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A Short History Of Frogs Legs

Alexandre Moreau at 63 Degrees talks about one of the most popular dishes on his menu

Published on July 25th 2012.

A Short History Of Frogs Legs

YOU can't get much more French than frogs legs. Or so the cultural stereotype would have you believe.

In fact people were sucking on these little hoppers long before France was even invented.

Alexandre Moreau at the Northern Quarter's French restaurant 63 Degrees introduced it as a starter last year. He says, “Whenever frogs legs are mentioned on a menu, the general consensus is to link the dish back to French cuisine. But it's been a common food source for thousands of years – records trace its use back as far as the first century AD.

“The story of the French love for frogs legs began much later – in the twelth century. A large number of monks, deemed to be growing too fat, were ordered by the church authorities to exclude meat from their diets for a number of days.

“Luckily the monks had qualified frogs as fish, so they were allowed to enjoy this delicacy. The many religious French peasants dutifully followed their example and the national dish was born.

“At 63 Degrees, we decided to bring this dish to the UK along with our snails to allow the British customer to have a real taste of authentic French cuisine in Manchester.

But what do frogs legs actually taste like? (And don't say 'chicken'.) Here's Gordo's impression of the dish as it is served at 63 Degrees:

“Frogs legs with cress is a deal more feminine and sexy than it sounds; a Monet of a dish with the legs boned and skewered, cooked gently to preserve their delicate flavour and perched over a languid pond of a thick watercress purée.”

Alexandre reports that it has turned out to be one of their most popular starters, with people ordering it for experimentation, fun, and a genuine love of frogs legs.

Says Alexandre, “We hope our cuisses de grenouilles will be enjoyed for many more months to come.”

Cuisses de grenouilles en cresson nière (Frogs legs with cress) is available on the a la carte menu at 63 Degrees for £7.80.

It's also served as part of the Tasty Tuesdays offer – 5 courses for £24.50. Find out more.

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