Frogs according to Rumpolt

We conclude our series of recipes for things that live in a swamp with Marx Rumpolt’s instructions for cooking frogs:

Frogs, from the Felix Platter collection of animal drawings for Conrad Gesner’s historia animalium, courtesy of wikimedia commons

There are five kinds of dishes to be made from frogs

1 Fried frogs, salt, pepper and flour them, and fry them in hot butter so that they become nicely crunchy (resch). Bring them to the table warm and strew them with ginger. But if you wish to serve a sour sauce over them, take gooseberry juice (? Agrastwasser) with the berries, also add butter and a little pepper, let it boil with that and pour it over the fried frogs. Thus it will turn out good and well-tasting. And when you wish to prepare the frogs, skin them, take the hind part and parboil (quell) it in hot water. Salt and pepper it and let it lie in that (salt) for a while, that draws out a lot of water. Then you can use it for frying ot to serve in a sauce (zum eynmachen).

2 Take frogs that are parboiled cleanly, pour gooseberry juice (? Agrastwasser) over them, and pounded pepper and fresh, unmelted butter and let them boil quickly (resch) with that. And when you wish to serve it, throw in several gooseberries and let it boil up once, thus it is good and well-tasting.

3 Pan-fried (gefricusierte) frogs with gooseberries and water, prepared with that when they have been pan-fried, well peppered and not salted much.

4 You can also cook them in pastries shaped (aufgetrieben) from white dough with gooseberry sauce, thus they turn out good and well-tasting.

5 Frogs cooked black in carp blood are good and well-tasting.

It is safe to say frogs are not captivating the imagination of the great master cook. The association with gooseberries (at least that is what Agrastbeeren usually are) is interesting, but not really enough to sustain excitement across four recipes. The cooking instructions are nice to have, but all of it combines to illustrate the lack of interest in these things compared to ‘proper’ food animals.


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