Frogs experience gastronomic boom in southern Mexico before Lent

The gastronomy of the state of Oaxaca, southern Mexico, is so vast and diverse that in this Lenten season there are traditional dishes that adapt to this Catholic tradition that suggests that the faithful not eat meat during the six Fridays that precede Holy Week. .

At an international level, dishes such as Oaxacan mole, tlayuda or grasshoppers have been shown in international gastronomic contests, occupying the first places, but there are new, nutritious and cheap options such as a roasted frog or in broth or consommé.


"Eat Frog and Wear Trout"is the name of the Las Juntas aquaculture farm, which exhibits its stews prepared with the frog of the species known as "Bull frog" (lithobates catesbeianianus), which is cultivated in Santiago Textitlán, in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca.

"We produce the bullfrog, there we have the breeding feet and we fatten them and we also have them for sale for dishes and it is very quick to prepare"Teresa García, who is a farm worker, explains to EFE.

As an example, the woman cooked a frog from the mobile venue in the Plaza de la Danza in the city of Oaxaca, where the Tianguis Acuícola y Pesquero 2023 is held.

From a plastic bucket he extracted one of the dozens of frogs that traveled up to five hours for the gastronomic sample and that were sacrificed in advance. Its appearance, fresh and bright, determines the quality of the product.

"First the entrails are removed and it can be prepared with or without the skin, now it is skinless, we remove the hands and legs and marinate it in lemon juice seasoned with garlic, pepper and oregano and then roast it on the coals for 15 minutes and is ready to be served with sliced ​​tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots"says the woman.


Although it is a dish that was traditionally consumed in Oaxaca, mainly in the geographical regions of the Coast, Sierra Sur and Central Valleys, where the city of Oaxaca is located, the new generations do not know it and when they see its preparation, they consider the dish as exotic.

This food is high in nutrients and, best of all, very economical, taking into account that in February in Mexico an increase in the prices of eggs and chicken was reported.

"It is a food very rich in collagen, which is used for rejuvenation, it is also recommended for people who have problems with arthritis or diabetes because its meat is very low in triglycerides and cholesterol."pointed out the cook, 40 years old and also the head of the family.

Regarding the price, the kilo has a cost of 220 pesos (about 12 dollars) and there are seven or eight frogs.


Santiago Textitlán, where the farm is located, is a municipality located in an area of ​​the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca where the violence generated by agrarian problems has aggravated poverty in the last 30 years and, due to this, Teresa considers that this work alternative it is unique for the women of the region whose families break up due to migration to the northern states of Mexico or to the United States.

The woman told that the cultivation of the bullfrog "it does not require a lot of water unlike trout and crappie farms. In addition, it is an alternative for the generation of employment in the area, there are about 10 permanent jobs on the farm, it has been a job for me and right now we are producing between 40 and 50 kilograms per month"Teresa specifies.


The preparation of the frog is watched with astonishment by dozens of people who come to the Tianguis Acuícola y Pesquero 2023 to eat and buy organic products such as honey, grasshoppers and chocolate that are offered by 12 cooperatives of Oaxacan producers, but what calls the most attention is this unique dish.

"Oaxaca has an infinite number of climates and ecosystems, we can find in these a potential to produce species such as the frog that consider it an exotic dish, but it is not."explained to EFE the biologist Juan Antonio Ortega, director of fishing and aquaculture of the secretariat for agri-food development of the Government of Oaxaca.

Don Moisés, who is originally from a Zapotec community, arrived at the tables of the tianguis and did not miss the opportunity to taste a broth of frogs, food that was part of his diet.

"It is not so well known, but since I ate frog as a child and right now, I saw that they were selling it and I said: now is when, because it is no longer customary to eat, that practice has been lost"ended.

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