In 2014, The New York Times listed the “most distinct” Thanksgiving recipes each state had Googled. For some states, frog-eye salad was the #1 result.
Nestled in the Jell-O Belt, people in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, and Nevada were craving frog’s eye salad, landing frog’s eye salad recipes with the most volume. search for Thanksgiving sides. If you don’t know what it is, you’re not alone. Frog’s eye salad is definitely a Western dish with ingredients that may surprise you.
What is Frog Eye Salad?
According to Atlas Obscura, “The crucial ingredients are a small paste, normally acini of pepe, egg custard, whipped cream or Cool Whip and canned fruit. The dish resembles pudding which is then topped with marshmallows and shredded coconut. It’s unclear why the dish is called frog’s eye salad, but some have speculated that it comes from the pasta – acini de pepe – which may look like frog’s eyes due to its small circular shape .
Frog Eye Salad doesn’t involve frogs or eyes. It doesn’t even look like a salad. This creamy side dish, popular in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States, includes pasta, egg custard, whipped cream and canned fruit, topped with marshmallows and shredded coconut. pic.twitter.com/cNB6Nm18WR
— Atlas Obscura (@atlasobscura) April 10, 2020
A Food Folks and Fun food blogger said she first tried the dish at her sister’s wedding luncheon in Utah.
Although she was hesitant to try it, she said she has no regrets now that she did. “This creamy salad is sweet and full of fruity flavor,” she wrote. “It’s a classic recipe that everyone likes. Making homemade whipping cream instead of store-bought whipping cream makes this salad fluffier.
Who invented frog eye salad?
Like finding the origin of its name, finding out who invented frog’s eye salad is tricky business. Matador Network said that although there is no clear evidence pointing to a specific author, conventional wisdom holds that Latter-day Saint women invented the chewy sweet pasta salad.
Writing for the Mormon Times, Melissa DeMoux called the dish a “Mormon essential” and said she doesn’t make frog-eye salad, but “it’s not bad.”
How to make frog eye salad
Maybe you’ve determined that your Thanksgiving needs this side dish, or maybe you want to show up to your next church potluck or family gathering with a unique dish. Anyway, here are a few places you can find frog eye salad recipes.
Latter-day Saint food blogger House of Nash Eats made a video of her making frog’s eye salad with instructions.
Be sure to serve the frog eye salad after it has cooled. My personal recommendation is to eat funeral potatoes as a main course and serve them as dessert.