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How Frog Legs Came To Be Synonymous With French Cuisine

Here in the states, frog legs are typically associated with Cajun cuisine, but traditionally, the frog legs we know today originate from the Acadian motherland of France. Archaeological evidence suggests earlier iterations in Southeast Asia, Europe, and even South America, but further information is scarce.

Known in France as Cuisses de Grenouille, frog legs were consumed in response to a 12th Century Catholic Church ban on meat. Apparently, monks enjoyed a king’s diet. Noticing an increase in XXL robe requests, the church authorities decided to prohibit meat consumption for a period of days each year. This imposed “meat-tox” fueled the monk’s resourcefulness and in response, they cleverly had frog legs designated as fish. Consequently, religiously devout locals hopped on the bandwagon, and the rest is fishtory. 

Cuisses de Grenouille is a French national delicacy. To give an example of its popularity, around 80 million frogs are eaten each year. That’s a mind-numbing 160 million frog legs. The most surprising part of this fact is that due to a ban on frog hunting in France, each leg is imported. Let that staggering statistic hop around your mind for a bit.

Like most dishes, frog legs can be prepared in various ways. In France, they’re most commonly cooked using butter, garlic and parsley sauce accompanied by salad or steamed rice. Á la Parisienne, or Paris-style, is another approach that is more akin to chicken wings and involves breading and frying the legs. Lastly, the à la Poulette (white sauce with egg yolk) style is slightly more complicated with its use of a white wine and mushroom sauce reduction.  

Back stateside, New York City is experiencing a froggy resurgence thanks to freshly opened  restaurant Brasserie Saint Marc. Head Chef Frederick Piccarello (former Executive Chef of Le Barricou bistro in Williamsburg) along with owner and Swedish actor Karin Agstam are bringing an amphibious flare to 136 2nd Ave with Cuisse de Grenouille à la Provençal.

In French cuisine, à la Provençal refers to dishes prepared in the style of Provence, France, a southeastern region that borders Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Provençal ingredients generally include garlic, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, and olive oil. Chef Piccarello’s Cuisse de Grenouille a la Provençal is sautéed in garlic and parsley butter and served with roasted tomatoes and Yukon gold potatoes. It keeps with tradition while paired with an American twist.

Owner Karin Agstam’s attraction to French cuisine comes from her time spent in Paris studying art at Sorbonne University at the receptive age of 18. Experiencing Parisian brasseries with their classic menu offerings made a lasting impression. It’s this experience that she hopes to share with Brasserie Saint Marc, a passion project four years in the making. If you have a predilection for French cuisine with an American edge, look no further than Brasserie Saint Marc — but don’t forget the longstanding connection of French cuisine and frog legs.

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This Orange County Restaurant Serves Nashville Hot Frog Legs

What’s not to love about vacationing? There is no better feeling than waking up in a new place and being able to explore the world around you through sights, sounds, and – of course – food.

If you’re planning a trip in the next few months, you should take advantage of the savings that participating Hilton hotels in Los Angeles and Orange County are offering. They will help you save big on those meals away from your hotel – after you’ve exhausted the expansive breakfast buffet, of course.

If you’re looking for a recommendation, check out the Nashville Hot Frog Legs at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations when you stay at the Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport. With an Instagram-worthy menu and full-bar, Bosscat has something for everyone in your party.

With the Hilton Los Angeles/Orange County Dine in/Dine Out package, you will receive up to 20 percent off your tab at participating local restaurants and unique foodie experiences.

As winter comes to a close, the welcoming shores of Los Angeles and Orange County will soon be ready for outdoor activities and there’s no shortage of amazing restaurants to try after you’ve worked up a sweat or just spent the day relaxing soaking in the sun.  

Los Angeles and Orange County have some of the most vibrant food communities in Southern California, ranging from high-end five course meals to quick to savory bites, like those found at the Anaheim Packing District. With Hilton’s Dine In/Dine Out package you’ll be able to experience it all.

Photos by Evan Lancaster


Created in partnership with Hilton Hotels

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Adventures

This OC Mexican Restaurant Serves Escargot, Frog Legs in Bacon Sauce & Plantain Foster [9 PHOTOS]

mexican frog legs antojitos don juan

It doesn’t happen too often, but every once in awhile in the midst of breaking national food and beverage news – our team finds something spectacular in our own backyard. The unveiling of new delicious foods and restaurants is always exciting, but can also be a bit embarrassing as one starts to understand their full scope of ignorance to the greatness that is.

To start, Antojitos Don Juan, is a mere 10 minute drive from our office in Santa Ana, CA, a Southern California city known for its high-density Hispanic population and therefore, some of the best Mexican food in the country. To have access to such brilliance is a blessing (have you tried Mexican food in states that don’t share a border?), but allows for an over-saturation of mediocre, even semi-decent food within the same city limits. Think tourist trap, but instead hundreds of taquerias, carts, trucks and sit-down restaurants boasting 90 percent of the same menu items – tacos, burritos, mariscos, etc.

So because eating at a different Mexican establishment everyday is a bit overwhelming (even for us), we tend to stick to the tried-and-true. The places we would mourn upon closing. Add Antojitos to that list.

Let me first warn you of a few mental obstacles that may lead you astray upon your visit to Antojitos Don Juan. The location isn’t specifically close to any freeway, and in what is most likely an impoverished neighborhood. The shopping center is nondescript, boasting a Panda Bowl, Hair Salon and King Water as its anchors. From the outside of the actual building, you will have no idea what you’re walking into. Even upon entering, you’ll still be a bit confused. Chalk menu specials. Assortment of tables and chairs. An outdoor patio that resembles a 1980s Taco Bell. This should not concern or deter you from greatness. Pay heed to the food.

antojitos don juan

Meet Chris and his father Juan, two of the five-membered Garcia clan whose family is responsible for bringing an aggressive foray of French and Italian inspired Mexican cuisine, in addition to many of the Cali-Mexican classics. On the chalk-written specials, you’ll find a couple off-menu items that look like a mistake. Escargot. Frog Legs. No mistake, and if you’re an adventurer of food – you should trust them.

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Escargot – Garlic, Butter, Tomatillo, Shallot & Crisp Toast

 In a similar vein to many of us, Juan’s first impression of eating snails was a negative one. But as a chef for a popular French-Italian restaurant, he couldn’t help but notice the high quantity of orders for the delicacy. It wasn’t too long before he was eating an order every night and perfecting his own recipe with garlic, butter, tomatillo, and shallot. 

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mexican frog legs antojitos don juan

Sauteed Frog Legs with Bacon Sauce

As much as frog legs can be compared to chicken, they’re still in a league of their own. Even when prepared at a high level (which these are) the texture and taste can still be too gamy for many palettes. But if you can appreciate the tenderness and taste of frog – this non-fried menu item is a must have. Oh, and it’s slathered in bacon sauce (or 3 additional from-scratch sauces).

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chicken cutlet

Chicken Cutlet

Taking on a similar consistency to Chicken Parmesan, of the multiple entrees we tried family style — this one got demolished first.

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Molcajete: Seasoned Chicken, Beef, Chorizo and Cactus

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bacon wrapped shrimp

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp in Spicy Cream Sauce

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Carne Asada Fries: Seasoned Beef, Garlic Sauce, Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Cilantro

The garlic sauce on top of the fries really makes this dish unique. However, here’s some advice: while the sauce adds a ton of flavor, it needs to be eaten with 5-10 minutes, otherwise, soggy city.

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Fresh Salmon in Cream Sauce

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Flaming Plantain Foster with Vanilla Ice Cream

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Antojitos Don Juan

1130 W. Warner Ave.

Santa Ana, CA 92707

(714) 662-2035

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Adventures Cravings

Deep Fried Frog Legs (OC Fair)

For the next few weeks, I guess we better get accustomed to the sheer amount of tasty and wacky fair foods that will be sent our way and subsequently posted here on FOODBEAST. Thanks to one of the close @foodbeast family, the man @geoffreykutnick spent a nice evening at the fair doing some very extravegant research for the greater good of the food community. What did he come back with? A basket of deep fried frog legs. Fishy, but crispy to the touch, probably most akin to fish and chips mashed up with chicken fingers, sitting on a bed of thin fries. I’m hungry. Are you?