Frog legs and futbol

Comments & Curiosities

July 11, 2010|By Peter Buffa

Ever eat a frog? Me neither. Not the whole thing anyway. I have tried frog legs once or twice. They were OK. And yes, they taste like you-know-what, but then, doesn't everything? Does everything weird have to taste like chicken? Is there a rule about that somewhere? You mean nothing strange ever tastes like ham? Almonds? Spam maybe? Nope, just chicken. I don't understand.

At any rate, frog legs have become a hot item, and they are just one of two animal stories that popped up this week – the other being Paul the Octopus from Oberhausen, Germany, and his career as a World Cup commentator, but more on Herr Paul later.

Frogs and their little legs made the national news this week, and who should be in the middle of it, but our very own Dan Marcheano, commanding general of The Arches, now in the third of its nine lives at 1617 Westcliff Drive, in the space formerly occupied by Ristorante Max.


According to, people around the world are eating too many frogs, legs and otherwise, which is putting an endangered species at an even greater risk. Apparently, the appetite for frog legs in this country has soared, approaching that of the French, who eat frog legs like they were Double-Double's, which do not taste like chicken.

ABC News cites a number of restaurants around the country where the frog legs just keep coming – Brasserie Jo in Chicago, Tex-Mex chain Uncle Julio's Rio Grande and, wait for it – The Arches in Newport Beach.

ABC not only quotes Marcheano but manages to misspell his name, twice: "'We sell the hell out of them,' said Dan Marciano, owner of The Arches in Newport Beach, California which has served frog legs sautéed in garlic butter sauce as an appetizer and entrée since the 1940's. Marciano said Hollywood stars and locals alike love the French recipe."

Hmm. Maybe they were thinking of Rocky Marciano. Or Rocco Sammartino, or Marcello Mastroianni. Those Italian names all sound like.

As you might suspect, there are people, to say nothing of frogs, who are not amused by any of this. As quoted by ABC News, Dr. Kerry Kriger, founder of "Save the Frogs" – and yes, there is such a thing – says that "It has been estimated that globally 100 million frogs are taken out of the wild for use as food each year."

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