Best Use of Frog in a Dessert: A boastworthy culinary dare
Harsmer at Desserts Zone
6062 Mowry Ave.
Desserts Zone sells lots of unassuming ices, drinks with sago-palm jelly and coconut milk, and fruit salads. Pore over the menu, and you'll see a number of items containing harsmer. What's that? Ask the counterperson, and she may tell you it makes ladies' skin smoother. Pushed further, she'll admit that yes, it's sweetened, steamed snow-frog fat and/or ovaries, a feminine tonic well known in Chinese circles. The staff of Desserts Zone have been known to balk at serving harsmer to guys, but if you're a lady you can have your ovaries on top of fruit, or in a warm pudding, or at the bottom of a mango-coconut slushie. As processed by Desserts Zone, the harsmer is more of a textural element, a soft, flavorless jelly that blends into the background. Can you detect a faint amphibian funk? Must be your imagination. If you're looking for a double dare, order a drink with both harsmer and bird's nest, the gelatinous salival secretions of cave-dwelling swiftlets.