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Creations Dessert: Froggy Goes A-Courtin'

Remember how I told you about the cheap eats bonanza we’ve been cooking up over here at 7x7? Well, it hasn’t been easy, sussing out the 31 best places in the city for an affordable, delicious meal. Because, of course, to find the best 31 we’ve had to visit many, many more—and let’s face it, not all of them were good. Such was the case last week, when I drove out to the avenues to visit a Chinese restaurant (which shall remain nameless). After a giant meal of sub-standard fare, I found myself craving something fresh and delicious.

That’s how I ended up at Creations, a Hong Kong-style dessert parlor that, from the looks of it, caters mostly to Asian teenagers who seemed all to happy to slurp up glutinous rice balls with red bean and mango pudding with bird’s nest (yes, real bird’s nests—made from bird saliva, plucked from the edges of incredible cliffs by Chinese men with nerves of steel). But the star of the menu, which is mostly comprised of fruit-based desserts, was a mysterious ingredient called Crystal Snow.

Crystal snow, it turns out, is also known as frog fat. I figured something was lost in translation—could they really mean frog fat? I though back to biology class and the frogs that met their untimely end so we could learn about anatomy and I didn’t remember a whole lot of fat on those little guys. Curiosity piqued, I phoned the restaurant today to get to the bottom of this, but not before doing some independent research.

Guess what? Crystal snow is frog fat, collected from female snow frogs harvested each fall, before they head into their annual period of hiberation. Apparently fall is when the frogs have stockpiled the most fat surrounding their ovaries, in preparation for the birth of baby frogs in the spring. So this crystal snow, or frog fat, is actually a hormone- and lipid-rich part of the female snow frog’s reproductive area. Yum! Mystery solved, I called Creations to ask about the popularity of this expensive ingredient (an eighth of an ounce sells for around $25).

Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:

Me: So, it’s actually frog fat? From frogs?

Creations: Yes, it’s healthy and good for the skin. And for pregnant women.

Me: And it’s popular?

Creations: Well, people don’t order it because they don’t know what it is. And then we tell them what it is and they don’t order it because they are afraid.

Me: Do you like it?

Creations: Um, just so-so.

A ringing endorsement if ever I have heard one! But if you are curious, or have skin problems, or are pregnant, you might just want to get yourself over to Creations. And if you chicken out once you get there, you can always just have the peerless mango mochi.