Friday, June 1

Why did the chicken cross the world?

Dear Kannu
Here is an interesting history lesson on chickens. So why am I sending this to you? Well, you like chicken for starters, but think about couple of other things.
1. As and how more and more people eat chicken (as red meat is more dangerous), the place to invest would be in chicken farms, or firms who are in this business.
2. An interesting anecdote. One of the biggest countries where chickens are raised is in the USA. But Americans prefer the breast part, they dont really like the leg/thigh part at all. So most of the chicken farms sell the breasts to the American public. What do they do with the legs? After all, its useless to them. Well, guess what? many countries, such as Nigeria and India, they prefer the thighs/legs. So the Americans export the legs to Nigeria and India at dirt cheap prices and thus blow up the Nigerian and Indian poultry industry. Interesting trade patterns...
But I loved the beer bottom chicken, it was really good. I can still taste it. And as the old quote goes, you are what you eat...


How the Chicken Conquered the World

The epic begins 10,000 years ago in an Asian jungle and ends today in kitchens all over the world

  • By Jerry Adler and Andrew Lawler
  • Smithsonian magazine, June 2012, Subscribe

The chickens that saved Western civilization were discovered, according to legend, by the side of a road in Greece in the first decade of the fifth century B.C. The Athenian general Themistocles, on his way to confront the invading Persian forces, stopped to watch two cocks fighting and summoned his troops, saying: “Behold, these do not fight for their household gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty or the safety of their children, but only because one will not give way to the other.” The tale does not describe what happened to the loser, nor explain why the soldiers found this display of instinctive aggression inspirational rather than pointless and depressing. But history records that the Greeks, thus heartened, went on to repel the invaders, preserving the civilization that today honors those same creatures by breading, frying and dipping them into one’s choice of sauce. The descendants of those roosters might well think—if they were capable of such profound thought—that their ancient forebears have a lot to answer for.

Chicken is the ubiquitous food of our era, crossing multiple cultural boundaries with ease. With its mild taste and uniform texture, chicken presents an intriguingly blank canvas for the flavor palette of almost any cuisine. A generation of Britons is coming of age in the belief that chicken tikka masala is the national dish, and the same thing is happening in China with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Long after the time when most families had a few hens running around the yard that could be grabbed and turned into dinner, chicken remains a nostalgic, evocative dish for most Americans. When author Jack Canfield was looking for a metaphor for psychological comfort, he didn’t call it “Clam Chowder for the Soul.”

Click here for the full article.

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