After eating steamed maggots in the Ecuadorian Amazon and fried Tarantula in Cambodia, I thought I’d seen it all. When I moved to Arequipa last year though, my Peruvian friends told me about a mysterious drink I should try  – jugo de rana, or frog juice.

I was both intrigued and disgusted by the thought of drinking a blended frog at the same time, but since it is very popular with the locals I wanted to try and find out what this drink is all about. When my friend and fellow blogger Michael from Time Travel Turtle met up with me during his trip to Peru, I found my perfect partner in crime to try it out as he is also no stranger to trying weird food during his travels. We went to San Camilo Market in the center of Arequipa in search of the infamous drink and after asking around we finally found a stand that sold fresh frog juice. So fresh that the frogs were all still alive in fact. The vendor was a bit surprised to see two gringos inquiring about the juice, but he was more than happy to tell us all about the drink, how it is made, and what the medicinal effects apparently are. It is considered an aphrodisiac, women drink it during pregnancy, and the drink is also good for people who suffer from anaemia, bronchitis, fatigue or stress. So quite the super-drink and at only 5 Soles ($2) for two glasses we decided to give it a shot.

arequipa frog juice

All the ingredients for frog juice

The preparation of the frog juice is not for the faint-hearted or animal lovers as the poor frog gets killed in front of you. It was killed instantly through a whack on the neck though. Then it got skinned and finally thrown into boiling water and once cooked it was put into a blender together with some water, pollen, and traditional Incan plants such as coca leaves, maca and chia. Everything was blended for a few minutes and the finished product looked like a brown milkshake.

arequipa frog juice san camilo market

I was a bit apprehensive about drinking frog juice as I thought it would taste very meaty, but the pollen actually gave it a sweet, honey-like taste. If it hadn’t been for the stringy meat bits every now and then it would have passed as quite a nice milkshake actually. The drink delivered on what it promised as I actually felt a little more energized, which was probably down to the coca leaves inside. I didn’t exactly love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I am glad I tried it as I am all for immersing myself truly into a new culture and trying out local food and drinks, no matter how strange they might seem in your own culture, is one way of doing that. When I told my Peruvian friends that I had finally tried frog juice, they patted me on the back and said that I was a true Peruvian now.

Arequipa frog juicesan camilo market 2

So, that was the day I drank frog juice in Arequipa. Have you ever tried frog juice or any other strange food during your travels?

PS: my apologies to any vegetarians out there. If it’s any consolation, my veggie husband is probably very much on your side on this one.

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About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

47 Thoughts on “The day I drank frog juice in Arequipa

  1. Wow! I never heard that one before. The flavor actually sounds good, froggy with just a little bit of honey. Thanks for sharing the experience 🙂
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  2. Tammy, this is super hardcore of you. I am normally all for trying local specialties and actually have eaten frog many times, but the thought of pulverizing it up into a shake just makes me gag. At least the frog was cooked… for some reason I thought it would be tossed into the blender raw! I am in awe of your fearlessness!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…Channeling our Inner Sexagenarians at Ajijic & Lake ChapalaMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 7:49 am said:

      Ha ha, I don’t think I would have tried it if the frog had been raw. When you get to Peru you should try it Steph, or let Tony try it first and then you can have a sip. 🙂

  3. Now I have to say Tammy, that you are very adventurous. On the other hand, food and drinks that may seem strange to us are just ordinary to the locals. However, I am not sure about trying frog juice.
    Travelwith2ofus recently posted…Nine wonderful things to do in BelizeMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 7:53 am said:

      I think this is exactly the reason why I wanted to try it. Like you said, I am sure some Peruvians would find a lot German food very weird too, as they haven’t grown up with it. So many people drink it in Arequipa, so I wanted to at least find out what it was all about.

  4. This is one of my major problems when traveling. I just can’t choke down the weird things like frog juice or maggots regardless of traditions or customs. Good for you for trying it.
    Lesley Carter recently posted…Dominica Bucket ListMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 7:55 am said:

      Thanks Lesley. I think once you tried it once, it becomes much easier. I have only once declined food so far, and that was balut in Cambodia which is a duck embryo still in the egg. It already had feathers and a soft beaker and everything, so I just couldn’t eat it, no matter how much my Cambodian colleagues tried to encourage me. 🙂

  5. Ohh no, I don’t think I’d be able to try that. Poor frog! And the part about meaty bits in the drink…ummm no thanks! Good on you for being brave enough to try it though.
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  6. You are far more adventurous than I am – can’t imagine getting that down. UGHHHH!
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  7. Bethany Dickey on June 27, 2015 at 12:09 pm said:

    Oh gosh….as an 11 year vegetarian this made me a bit queasy!! Props to you though – very brave.

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 8:04 am said:

      Thanks very much Bethany and I appreciate that coming from a vegetarian. I am sorry if I made you queasy though. Promise that my next posts will be all abut sights again. 🙂

  8. I’ve always said I’ll try anything once but not sure on ordering a whole glass of it! Good on ya 🙂
    Amanda Zeisset recently posted…10 Reasons To Stay At An Adventure LodgeMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 8:05 am said:

      To be honest I have had more than enough after that glass. There is only so much frog juice one can drink and that glass was very large. 🙂

  9. Oh wow. That’s definitely something different. Well done you for trying it though!

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 8:08 am said:

      Thanks Sophie. I might give such exotic foods a miss for a while though. I have had my fare share now I think. 🙂

  10. This is crazy. I’ve never heard of frog juice before. I don’t know if I could have drunk that when I had seen the frog alive before. But probably my curiosity would have won as well.
    Stef recently posted…Plans change as life happens.My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 8:15 am said:

      I know what you mean Stef. It is very different seeing an animal you are about to eat alive. Luckily the frog was killed in a humane way and was dead immediately.

  11. That sounds pretty grim, but as you say, it’s all about immersing yourself in another culture. And I’d love to be able to say I tried it. Good for you for trying something new.
    Luke Marlin recently posted…3 Week New Zealand South Island Itinerary – Part 2My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 8:17 am said:

      Thanks Luke. I am glad I tried it. If you ever go to Peru and you want to try it too then Arequipa is your place.

  12. Eeew. I would not be able to do it without throwing up a little bit 🙁 Stringy meaty bits 🙁

    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 8:18 am said:

      Ha ha, it was a bit weird but when I didn’t think about the meaty bits and just concentrated on the actual flavour, it really wasn’t bad at all. 🙂

  13. Oh my, I got sick from the smell and looks every time we dissected frogs at school, so I don’t think I could have brought myself to drink this! I wish I were more adventurous when it comes to food on my travels, but I tend to draw the line quickly at insects, weird body parts etc!
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    • Tammyonthemove on June 29, 2015 at 8:21 am said:

      Luckily the frog got cooked first, so it wasn’t smelly at all. It was just like any other cooked meat I guess. I think the more I tried different types of food, the more adventurous I got, but even I draw the line at certain things, for example chicken feet or balut. I could never eat either of those. 🙂

  14. Girl, you are brave! I am such a psychological eater, I don’t think I could ever…
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted…Wet and Wild in OrlandoMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on July 5, 2015 at 5:14 am said:

      This one wasn’t as bad as the tarantula I ate in Cambodia once. I am really scared of spiders, so even touching it was hard. The frog juice wasn’t that hard actually. I just said to myself that if the locals can drink it so can I.

  15. Wow! Hmmm….. you know, it doesn’t sound too too bad!
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  16. I always struggle between wanting to try these things and being horrified about animal cruelty. Shame about the meaty bits! Sounds like it would have been better if it was strained through a sieve first! xo
    Amy M recently posted…Why I Love FlyingMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on July 8, 2015 at 3:33 am said:

      Yes, that would have certainly been more pleasant I think. The meaty bits were a bit strange I have to say as you just don’t expect them in a smoothie, but it really wasn’t as bad as it sounds.

  17. Wow! We would definitely love to try that frog juice! The thing that we observed during our travels is that, the grosser the food sounds, the more bland or balanced it tastes. The most exotic thing that we tasted were live mangrove snakes in Palawan, and they tasted like oysters.

    Food is a part of a region’s culture, and travelers would miss a lot if they do not try delicacies and exotic foodstuff like these.

    • Tammyonthemove on July 8, 2015 at 3:36 am said:

      Wow, I have never tried snakes before. I heard that generally snakes taste like chicken, but I guess the one you tried tasted like oysters because they live in the water.

  18. I have to agree with Steph, that is seriously hardcore. I kind of pride myself on being willing to try anything in a new place, but a honey milkshake with stringy meaty bits may be one of the most off-putting descriptions of a food I have ever read. Hmmm maybe I would like it if I just pretended they were tapioca balls in a boba shake…
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 16, 2015 at 6:24 am said:

      Ha, isn’t that ironic? I can’t drink Tapioca balls, as the texture freaks me out. Might stick to frog juice. 😉

  19. This flavour really sounds great! I never heared about it before. Now, I also want to taste it. Thanks for sharing this

    • Tammyonthemove on August 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm said:

      It has an unusual taste, but really isn’t too bad. Let me know if you have tried it. Would be interested to hear what you think.

  20. Wow ! Very nice it is amazing

  21. Adam W. on November 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm said:

    I would like you to know that this frog that was in the shake was an endangered frog from Lake Titicaca. Watch this video to see the effects of eating these rare frogs. https://youtu.be/_MJAxn74JCk
    Boycott any Frog Shakes!

    • Tammyonthemove on November 15, 2015 at 3:33 am said:

      Hi Adam, thanks so much for sharing this video. I had no idea that some of the frogs used for this shake in Peru are endangered. It seems that in this documentary they are talking about the scrotum from from lake Titicaca which was not the frog used in Arequipa. A lot of traditional practises and cultures are seen different nowadays, and so it is a tricky subject. A whole other blog post maybe. 🙂 Thanks for commenting though. I really appreciate it.

  22. OK, at least the frog was cooked in advance..cause at first I thought you drank it … fresh.. :)) They eat frog legs in France(or was it Italy?), so it’s just meat…

    • Tammyonthemove on April 19, 2016 at 9:57 am said:

      Ha ha, yes that made it easier. I think they eat frog legs in France, and in many South East Asian countries for that matter. Just like chicken really.

  23. Frog juice? They squash a frog to make a juice from it? Disgusting!

    • Tammyonthemove on April 28, 2016 at 10:34 am said:

      If people eat frog legs, then why not drink the shake? After all, they add so many other ingredients that you can’t really taste the frog. 🙂

  24. о.О WoW frog juice?
    I`m not sure that I will have the courage to drink something like that 😛

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