Hey readers, I’m back again! You must be wondering why the weird name? The word grenouille (pronounced “gruh-noo-ee”) is the French word for frog, and in the culinary arts, the term grenouilles or cuisses de grenouilles refers to frog legs. Now you know what I’ve been up to; this time to share my experience of having frog legs for the very first time. I know, I know many of you maybe sitting in your chairs and cringing; wondering of all things she could have tried, she chose frog legs? Given the fact that many people would find eating frog legs repulsive, I would differ from that opinion, not because I had them and found them to be rather delicious but because I would never have imagined myself having something so exotic. Also, it is a delicacy in France and China.
So, last weekend I went to this amazing modern French-styled bistro in the Distillery District of Toronto, called Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie, it has an extravagant, neo-Parisian décor, with a patio and great ambience, with retro french music playing in the background. It looked jaw-droppingly gorgeous! Alright, back to the frog legs; so as I looked through the menu my eyes caught sight of this dish, it was ginger-chili fried frog legs accompanied with ginger-chilli sauce and pickled celery, I was intrigued and I had to try it out! So, I ordered for it.
While I waited for the dish, the only thing I could think of was how the frog legs would taste, would I enjoy it or would it be a waste of money. I waited for about 20 minutes approximately until the server arrived with the dish, I could hear the slight sizzle as he placed the platter in front of me, it made the little foodie in me ecstatic. Even though it looked appealing to the eyes, I was hesitant, because despite the fact that it looked like mini versions of golden crispy fried chicken wings, they were still FROG LEGS! It kind of freaked me out, because my brain kept screaming, “they’re frog legs! you’re eating frog legs!”. But, it didn’t take long for my brains to calm down, the first bite did it! Bam! There was flavour explosion in my mouth! I was gobsmacked!
The Ginger-Chili Fried Frog Legs were tantalizingly tasty. Freshly fried, it had a nice spice mix on the legs, and perfect crispiness from the breading. It rather reminded me of buttermilk fried chicken. When I began to tear apart my frog legs I noticed, the look and texture was quite similar to that of chicken wings and fish. Inside, the meat was white in colour 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, light, flaky, luscious and succulent, it tasted nothing like chicken, but mostly took its flavor from the cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, ginger and little hints of citrus from the lemon used. There was something a little funny about the taste though, and that was a slight fishiness. I do not know if frog legs are suppose to taste that way or not, but there was no denying that it had a sort of fishy taste to it.
The accompanied ginger-chilli sauce went perfectly well with the fried frog legs, it served as a secondary flavour to the dish. The sauce had the right amount of thickness to it; it gave off hints of sweetness and zestiness from the lime used. The chilli in the sauce packed a punch making it spicy, allowing the flavour to marry well with the moist and tender fried frog legs; while the ginger gave a satisfying zing and texture to complete the dish. The pickled celery on the other hand, provided a nice crunch and had little notes of sweetness and sourness, with the right amount of acidity to help in cleansing the palate, but was nicely offset by the fresh watercress which was used as garnish; however, not overpowering the other elements.
Boy was it delicious! I have never tried frog legs before, but these fried little gems were glorious! They were juicy, plump and moist! This distant cousin to chicken wings paired well with the ginger-chili sauce and a finishing touch of crisp pickled celery. It was one great appetizer! I would definitely go back to Cluny for this dish, as it has satiated my palate! At, the end this is exactly what you would expect from a dish, to have it linger in your mouth, to keep reminding you and giving you a tingling sensation every time you think about it. I felt the frog legs were a great gateway to amphibian meat and I can’t wait to get my hands on escargots the next time round.