Puddle Chickens

frogandhatThe tourist season is heating up (as usual, things kick off with a bang starting on May 1) and you may soon find yourself in an upscale restaurant in this country, salivating as you pore over the choices on the menu.

If you see an entry called pui de balta, don’t be alarmed if you go by the literal dictionary translation, which would be something like “puddle chickens” (balta = puddle). Romanians are enthusiastic carnivores but what could this possibly refer to?

In reality, this culinary dish is known in English as frog legs, a somewhat rare find in a Romanian restaurant but occasionally present on the menu, as I saw with my own eyes just yesterday.

While frog legs are an exotic dish for Americans and/or Britons, many European cultures, most notably the French, enjoy this light, sweet meat in a number of dishes, sometimes prepared fried and breaded and sometimes in a garlic sauce.


3 thoughts on “Puddle Chickens

  1. I think any Romanian restaurant owner knows that as soon as any local customer sees the word “frog” in a menu, his/her appetite is likely to suffer a sudden and gruesome death.:)) Hence the euphemistic term “pui de baltă˝. Most elderly Romanians are quite squeamish when it comes about trying exotic dishes; try giving them things like octopus or squid and see their answer. And, well, if they always can go and buy some fresh “urzici” or “leurda” from the old woman in the market, who can disagree with them? :)) Welcome back, Sam. Missed you, ya know.


  2. I love pui de balta! I’ve only seen them in the tin while here in the North East USA. Southerners are known for pui de balta. This kind of makes since considering much of the south came through the Louisiana Purchase. Pui de balta, vreau ceva!


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