Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Why we should eat more frog legs!

This morning there was an interesting article in the paper about the ‘Rana Ridibunda’, commonly known as the ‘pond frog' or ‘laughing frog’. Here’s a summarized English version.

Source: www.

The species was accidentally introduced in Belgium in December 1975 by a Bulgarian trucker. Since then it has been proliferating at the expense of the indigenous species. The truck driver, who was on his way back after dropping off a load of ‘laughing frogs’ from Bulgaria to a company in Bourg-en-Bresse (France), had stopped in Wetteren – in Flanders – to pick up a cargo of seedlings. While loading the plants, he found some frogs hiding between the pallets that were stacked in the back of the lorry. Not knowing what to do with them, he simply dumped them in a nearby pond.

Today, 35 years later, the ‘Rana Ridibunda’ can be found all over Belgium, except in the Kempen and the north-eastern province of Limburg.

Although this amphibian looks rather attractive, it has a very annoying characteristic, to which it also owes its ‘pet name’: de ‘lachende kikker’ or ‘laughing frog’. During the mating season, from April till August, the males gather at sunset in large ‘choirs’ and try to out-croak each other with their irritating and almost sadistic sounding ‘kè-kè-kè-kè-kè- laugh … They can go on for hours and hours, keeping you awake … until it drives you crazy!

In spite of its foreign origin, the laughing frog is legally classified as indigenous, and therefore protected. People, who tried to sue their neighbours for having laughing frogs in their garden pond, have no legal grounds to have the animals removed or killed. Besides, killing five or ten specimen wouldn’t have a lasting impact on the frog population as there are already too many of them to slow down their proliferation.

Finally, they don’t disturb the ecological balance, so there is no environmental reason to exterminate them.

So far the article!

2008: Frog legs in garlic butter at the
'Mange-Grenouille' in Saint-Aignan.

Although I haven’t stood eye-to-eye – or should that be ‘ear-to-ear’ – with a laughing frog yet, I suggest that from now on we all eat more frog legs … and then we’ll see who gets the last laugh!

I’m only kidding, of course. I wouldn’t harm the little critters for the world. Yet I must admit that don’t say ‘no’ to the occasional frog leg.


P.S. Blogger seems to experience some problems with published comments. So if your comment doesn't appear, try posting it again. I hope the problem will be resolved presently. Nadège, this concerns you in particular as I tried to post an answer to yesterday's comment but the system just removes it as soon as I push the 'pusblish' button. Sorry!



Nadege said...

I think I already wrote on your blog that the first time I had frog legs was in China. I thought it was chicken until I noticed the palmed feet. I pushed the plate away. I don't mind eating snails once in a blue moon, but somehow, I can't do frogs.
It seems like we are infested more and more with non-native flora and fauna; people dump their aquarium in ponds and waterways creating huge problems...

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

A few of my friends are experiencing commenting problems too.. It must blogger !

ladybird said...

Nadege, What a strange way to serve frog legs! I've never seen them 'presented' with their palmed feet! And yes, we get the strangest creatures here too, like giant snakes that don't belong here. People often buy them illegally, but soon get tired of them and dump them somewhere in a public garden or ditch. The same happens with water tortoises. When they get to big to fit in their tank, they are set out into nature where they do a lot of damage to the indigenous fauna.

Anne, Thank you for the message. I thought that I had done something wrong; :)

Ken Broadhurst said...

In the Sologne region of France, north and east of Saint-Aignan, North American bullfrogs have become a problem. They seem to eliminate native amphibian species, and as far as I know nobody eats bullfrog legs. Too bad. I wonder if the frog legs served at the Mange-Grenouille restaurant are local or imported. We had frog legs at dinner in Romorantin last week.

ladybird said...

Ken, It appaers that most of the frog legs that are sold in Europe are imported from Indonesia. And they are always frozen. At least that's what I've been told. And come to think of it: I've never seen any fresh frog legs, not even in gourmet or Asian stores. Have you?
BTW, your dinner in Romorantin must have been wonderful ... a bit heavy on the stomac perhaps,:) but definitely delicous!

Anonymous said...

If there are too many frogs, I'm all for eating them up! I like frog legs.

ladybird said...

Dedene, Let's go 'frog hunting' together :))!