SauteedFrogLegs72824.shtml
    Recipe ID: 43608
    This recipe is from CDKitchen
    © 1995-2006 CDKitchen, Inc.