Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Random Picture #94

With Christmas having come along last weekend, my husband and I were on the prowl for whole chickens to bake up for a festive meal. People love to show insanely expensive fruit in Japan, but they have nothing on the price of a whole chicken. Despite the fact that it takes more effort to dismember a bird than leave it intact, they are always very pricey. This one, which was the biggest we located, which is to say about a medium-sized bird, was a good candidate based on size, but was insanely expensive. There is no weight printed on the chicken, but I'd be shocked if it were bigger than 3 kg. (6.6 lbs). The price tag was 5000 yen or $64 U.S. This chicken must have been lovingly massaged by nubile young girls everyday and fed only the finest, juiciest hand-picked worms and designer grains to deserve that sort of price tag. Needless to say, we passed. We ended up finding a kosher frozen turkey which was about the same size for about 1/2 the price. The turkey was one of two left behind, and we counted ourselves lucky to have found any sort of turkey at all.


Paul said...

Just had to leave a comment about you 1000 Things 'Hospital Visit' post, one of my students had a cancer scare regarding his wife and I believe he had to wait around two weeks for a firm final result as well.

I can't imagine going through that and having 14 days to imagine what kind of future you could be looking at :(

Heidi Wendland said...

I can't believe the price. A chicken in the states that size would cost no more them 10$. Is all the meat there that expensive?

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Heidi, and thanks for commenting.

Chicken is usually only sold in pieces rather than whole and costs a range of prices, none of which are as expensive as this. I usually pay 48 yen (about 60 cents) per 100 grams (3.5 oz.) for chicken breast and 68 yen (about 80 cents) for the same amount of thigh meat.

This is one of the cases in which they charge more when it has been processed less. It's a bit strange, but for Japan, whole chickens require special handling and packaging since people don't routine roast or bake them.

Japan-Australia said...

Check out places like Amika as they usually have a large range of frozen meats including whole chickens. Nissin World Delicatessen for whole turkeys and fixings for stuffing.

Japan Australia

Sherry said...

Where do you shop? Every store in my neighborhood (4 of them) had whole chickens for around ¥1000 the week or so before Christmas. I'm am just outside Tokyo do its not a country vs city prices issue.

Orchid64 said...

I shop in my local neighborhood stores. This was at a meat shop under the local JR station. It's not a high class place or anything. In fact, we often buy roast beef at their deli because it's so much cheaper there than anywhere else (about 198 yen per 100 grams). I usually shop at Yutakaraya and a discount green grocer called Takano (which is right next to the super discount shop Tsurukame).

If you're thinking this was at one of those pricey gaijin ghetto shops like National Azabu or Nissin, that's not so. This is just a regular Japaense market, and not a very nice one at that!

The "cheapest" whole chickens we could find were ones about the size of a pigeon for 2000 yen at Peacock (which is a place we never buy meat at because it's way too expensive).

Generally, as I said before, I buy chicken breast for 48 yen per 100 grams (when I'm lucky, 38 yen) and thighs for 68 (when I'm lucky 58). These are my usual pickings, but whole chickens are a whole other kettle of fish!

totoro said...

I am one of your article's fan. I am pleased to read about Japanese snacks and Japanese 1000 things about Japan. It is very fresh to see another site of daily things. I know you are in hospital to received surgical operation from the site of 1000 I hope you will recover soon get well. I don't know where do I leave your encouragement comment, so, it may a little out of topic in this chicken things, please take care of yourself!! It is the time to rest. I hope you will recover soon.

Orchid64 said...

Thank you, Totoro! I really appreciate your sentiments!