Boyfriend and I had dinner up in the city with my sister and cousin last night. We had Korean barbecue, then went to a Chinese snack and dessert place afterwards. We were amused by the menu, and tried to figure out what some of the more outlandish items were, using a combination of the English names, a few recognizable Chinese characters here and there (although this was not so helpful, since we can read very little Chinese), and trying to figure out if the English was an attempt at a direct translation from the Chinese.
Having grown up eating my mom's Chinese cooking, I'm accustomed to pretty "normal" dishes having misleading names. Pockmarked woman tofu, little dragon buns, and lion's heads contain nothing more exotic than pork. Dishes with ingredients that are more of an acquired taste are often given very straightforward names, like stinky tofu or bitter melon.
When we saw "snow frog" on the dessert menu last night, mixed in among the ice cream, sweet tofu, and tapioca, we thought it was just a colorful description of some kind of pastry or other confection, because what else would you pair with coconut milk or shaved ice? Not anything to do with frogs, right?
We asked the waiter, and he got a bit flustered trying to explain it, and mumbled something that sounded like "oval," but it was hard to hear him. He added that snow frog is good for the skin and scuttled away.
Enter all of our smartphones for a quick Google-fest.
Oh my god. He must have said "ovaries." Wikipedia says that snow frog is "dried fatty tissue surrounding the fallopian tubes of true frogs." It is categorized as a Chinese pastry.
Wow. I grew up eating a lot of things that my non-Chinese friends didn't eat, but frog fallopian fat seems a bit extreme. Especially for dessert.