It’s another crazy springtime, usually in late February there’s a warm week that makes you think it’s springtime and so you go out and do things like run the river on a nice warm day and overturn the canoe in the freezing cold water and make it barely to shore before you die : ). That’s a normal springtime and we don’t have them any more, February isn’t even over and my peach trees are swelling buds, so are the pears. Seems like a doomed year for fruit already, so I’ve been looking at other options. The frogs have been singing in the swamp across the road for more than a week, usually I only hear them for a couple of nights in March, cripes. Everything is waking up, then we will have several hard freezes and probably the blizzard we haven’t had yet, and then everything will try again. Except the fruit trees, they won’t bloom twice.
I went across to the swamp today to look for frogs, there won’t be any frogs of eating size until much later when the big ones wake but I looked anyhow, saw little heads ducking down as I came up, I’m not that hungry. But I saw a big cluster of frog eggs, and I wondered, Can you eat those?
Seems like there’s no reason you can’t, unless they taste bad. Eggs is eggs. We eat caviar, we eat snail caviar (or some people do). Why not frog eggs? I did look this up online, and it seems very few cultures eat frog eggs, so that’s not a good sign. Eh, I took a bowl out to the swamp, grabbed some handfuls of eggs, wow, so easy to get so many! Looks like a big bowl of glob.,
Eggs is good stuff generally, people eat ant eggs and termite eggs and the Aztecs even farmed the eggs of some insect that laid eggs on submerged straw, the Aztecs were the best swamp farmers ever. Poisonous snakes? Mmmmm, mmmmm, Aztecs loved the poisonous snakes, you just cut off the bitey end. I admire that old culture, tacos with bees and flies, you can still get those in Mexico. Well, probably bees also, flies for sure, bees were introduced after the European invasion but they have always been a popular treat in Russia and in Mexico people picked up on it.
The swamp isn’t the cleanest body of water in the world so I boiled a pot of water to a high rolling boil before I dropped the frog eggs into it. Plus a little salt, salt is always good. I hoped the eggs would turn white like chicken eggs do, but no, they stayed translucent. I saw a little of color change in the tiny yolks, but not much. I sniffed the pot and it smelled fine, actually had no smell. So for safety’s sake I boiled the frog eggs for ten minutes, CDC says if you boil nasty water for ten minutes you can drink it. Rudyard Kipling had a wonderful story about that, he was drinking tea beside a pond in India one day, after a battle he witnessed, and the water bearer kept saying, “I boiled the water three times.” He looked in the pond and there were bodies floating in it. Boil the water for ten minutes, you’re fine. Three times if it’s soup already.
Hmm, what to say about frog eggs. They slide down real easy, no problem there. When you cook them they don’t change at all, remain gelatinous with a dark center, if you chew them you get a tiny taste of something. Not sure what. Maybe fish, maybe meat, maybe frog. Not much flavor. I can’t really come up with a recipe that would enhance this, but actually it’s not bad. Not at all horrible. Probably the clear “white” of the egg is simple protein and the “yolk” is better stuff. Nourishing is the best I can say. Yikes, best defense the frogs could come up with, something that looks like Jello but has no flavor. If you are lost in the springtime and starving and have nothing else, eat this, you won’t mind. It slides right down, is all in one piece. I did find an Indonesian recipe for a frog egg taco thing, but I dunno about that. Also found a video that might actually be a Chinese lady eating pickled or cured frog eggs like candy. I can see how that might work, they’d have some color and flavor and pop in your mouth like a fish eyeball. Mmm, mmm good.