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Jun 8, 2014 08:15 AM

Cheap Foods that Become Popular

I hate it when some things become popular. One of my favorite clams, the razor clam, is not "hot." I always get them at chinese places for a reasonable price - now this:

So demand will go up......other items that I can think of:

Beef Short Ribs
Chicken Wings (more expensive than thighs now)

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      1. re: weezieduzzit

        These make me particularly bummed. Seemed to have happened shortly after I went back to eating meat. :(

      2. Heck, bones have gotten pricey lately. The moment the "chefs of the moment" advocate a cut, the price quickly rises. I am already seeing an uptick in chicken thigh prices, and those wings I used to use to make stock? Way too expensive these days.

        37 Replies
        1. re: smtucker

          So true. I bought beef bones last Christmas for stock and I was shocked at the price.

          1. re: smtucker

            I've gone to using chicken backs to make most of my chicken stock with.
            Though I use wings on special occasion. I love the wings because of how fatty they are. I blend in all the fat with soy lecithin to emulsify it into the broth after it's finished.

            Beef bones are going up too, it's no fun at all. Pork bones are just chillin at $.59/# still, been using more pork stock than others lately.

            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

              I use necks and feet from the Asian market.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                me too, but shhhhh.... don't tell anyone about it... I don't need the price of the necks and feet going up now!

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  US WAS SELLING A LOT OF CHICKEN paws to china till they filed an unfair trade complaint.

                  1. re: divadmas

                    Is that really so? Maybe that is why nobody seems to know where all the chicken feet went, whenever I inquired about them at non-Asian grocers and butchers. I always thought they went to pet food producers.

                    1. re: vil

                      I think producers were getting 10x the price from Chinese as from pet food makers. But because of trade rules that market dried up.

                2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                  Chicken backs are my go to choice for chicken stock these days too, but I suspect the prices won't stay low for long.

                  Where I am, beef and pork bones are definitely going up in price, but some suppliers seem to leave in more meat with the bones, giving them more value. The bits of meat next to the bones are the tastiest.

                  1. re: vil

                    One would expect with all this spatchcocked chicken craze that chicken spines would be a plenty.

                    1. re: rudeboy

                      When I spatchcock a bird I always do it myself... Do some stores sell them that way?

                      1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                        Haven't seen it yet, but one could expect the butchers to start selling them that way, taking out the backs and increasing the price substantially.

                        Coincidentally, I did see a pack of chicken backs at my market last night for an insanely low price. Probably generated from quartering chickens.

                    2. re: vil

                      It so happens that Smithfield pork has a very large exporting contract for bones with companies in China that produce fish food for their fish farms, then they sell us back the fish!

                      1. re: PHREDDY

                        Not to me, I never eat Asian farmed fish, and for good reason! I really do not care for fish/shrimp raised in open cesspools.

                  2. re: smtucker

                    I frequently can't even find chicken thighs on their own now.

                    Fortunately backs and necks are still cheap for me--my stock making parts of choice.

                    1. re: debbiel

                      Can't even get odd chicken parts like necks or backs in supermarkets here in NNJ. Going to have to start buying and breaking down whole chickens, but for singles who don't like frozen meats or poultry, it going an interesting trade-off. Either eat chicken 4-5 times a week, or succumb to freezer birds.

                      1. re: mcsheridan

                        "succumb to freezer birds." For some reason, this made me giggle. Maybe because there is so much truth behind it.

                        I'm seriously considering raising my own chickens. Many in my hood do. My grandmother used to slaughter chickens, and it seemed horrifying when I was a kid, but it may be time to come to terms with my meat. Even if it is based on cost! And the supply of bones for stock.


                        1. re: rudeboy

                          raising your own you will get better meat and eggs but you will save no money. hard to compete with huge factory farms. and farming is a hard, risky business.

                          1. re: divadmas

                            There's no way I'd slaughter our own birds for food. They have names, they're cute as a bug, and both Mrs. ricepad and our daughter would never speak to me again if one of our chickens appeared as the main course.

                            1. re: ricepad

                              Yes, I have small kids, and I'm trying to balance the slaughter verses buying prepped meat in the grocery store.

                              1. re: rudeboy

                                We did not have chickens when I was a kid, but my dad came home with two dead pheasants almost every Saturday and sometimes during the week. I was fascinated with the cleaning process. My dad always showed me the corn in their crop, we kept the long tail feathers, and I remember my dad cleaning the gizzard.

                                My mother would roast the pheasant with wild rice stuffing. I did not know that it was gourmet, it was just mom's cooking.

                                Of course I had no attachment to the pheasants.

                                1. re: rudeboy

                                  Susan Orlean's New Yorker blog chronicles her travails raising chickens. IIRC she also tallied up the costs. Those eggs might as well have been laid by Faberge!

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    was she the one who published the book "Made from Scratch"?

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      Friends of mine had the same result. When they figured the cost per egg they gave all the chickens away

                                  2. re: ricepad

                                    I guess they can become like pets. I know someone that even has window curtains in their chicken coop.

                                    I have never raised ducks myself but people that have seem very fond of them. And their eggs are very rich and good for baking.

                                  3. re: divadmas

                                    Diva - if you're only doing subsistence fowling (is that a word? - say 8-10) the cost is minimal, a healthy grain from a feed store supplemented with the summer bugs they forage, a few kitchen scraps and their used egg shells smashed into bits are all that's really needed.

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      Re: fowling - you're in the right church, wrong pew. Fowling refers to hunting, trapping or shooting birds. Also used in the phrase "fowling piece" referring to a gun for same.

                                  4. re: rudeboy

                                    rudie - I have several friends in dense urban neighborhoods who raise chickens. the immediate neighbors think they're crazy, but they don't complain as long as those fresh eggs keep coming and the coops are kept clean (ugh - worse than an old cat box if ya let it go).

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      That's the situation in my Austin Hood (north central). Eggs are a plenty! We even have people that tend goats in my neighborhood. They walk them down the street on leashes.

                                2. re: debbiel

                                  i'm told that the thighs are being exported to europe where dark meat is preferred and will fetch a premium.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    Sigh. I would pay a premium for them. Love the thighs.

                                    I buy local birds. The little grocery I get them from seems to rotate a bit. Heavy on drumsticks one week, thighs the next...They always have whole birds, but parts are not consistent. It's just been too long since we've had thighs, and the person I talked to at the store didn't know when they'd get more. I suppose it's time to call the producer.

                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                      since american chickens are fed gmo corn i dont know if europe would accept them.

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        In Japan, chicken breast meat is the cheapest, while the dark meat cuts are most expensive. Seems like it is the opposite in San Francisco, where we spend a month or two each year.
                                        Also, eggs in Japan are far cheaper than in the U.S. Sold in "tens" rather than dozens, we get ten large size eggs for a bit over one dollar.

                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                          i can get commercial eggs for $1/dozen, but they are from battery chickens so won't buy them.

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            The eggs we get for $1 per 10 are usually quite fresh, with good firm whites and fairly deeply coloured yolks. I find them fine in every way.

                                            Our daughter once had a battery chicken when she was very young. It made a lot of noise when you flipped the switch, so we took out the batteries and she didn't miss that they were gone.

                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                              so how did you prepare the batteries?

                                    2. re: smtucker

                                      Years ago we would ask for bones from the butcher and get them for free. Times sure change!

                                      1. re: Jpan99

                                        I can remember going to my local butcher and asking for shank bones for my dog. They'd saw them into sections and wrap them up for me. No charge!

                                    3. Pork Baby Back ribs used to be cheap because they were small and didn't have much meat.

                                      As rudeboy has already noted. Beef short ribs are ridiculously priced.

                                      Chicken feet

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