Friday, January 29, 2010

EXTREME Snack Food! (Not for the faint-hearted!)

Cue the theme from Jaws!

No, these are not the preserved embryos of some poor pre-historic creature nor are they wrapped in an inner layer of plastic as I was sure they still were when we squeezed them out of their vacuum sealed foil packaging.

As far as packaged snack foods go, I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I'd find some much more exotic entries in the many countries which I have yet to visit.

But I think the Fuzhou Weng Cai Ji Foods Co., Ltd in China (you may want to read on after you click the link, it takes a while to load!) may have stumbled onto something! It's a company which deals mainly in packaged nuts and seeds but has a delightful sideline in prepared meat. And how wonderful our local store decided to stock them!

Always on the look-out for something to tickle my funny bone, Yaya came back excitedly from her visit to one of our many Asian grocery stores armed with these standard plastic pouches.

They turned out to be Duck Feet, Duck Tongue and (from a different company) Chicken Wings! Just a slight variation from your standard packet of Twisties! He he!

The back of the Duck Feet pack helpfully shows in full iconic detail when you might wish to consume these little goodies, as in, on your next flight! I can just see the expressions of the flight staff as you pull out your 4-pack of Duck Feet or your 10-pack of Duck Tongues.

So how does it taste I hear you ask?!!

Anyone who has been to Yum Cha (and who doesn't have an aversion to eating chicken's feet) will be familiar with the double-cooking process which brings out the gelatinous goodness to be found within the folds of skin and sinew, whether it be the soft red predominantly black bean/soy and chilli variety or the crunchy plain gingered white ones. In a nutshell, you either like poultry feet or you don't. These aren't going to sway you if you can't stomach the idea.

[To support the seemingly world-wide "ewww" factor, while by no means an exhaustive search, the internet is not inundated by recipes for how to prepare chicken's feet but Asian Online Recipes has one and Recipezaar has Golden Phoenix Claws the "floral" name for the dish! I will note that neither recipe mentions cleaning the tough outer skin of the feet off but this blog, helpfully titled "How to Prepare Chicken Feet" does!]

Getting back to how it tastes, first of all, they can't compare with the fresh hot variety. That said, I can honestly say (and this is supported by my fellow tasters) that the Duck Feet at least are actually quite addictive! The flavouring is damned authentic and although gelatinised and cold, the spices really hold their own. The texture is crisp and they taste briny with a hint of chilli. They are a little more anaemic than pictured on the packaging but let's face it, who would buy them if they looked like they actually do?!

Each outer pack contains 4 further vacuum sealed packs, a waste of packaging to my mind as it's very easy to eat 4 in one sitting. (I can't believe that my stomach is growling as I write this and I don't have one at hand!)

The Duck Tongues, while also flavourful, are a bit of a chore. I wasn't aware (why would anyone need to know this?!) that duck tongues are full of bones so no matter how small your bite you will crunch into a piece of bone after which you will be forced to use fingers to separate bone from meat. They are tiny and individually packed (boo! for the environment!) and almost not worth the effort (except to say that you've tried it!).

The Chicken Wings taste good as well and amazingly are manufactured by a company a few streets away from where I work (I clearly don't explore my home turf well enough!). The outer pack contains an inner plastic pack containing a single serving of 4 pieces. There was a worrying degree of pinkness as I got close to the bones on these but all of us who sampled them are still here to tell the tale so they've obviously been properly cooked and packaged.

And what if you just can't picture yourself eating one of these let alone a bagful? My tip is: forget everything I've just said and just close your eyes!

Bon(e) appetit!


  1. Whoa so gruesome..I like it!! At least the yum-cha variety give them a petticure.

  2. I've eaten duck tongues on one of my Asian trips, and realised soon after that the bones made them not worth the effort except to brag! I think I might go back to the cupcakes for snacks thanks..ha ha.

  3. The top pic reminds me of the baby alien from Aliens! Very addictive though, nice little no carb meaty snack for when you're feeling peckish, hehe!

  4. Walk on the wild side HB! He he!

  5. I've never been a fan of chicken feet and the like, but the smell is always so tempting! :) Guess it's asian culture completely captured in a pack!

  6. I know, what else can you say? :D

  7. LOL it does look a touch scary from the first pics (and yes I did cue Jaws music in my head too!) :P

  8. "They are a little more anaemic than pictured on the packaging but let's face it, who would buy them if they looked like they actually do?!".

    Enough said? Lol, they do look gruesome. I'm taking your great tip thanks :)

  9. Wow, I've never seen these for sale before. Not a huge fan of ducks feet, but it's always good to know what's available out there :)

  10. Oh my! deep end dining! would you buy them again?
    bone apetite hehehe. very punny :P

  11. Hi SydneyCider, the answer is yes, yes & yes! We went out and bought a stack more! I don't know whether it's the novelty factor (lots of people wanted to try one on reading the blog) or the fact that I just get cravings for this type of chicken feet - and although this is duck rather than chicken, it's a reasonable substitute, just less meaty! Sorry about the pun, I normally groan at them too but just couldn't help myself! He he! Love your blog by the way!