Nature is full of beautiful and unusual creatures with further species being discovered all the time. Did you know, for example, that we’ve only explored approximately 10% of the oceans? Which means there’s sure to be some bizarre things kicking around in the deep. However, this article is about an animal far closer to home – Ayam Cemani aka “The Goth Chicken”.
Let’s get the obvious questions out the way first: no it’s not a burnt chicken. And, no, it’s not been Photoshopped. The unique and striking breed of chicken originated in Indonesia, on the island of Java, and they are completely back. I’m talking black bones, black organs, black feathers, black eyes, black beak. The only part of these chickens that isn’t black is their blood, which is still far darker than a regular chicken’s.
In the food industry these chickens are nicknamed the “Lamborghini of Poultry”. They’re exotic, tasty and known to be vessels of good fortune – which is why you need a small fortune or a winning lottery ticket to afford one. The cost? $2,5000 a pop. That’s almost as much as the world’s most expensive steak, and not far away from the astronomical cost of this golden burger.
Spending huge amounts of money on high-quality beef is something those in the food space have become accustomed to, but that’s not the case for regular old chickens. Having said that, Ayam Cemanis are far from regular.
The birds get their unique coloring from a generic dermal hyperpigmentation known as fibromelanosis, which promotes the proliferation of black cells. They’ve existed for over 800 years and are something of a delicacy in Asia. Particularly during the Chinese new year where families enjoy the rare chickens for their apparent good fortune.
Gordon Ramsay is known to be an admirer of these chickens after he came across them on an Asian food tour. We learnt this week there’s one thing he’s definitely not a fan of: vegans. The celebrity chef found himself in serious hot water after this offensive tweet mocking vegans.
I’m off to KFC.