HONG KONG (AP) — Saturday marks the start of the lunar Year of the Rooster and families in China will reunite for festivities, fireworks and food. While tradition calls for feasting on “auspicious” foods, many will also munch on staple snacks like “phoenix claws,” the Chinese name for chicken feet.
With reptilian looks and lowly status from scratching around farmyards and coops, humble chicken paws are considered a throwaway in the West, where farmers often grind them into feed for pets and livestock. But across much of Asia, where diners prefer eating meat on the bone, they’re a considered a delicacy.
“Not only are they tasty, but it’s believed they have a lot of collagen so if you eat them it’s good for your skin and makes you look beautiful,” said Liza Chu, author of a guidebook to Hong Kong dim sum dishes including chicken feet.