Tuesday, April 14, 2009

0097--The Frog Capital of the World

Rayne, LA, is Frog City. From their web site:

"Frogs and Rayne have a relatively long history that dates back to the 1880s, when a gourmet chef named Donat Pucheu started selling juicy, delectable bullfrogs to New Orleans restaurants. Word of Rayne's frog delicacies spread like wildfire, and soon attracted the Weill Brothers from France, who started a lucrative business exporting frogs to restaurants. For years, world-renowned restaurants like Sardi's in New York boasted of offering frog legs from Rayne, Louisiana.

"The success of the Weill Brothers business helped put Rayne on the map as the Frog Capital of the World. In 1946, Rayne's froggy reputation was furthered when the International Rice Festival invited Rayne to host the first Frog Derby, an event where the prettiest women in town dressed frogs up in jockey uniforms and raced them. This event continues today; if you happen to be in the area on Labor Day weekend, you can still see it as part of Rayne's annual Frog Festival."

Rayne is also Louisiana's Mural city. Pair the two titles and you get a city covered in frog mural and sculptures. The one seen here is at the rear of an amphitheater next to the restaurant where we stopped for lunch. They were on the menu, but we both skipped the frog legs.

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