While Grandma’s Thanksgiving turkey might be the most iconic main dish of the American traditional dinner, side dishes are often the place where modern families begin to play around, creating new traditions. Enter frog eye salad.
The New York Times today published a map of the most commonly Googled side dishes for Thanksgiving. While the east coast was graced with maple walnut pie in Vermont and and mashed butternut squash in Massachusetts, frog eye salad popped up in western states like Nevada and Idaho.
So what is frog eye salad? Thankfully, it doesn’t involve frogs or eyes. So Good Blog published a recipe for the pasta and fruit salad back in April.
To find these iconic regional dishes, expected results like “turkey” or “stuffing” were removed from the search results, according to ABC Denver.
Many readers seemed to react with horror at the name of the dish, as quoted here.
Others immediately seem to have gone out in search of ingredients to make their own versions of frog eye salad, if Twitter is to be believed.
Other tempting favorite dishes, if frog eye salad isn’t your thing, included 4 layer delight in Arizona, pretzel salad in Delaware, pumpkin crunch in Hawaii, and chess bars in Kentucky. The full New York Times article offers links to recipes for each of these creations, in case you’re still searching for side dishes for your Thanksgiving table.
Frog eye salad looks like it would appeal to the same people who like sweet rice puddings. The base of the salad is acini di pepe pasta, a very small type of pasta that most recipes suggest you’ll want a fine sieve to strain. Judy Awe’s recipe on All Recipes says that you can substitute couscous, which is probably easier to find at most supermarkets. You then make a custard with pineapple juice and eggs, add the pasta, mandarin oranges, and the pineapple pieces, as well as whipped topping. Frog eye salad is served after being cooled overnight and with marshmallows and coconut as a last minute addition.
Okay, maybe frog eye salad is a little more involved than a sweet rice pudding. If you’re not interested in adding it to your Thanksgiving table, though, keep it in mind as a summer breakfast — the fruit and protein from couscous would be a healthy and refreshing way to start a hot humid day.
What’s the most interesting thing you’re serving for Thanksgiving? Will frog eye salad be on your table?
[Image from Recipe Snobs]