Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Frog for lunch? Which species?

A correspondent in China sent me a photograph taken outside a restaurant with skinned frogs displayed. I would guess these are the Chinese Edible Frog or Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus rugulosus previously Rana rugulosa). This species is eaten widely and is farmed for the table as well as taken from the wild. Baskets full of live frogs used to abound in Central Market in Hong Kong.

Brits note the uncanny resemblance of skinned frogs to the human body and seem more than willing to leave the frog on the rack rather than have it on the plate. However, physiologists will also note the basis for good sciatic-gastrocnemius preparations and those of a certain age will remember the smoked drum, the kymograph, the varnish and the blackened fingers.