• Menu
  • Menu

Kermit Mini-Statue

The Kermit Mini-Statue in Budapest’s Liberty Square Park is an homage to the time in Hungarian history when frog legs were a popular dish.

Kermit Mini-Statue
Szabadság Square 10 (Liberty Square)
Budapest, Hungary
GPS: 47.503886, 19.050268

Kermit Mini-statue Backstory

If you are wandering along Szabadság Square (Liberty Square) near Parliament in Budapest, you could very well miss the Kermit mini-statue, if you don’t happen to look down.

Nestled under the fence looking upward towards the square’s café you’ll find this beloved Muppet. But why is there a Kermit mini-statue in Budapest?

Before World War II, fried frogs legs would only be found as a dish on the festive tables of noble families, and mainly as a delicacy at a several course meal. However, after the war, it became the most sought after item at the local market. Modest households that used to prefer beef, pork steaks and fried chicken turned to frogs legs when those meat became unavailable. In some of the larger markets, they operated large frog farms to help supply the demand. In the countryside, children made money by catching frogs, and with the right culinary expertise, many compares the taste to chicken thighs. – So maybe this is the origin of the phrase “tastes like chicken.”

While the statue was created to recognize when frog legs became a Hungarian delicacy in the late 19th century, don’t worry! Kermit is well-loved and not likely to be eaten. If you happen to see him during the winter months, you may find that someone has dressed him in a cozy little scarf (because it can get awfully cold in the snow).

Don’t ask us why people leave coins on the Kermit mini-statue. We do not know. But they come and they go, so I guess Kermit takes a break to go shopping every now and then… and he needs his legs to do that.

The Culinary Legacy of Frog Legs: A Quintessentially French Dish


In the rich tapestry of French cuisine, one dish has transcended borders to become quintessentially French in the minds of many: frog legs. This unique delicacy, known as “cuisses de grenouille” in France, has long been associated with French culinary culture, earning the French the nickname “Frogs.” In this article, we will delve into the history and cultural significance of frog legs, exploring their origins, popularity in France, and their presence beyond French borders.

The French Love for Frog Legs

Frog legs remain a popular dish in France, where they are typically grilled or deep-fried and seasoned with a tantalizing blend of ginger, garlic, onion, and pepper. According to The Local, the French consume approximately 80 million frogs annually, with a particular fondness for this delicacy in the Dombes region, where frog legs are fried to perfection in garlic and butter and finished with a spritz of lemon juice.

The Twist: Imported Frog Legs

Surprisingly, the frog legs consumed in France haven’t been sourced from the country itself for over four decades. In 1980, France imposed a ban on commercial frog hunting to protect dwindling frog populations. Today, the majority of frog legs consumed in France are imported frozen from Indonesia. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unraveling the history of frog leg consumption.

Frog Legs: A Global Culinary Heritage

The origin of cooked frog legs is more complex than one might imagine. In 2013, archaeologists unearthed 10,000-year-old amphibian bone fragments that had evidently been cooked in Wiltshire, England, near the iconic Stonehenge. This discovery challenges the notion of France as the birthplace of frog leg cuisine.

Frog Legs in Asia

Europe does not hold a monopoly on frog leg consumption. People in China likely savored frog legs as early as the first century AD, particularly in Cantonese cuisine, where they are stir-fried or incorporated into congee. Frog legs also enjoy popularity throughout Asia, including in Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand, where they are featured in various dishes, from soups to late-night snacks.

The French Frog Leg Legacy

David Jacques, the archaeologist behind the English excavation, highlights that the first recorded evidence of the French consuming frog legs dates back to the 12th century in the annals of the Catholic Church. Legend has it that authorities within the church encouraged overweight French monks to adopt a meatless diet. These clever monks classified frogs as fish to continue their feasting. This practice soon spread to the local peasants, making frog legs a fashionable meal in France by the 1600s.

The British Aversion

If frog legs did indeed originate in ancient Britain, it’s worth noting that they have fallen out of favor in the modern UK, where they are met with disdain. The Larousse Gastronomique, often regarded as the “world’s greatest encyclopedia” of French cuisine, describes how frog legs “have usually filled the British with disgust.”

Frog Legs in the United States

In the United States, frog legs are not a widely consumed delicacy except in the South, where the tradition of frog gigging remains strong. Frog gigging involves hunters venturing onto freshwater ponds at night, using bright lights to stun frogs, and then spearing them with long poles. These frogs are typically marinated in buttermilk, coated in flour or breadcrumbs, and deep-fried.

Frog Legs: A Culinary Heritage Across Continents

Archaeologist David Jacques points out that during the time when early Britons were enjoying frog legs, the British Isles were still connected to mainland Europe. In fact, the ancestors of the people who settled in Britain around 10,000 years ago probably migrated from what is now France. This connection highlights that frog leg consumption is a culinary heritage that transcends borders and has deep historical roots.


In conclusion, while the French cannot claim exclusive ownership of frog leg cuisine, they have undeniably played a pivotal role in elevating these pond-dwelling amphibians into a certified delicacy. From clever monks to fashionable Parisian restaurants, the French have transformed a humble dish, initially intended for religious observance, into one of the world’s most famous and enduring culinary traditions. The legacy of frog legs is not just a French story; it is a global culinary narrative that spans centuries and continents.

Mihály Kolodko: A Sculptor’s Journey

Early Life and Education

Mihály Kolodko, an artist of Hungarian origin on his mother’s side, was born in Ungvár. His journey into the world of art began after graduating from high school when he enrolled at the Béla Erdélyi Vocational Art High School in Ungvár in 1996. His passion for sculpting eventually led him to the Lviv Academy of Arts, where he graduated from the sculpture department in 2002.

The Monumental Sculpture Era

Kolodko’s early artistic interests were rooted in monumental sculpture. However, this genre was more prevalent during the Soviet Union era, characterized by the preference for large, awe-inspiring works. He initially focused on creating public sculptures while honing his skills through individual and group projects. Most of his early sculptures found their home in Ungvár.

Relocating to Hungary

In 2017, Mihály Kolodko made a significant move to Hungary, which also marked a shift in the location of his artistic endeavors. His sculptures began to grace Hungarian landscapes, adding a new dimension to his artistic journey.

Embracing Artistic Freedom

Kolodko strongly believed that the days of centrally determined sculpture creation were long gone. He advocated for giving artists and the public more say in shaping the artistic landscape. This philosophy led to the creation of the Lamplighter statue in Ungvár in 2010, a tribute to Uncle Kolja, a beloved figure from the town.

Mini-Sculptures: A New Frontier

Mihály Kolodko’s artistic exploration took an intriguing turn when he ventured into the realm of mini-sculptures. These diminutive works of art, of great interest to the public, held the power to captivate onlookers just as profoundly as their larger counterparts. This marked a significant evolution in the world of public sculptures.

The Rise of Tiny Sculptures

Initially met with mixed reactions, Kolodko’s small-scale sculptures soon gained popularity on the streets of Ungvár. What began as a personal project, driven by the need to preserve his ideas in the absence of financial support, blossomed into a beloved aspect of the town’s cultural landscape.

A Nod to Childhood Memories

One of Kolodko’s most cherished creations in Budapest is the Főkucache statue. Standing at 15 cm tall, this statuette pays homage to a beloved childhood fairy-tale character, one that Kolodko wanted his own children to embrace just as he had in his youth. The series of fairy tales held a special place in his heart as it was during these tales that he learned the Hungarian language.

The Guerrilla Sculpture Movement

The tiny sculptures created by Kolodko quickly became a sensation, to the extent that some were stolen multiple times. Notably, a second copy of the Mekk Elek statue, affectionately referred to as “Mekk Elek 2.0,” was placed in the square. The term “guerrilla sculpture” emerged from the fact that these artworks were installed in public spaces without official permission, initially operating in a regulatory gray area.

Leaving His Mark

Mihály Kolodko’s signature can be found on some of his works, like the statue of Ignác Roskovics, where his mark [Kolodko] adorns the pencil held in the right hand of the full-length figure. His name also graces the helmet of a drunken Roman legionnaire, etched on the brim as a testament to his artistic legacy.

Mihály Kolodko’s journey as a sculptor has been marked by a profound evolution, from monumental sculptures to the guerrilla mini-sculptures that have captured the hearts of the public. His artistry serves as a testament to the power of creativity and the enduring impact of public art.

Buda, Baths, and Beyond (BBB) – Through an extensive series of short, entertaining, and informational videos, BBB attempts to lure travelers to the streets of Budapest and to explore this vast, amazing city on foot. The streets will come alive as Hungarian history, legends, culture, and hidden secrets are illuminated and celebrated, making even a brief stop in Budapest a unique and memorable experience.

Forrest Mallard (@forrestmallard) – HOST/PRODUCER – the host of Buda, Baths, and Beyond is an avid world-traveler and has been on the road, non-stop, since early 2005. Along the way he has picked up an insatiable desire for walking long-distance trails and he hopes to one day have completed at least one major trek in every country in the world. BBB is an attempt to help travelers to Budapest embrace the joy of walking through a bit of urban exploring.

Matt Burgess (@notmattburgess) – CO-HOST – is a researcher and writer currently residing in Edinburgh, UK, but he’d rather spend his time bouncing between hostels in the Balkans.

Budapest Party Hostels (www.budapestpartyhostels.com) – Budapest is the birthplace of the party hostels as we know it. A beautiful jewel of culture and history of Europe, it is also famous for its thriving party scene, with Spa parties, ruin bars and plenty of nightclubs to go wild. On top of that, one of the biggest festivals in Europe, Sziget Festival, known as the European Burning Man and that is held every year in one of the islands of the Danube. Traveling solo or in a group, if you are looking for hostels where you can meet like-minded people looking to have fun in Budapest these hostels are the place to go! Friendly staff, fun atmosphere and plenty of organized activities to encourage guest socializing.

Tramposaurus Treks (www.tramposaurus.com) – The ultimate guide to taking a nice walk. Around the block or across the continent, Tramposaurus Treks wants you to get off your ass, put on your walking shoes, get outside, and have yourself an adventure. With city maps of famous cities to do a bit of urban exploring, as well as an extensive catalog of long-distance treks all over the world, Tramposaurus Treks has all of the resources you need.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.