The rear ends and feet of chickens are delicacies in Sierra Leone
Forget cassava leaves, garri, potato leaves and tola
soup because the gastronomic interests of some Sierra Leoneans are
fixated on the feet and rear ends of chickens.
Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora accustomed to consuming
locally raised poultry when they lived here will be amazed at the proliferation
of imported chicken parts in the country. There are chicken wings, backs, legs
and the ever-present chicken feet. A local vendor said that the supply of rear
ends is seasonal and that none are available right now.
A visitor to any market in Sierra Leone cannot fail
to notice the standout all white chicken feet. Some hawkers canvass the
neighborhoods for customers. Others just set up on roadsides and shout "na one
thousand Leones na yah!" Stationary or perambulating, a fly whisk is needed to
drive away the big black flies that also have an enormous appetite for the
defrosted chicken parts.
With the introduction of chicken parts, Sierra
Leonean cuisine has undergone a sort of seasoning. Chicken feet were prominent
in the okra soup a mechanic and his family enjoyed the other evening. Chicken
feet and other parts are also now dipped in spicy gravy and grilled, almost
replacing the "roast beef" many Sierra Leoneans are familiar with.