Centuries ago, a Chinese friend of mine invited me to a family dinner where, among the many delicious items, he served chickens’ feet (I guess if he’ll serve me, he’ll serve anybody).
For the uninitiated, chickens’ feet is not a delightful nickname for some exotic construction of bamboo shoots and gelatin powder (ironically, horse’s feet), but rather the feet of chickens.
Now, I already have problems eating chicken wings…so much work for so little meat. Well, chickens’ feet are all the agony of a chicken wing sans the meat. So, I already was unimpressed.
Making matters worse, however, was the chickens were just as disinclined to be eaten as I was to eat them, for as I looked down upon the bowl, I was presented with a dozen or so clawed fists, talons extended to scratch my eyes out or anything else that approached the bowl.
And when I say talons, I’m not talking the beautifully manicured hands of a lovely woman (which can inflict plenty of damage). No, I’m talking the rapier claws tested on the set of Jurassic Park that caused Spielberg to blanch and say from under his director’s chair: ”Nah, too scary for the kids.”
Despite watching my friends take great pleasure in popping the chickens’ feet into their mouths and spitting out an archaeologist’s Erector Set (can only imagine what they’d do with a fully assembled book shelf from Ikea), I made a vow that day.
I will never eat a food that is still actively defending itself! (So keep fighting the good fight, calamari and octopus.)