A Leg Above the Rest: Crab Legs vs. Frog Legs

Some people are on a paleo diet, 1% of the population to be exact, while others are purely pescatarians, only 3% of the population. The paleo diet limits foods to those that were available during the age of hunters and gatherers, some such foods include frog legs and crab legs. The pescatarian diet is a diet of fish and seafood mixed with other vegetarian dishes. Pescatarians don’t eat meat like beef, chicken, or pork. Similar to those on the paleo diet, a pescatarian can most certainly indulge in crab legs. As noted in a previous article, Which is Healthier: Meat or Fish, fish is technically a meat and both meat and fish contain similar health benefits. So, are those with specific dietary requirements receiving the same benefits from either either crabs legs or frogs legs, and why are these dishes so popular?

The Rise in Popularity of Crab Legs

The consumption of crab legs, especially those of blue crabs, dates back to prehistoric times, and continues to be a popular today. According to the National Fisheries Institute, in 2018, crab ranked 9th out of 10 of the most popular species of seafood eaten per pound in the United States. There are 6,793 species of crabs, the blue king crab is the largest known to man. Crab has a delicate salty sweet taste, and is often seasoned or eaten with butter. Crab meat has many of the same properties as beef, chicken, and pork. This type of meat has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, niacin, vitamin B12, and selenium. Seafood is also said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. One should be wary of eating crab that is black in color. Crab meat should be white and smell similar to the air near the bay. Crabs are considered sustainable seafood, meaning the longevity of the species is preserved. The traps used to catch crabs are also eco-friendly, so they are less likely to cause harm to ocean habitats.

Leaping for Frogs Legs

You may be surprised to learn that frog meat is actually considered fish, as is alligator and turtle meat. There is a legend that non-meat-eating French monks had frogs classified as fish, so that they could indulge in what would have otherwise been deemed as forbidden food. Humans began eating frog legs as early as the first century AD, where the delicacy was popular in southern China. They were also eaten during the age of the Aztecs and Romans. Frog legs have a mild flavor and are said to taste like chicken and have the same texture as chicken wings. Indonesia provides around 80% of Europe’s frog leg imports, which is important as the French eat 160 million frog legs per year. The health benefits of frog legs are quite similar to crab legs in that they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. Frog legs are also high in protein and low in fat. The article, From Indonesian Forests to French Plates, states “The trade in frogs’ legs is out of control…” and implies the trade is unsustainable.

Frozen vs. Fresh

If your looking for a bag of crab legs or frozen frog legs in Muskegon, Michigan, you don’t need to worry about freshness. Fish is typically frozen when fresh, which, in turn, locks in all of it’s flavor and nutritional properties. Freezing fish also prevents the growth of bacteria. In fact, Hank Shaw’s Why Frozen Fish May Be Better Than Fresh demonstrates that 85% of seafood that’s eaten is important, and most of that fish is frozen before reaching a Michigan fish market or grocery store. So, buying frozen king crab or frog legs still affords you an exquisite meal, without sacrificing taste.

So, although frog legs are part of the paleo diet, they’re actually classified as fish. They may have different tastes and textures, but also include many of the same properties. Both have been eaten for centuries, and will continue to be consumed for years to come.