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Chicken legs, drumsticks, wings, breasts, feet, and now the comb? What will they think of next?

Letting no part go to waste, the latest food trend that people are crowing about is the chicken’s comb (cockscomb) or crest (the red mohawk-like fleshy part of a chicken’s forehead). But are you too chicken to try it?

Some adventurous eaters out there claim it’s surprisingly tasty. I’m quite skeptical as to whether it’s just plain awful or offally good, but the comb happens to be quite versatile and can be cooked and served a number of ways.

Check out these creative variations of chicken comb being served around Japan.

Seasoned with salt and grilled, yakitori-style:

crest yakitoriSource: Nifty

Or perhaps you like your chicken comb a little fancy, say as a ragu:

crest ragout

Source: Yahoo! Japan Blogs/gourmetfighter

Or a chicken crest slider or burger?

crest sliders

Somehow I don’t think these will be taking off at a hamburger chain outside Japan anytime soon.

How about chicken comb served sashimi-style with a side of wasabi?

crest sashimiSource: Twitpic

You can grill it and barbecue it just like any other part of the chicken. Or spice up your family’s favourite stir-fry with a touch of crest for extra zest.

The possibilities really do seem endless. Someone needs to compile these recipes and make a chicken comb cookbook, but in the meantime, I’ve come up with a few suggestions of my own. How do chicken comb schnitzel, chicken crest nuggets, deep-fried crest or perhaps popcorn chicken crest tickle your taste buds?

So how does it taste?  It doesn’t have much of a taste by itself, but apparently salt and garlic really bring out the flavour of chicken comb. According to some netizens, it is surprisingly delicious and crispy. Another says chewing it is like eating tongue, but when you put it in your mouth it feels like eating a cloud ear mushroom due to its gelatinous texture.

And if you thought this food trend was limited to Asia in countries such as China where it is used in soup broth and stews, or stir-fried with oyster sauce, then you may be surprised to learn that the cooking and consumption of chicken cockscomb actually dates back to the 16th century and has its origins in France. In China and Europe it is considered to be quite the delicacy and fit for royalty. Queen Catherine de Medici (an Italian who married a French king) is credited with popularising cockscomb cuisine, and today, in countries such as France and Spain, it is often sautéed or braised.

If that’s still not enough reason to try it, it is also believed to have beneficial cosmetic effects. It contains hyaluronic acid supposedly good for virility and skin (anti-aging properties).

It’s not just people who’re being won over by chicken comb’s flavour and health benefits, either. Your dog will love it too, so how about him to a chicken comb jerky pet food snack?

Screen shot 2015-05-02 at 1.05.59 AMSource: G Static

So, who feels like chicken comb tonight?

Source: Naver Matome
Top image: NLBC