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French diner screams at sight of frog's legs
The stripeless tree frog in question, pictured here "on the menu", so to speak. Photo: Séverine Vercamer/Screengrab/France 3

French diner screams at sight of frog's legs

Published: 20 Feb 2013 11:16 GMT+01:00

When the Vercamer family – Nadège, Phillipe and their daughter Séverine – sat down for a relaxing Saturday lunch at the Buffalo Grill in Lomme, close to the city of Lille, they were not expecting anything out of the ordinary.

Nadège really wanted the meat kebab, but the waitress managed to persuade her to order a hearty salad with a baked potato.

But when the dish arrived, she discovered it was garnished with an extra,  free serving of hyla meridionalis – a stripeless tree frog.

“It was only as she was exploring the first few leaves of lettuce, that she uncovered the frog," her husband told France3. "She started screaming, she couldn’t eat anything until the next day,” he added.

The waitress – who will no doubt be careful what she recommends to diners in future – leapt into the air in disbelief, and went to find a manager.

For their part, the restaurant didn’t charge the family for their meal, and released a statement on Thursday, apologizing for the “unacceptable and inexplicable” incident in Lomme last weekend, and promising they had opened an internal investigation.

The stripeless (or ‘Mediterranean’) tree frog is native to southern France, Portugal and Spain, and hasn’t been seen as far north as Lomme for three years, according to France 3.

Frogs legs, garlic, berets: separate the silly stereotypes from the hard truths with these top ten myths about France and the French.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

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