The NY Times reports that although China has been threatening to cut off U.S. chicken imports, their taste for chicken feet won't ever let that actually happen. The article quotes Poultry economists and consultants (didn't know they existed) and sites other important factors in the ongoing trade issues between the U.S. and China.
The feet and wings of the chicken are delicacies in China and Hong Kong, so they will pay up to 80 cents a pound. Other markets tend to prefer white meat and don't pay more than a few cents for what I guess they would consider the "scraps".
Why are U.S. chicken feet so scrumptious? Well, chicken experts believe that because of North America's love of white meat and thus the breeding of chickens with abnormally large breasts, the chickens naturally develop large and robust feet - finger likin' good!
I ate chicken feet once in Hong Kong. The sauce they were in was pretty tasty, but they were really difficult to pick up with chopsticks and then the act of nibbling in between the bones and biting them off at the joints was a bit weird. You have to sort of suck off what little meat and sauce was on them, then spit out the little bones onto your plate.
I don't know if I'd order them again, but I am glad I tried them at least once...