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What does foie gras taste like?


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#1 Blue_Egg_Farmer

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:03 PM

I have 15 or so toulouse geese that have been invited to various Christmas Dinners around town. As it only takes 2 weeks to go the extra step and make a foie gras also I was wondering what does foie gras tastes like?
You would think that since I actually handled some from my own geese I would have tried it...but I chickened out.
The only thing close I think I have had to compare it with is chicken liver that was cooked with onions for several hours when I was little.
To me it was a very bad taste, sort of like a mushy metal taste.

And no I do not need to force a tube or funnel down their beaks. They are self stuffing at this time of year, they will eat n eat n eat out of a bucket till they fall asleep.

#2 rooftop1000

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:07 PM

I think seared foie gras tastes like....
that perfect bit of crispy fat on the edge of a grilled steak, the soft crumbley fat, not burnt, just browned and crispy.


but thats just me


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#3 canucklehead

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:16 PM

It has a rich almost beefy taste - the first time I had it - the first thing I thought of was beef marrow. Soft and melting on the tongue - most excellent.

#4 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:17 PM

I have 15 or so toulouse geese that have been invited to various Christmas Dinners around town. As it only takes 2 weeks to go the extra step and make a foie gras also I was wondering what does foie gras tastes like?
...
The only thing close I think I have had to compare it with  is chicken liver that was cooked with onions for several hours when I was little.

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Do they know that they’re the honored guests? :laugh:

Hmm…so what does foie gras taste like? It tastes nothing like liver and onions. Or chopped chicken liver. I’d say plain foie gras is very rich, sort of creamy in texture, and the livery taste is there, but mild. If it's seared, the texture is much softer—almost melt in your mouth. Yeah, what rooftop said.

And no I do not need to force a tube or funnel down their beaks. They are self stuffing at this time of year, they will eat n eat n eat out of a bucket till they fall asleep.

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Sounds like my husband! (He'd also eat right out of a bucket if he could get away with it.)

edited for clarification

Edited by I_call_the_duck, 31 August 2006 - 06:52 AM.

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#5 docsconz

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:27 PM

Foie gras is not thed easiest thing to prepare if you have never done so - especially if you haven't ever eaten it before. My suggestion would be to try some made by someone who does it well. Then you will know its true culinary value. It is rich, creamy and full of umami. Due to its richness it tends to go well with sweet and acidic accompaniments - various fruit preparations are common. Enjoy!
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#6 BryanZ

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 02:30 PM

My favorite food in the whole wide world, and I love all foods.

I agree with Docsconz, however, in that you should probably try some at a good restaurant before you let yourself loose on your own ducks. That way you'll know if you like it and if it's worth the extra time investment.

#7 FabulousFoodBabe

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 03:53 PM

, they will eat n eat n eat out of a bucket till they fall asleep.

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#8 MissAmy

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 05:20 PM

Foie has a very buttery texture. In fact, the first thing that came to mind the first time I ever tried it was, "Butter." It is creamy and rich and smooth. You shouldn't get a lot of that traditional liver flavor. It's much more subdued than that. I would recommend, like others have, finding a restaurant or a friend that does foie really well, and letting them educate you.
-Sounds awfully rich!
-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

#9 Blue_Egg_Farmer

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:05 PM

Thank you all for your help.
One more not so gifted question. Foie Gras is always cooked. Right? It is not eaten raw?

#10 Fat Guy

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:12 PM

Most foie gras today, especially in North America, comes from ducks, not geese. The goose livers have a somewhat different taste -- based on maybe three samples of goose liver and about five billion samples of duck liver I'd characterize the goose liver as milder but also more complex. In terms of analogies to other foods, I think one of the reasons foie gras is so valued is that there is no flavor analogy (I already used sui generis once today on another topic so I can't use it here). The adjective most often used in food writing to describe the texture is "unctuous," but I'm not sure how helpful that is.

In addition to being kind of tricky to cook, there's a lot of advance work that needs to be done if you're dealing with a whole unbutchered goose. For example, the removal of the veins from the liver is pretty tedious. You might want to find someone with foie gras experience and offer up a few lobes in exchange for lessons and tastes.

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#11 Fat Guy

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:13 PM

That's correct. It's typically either sauteed (thick cross-sectional slices), roasted (a whole or half lobe) or prepared as a terrine, torchon, pate or whatever.

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#12 skulky

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 10:07 PM

i always approach it as meat that wants to be butter.

#13 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:47 AM

, they will eat n eat n eat out of a bucket till they fall asleep.

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In my next life, I want to be a toulouse goose.

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I want to be a Kobe cow. Food, sake, massage... :wub:
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#14 hathor

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:16 AM

Tastes like rich, soft, slow, decadent sex.
Come on, we were all thinking that, right?
Listen to FG, eat it somewhere before you try it on your own. Or give the livers to someone who has experience and then taste them.
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#15 jackal10

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:44 AM

Foie gras is soft goose fat just held together and flavoured by what was once the liver.
Its all about this semi-solid melting fat, neutral to slighly meaty tasting, smooth, delicious, like ethereal pate.. Unctious and cremy have already been used but they are right. The solidification point of the fat is such that it melts on the tongue, going from solid to liquid with body heat, hence the mouthfeel. Its as much or more about texture than taste; the taste is pure Unami.
The cooking is to clean the liver and keep the texture: melt it and the magic has gone. Maybe add some browning on the surface, and a glass of sweet wine.
Sydney Smith (1771-1845) defined Heaven as "eating Foie Gras to the sound of trumpets" . He didnot specify the preparation, but elsewhere has a fine rhyming recipe for salad and dressing
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#16 Kent Wang

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 10:00 AM

Just how much fat is in foie gras, percentage-wise? I think knowing this goes a long way towards describing the taste.

#17 Laksa

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 10:35 AM

Just how much fat is in foie gras, percentage-wise? I think knowing this goes a long way towards describing the taste.

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I'd say > 90%. I'd foolishly tried to sear foie once. As soon as it hit the pan, it started melting.

I left some pieces in the hot pan and they melted completely in a minute or so. I mopped up the drippings with bread -- it's all good!

Edited by Laksa, 31 August 2006 - 10:36 AM.


#18 MissAmy

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 10:41 AM

Just how much fat is in foie gras, percentage-wise? I think knowing this goes a long way towards describing the taste.

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I'd say > 90%. I'd foolishly tried to sear foie once. As soon as it hit the pan, it started melting.

I left some pieces in the hot pan and they melted completely in a minute or so. I mopped up the drippings with bread -- it's all good!

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That's really easy to do. I found what works for me is to have the pan smoking hot, and sear for litterally seconds on each side. You're still going to get a bit of meltage but it won't completely disolve.

Fat Guy had a really good point as well. It is difficult (not to mention tedious) to remove all the veins if you don't know what you're doing. An expensive lobe could easily be ruined pretty quickly if you're not careful.
-Sounds awfully rich!
-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

#19 smgarsh

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 11:21 AM

Thank you all for your help.
One more not so gifted question. Foie Gras is always cooked. Right? It is not eaten raw?

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IIRC, at Au Pied De Cochon in Montreal they serve a tart with raw salted foie gras or something similar.

#20 SuzySushi

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 11:47 AM

Tastes like rich, soft, slow, decadent sex.
Come on, we were all thinking that, right?
Listen to FG, eat it somewhere before you try it on your own. Or give the livers to someone who has experience and then taste them.

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That, and uni. :wink:
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#21 sparrowgrass

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:14 PM

Tastes like rich, soft, slow, decadent sex.
Come on, we were all thinking that, right?

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Oh, my. I think I'd like some of that.

What were we talking about again?
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#22 jeniac42

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:36 PM

Tastes like rich, soft, slow, decadent sex.
Come on, we were all thinking that, right?
Listen to FG, eat it somewhere before you try it on your own. Or give the livers to someone who has experience and then taste them.

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That, and uni. :wink:

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I've never eaten foie, but now I think I have to.

I agree on the uni, but you'd have to add a slight salty, sweaty component to the foie gras sex. Do you think sex is umami? :laugh:
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#23 Blue_Egg_Farmer

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:01 PM

Thank you all so much for you help :smile:
I am finally getting edumacated with this subject, should have asked about 10 years ago when I started raising geese...but here I am now alearnin and sorry but now I have more questions.

So I see the foie gras is something that can be messed up easily if not done properly so I started looking up how to process it after I get it out of the goose.
I will leave the cooking to my chef buddies, one of them should know what to do, and if not, I know they must know someone who does.

So it is like fat? When I process a goose I get a lot of abdomenal fat from them and save it in the freezer for some of my folks who like to fry potatoes in goose fat. Does the foie gras taste like that?

I found one website that gave directions on how to devein the foie gras, on the same page it said that only duck foie gras is (grown...made) in the U.S. and NO goose foie gras is (grown ...made) is made in the U.S. That all the goose stuff is either processed in cans or frozen and shipped to the U.S.
Is that correct?

If it is not allowed to be made I had no idea.

Anyway, my geese are happily slurping away inbetween bathing/ grooming sessions in the pools, grazing the back 40 and sleeping.

And I hate to say it , but I do not know what a umami is :huh: . If it is a bad word that is all you need to say, it is a bad word :hmmm: .

#24 judiu

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:09 PM

I've never eaten foie, but now I think I have to.

I agree on the uni, but you'd have to add a slight salty, sweaty component to the foie gras sex.  Do you think sex is umami?  :laugh:

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Ya know, if I remember correctly, I think it just might be! :laugh:
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#25 docsconz

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:22 PM

Thank you all so much for you help :smile:
I am finally getting edumacated with this subject, should have asked about 10 years ago when I started raising geese...but here I am now alearnin and sorry but now I have more questions.

So I see the foie gras is something that can be messed up easily if not done properly so I started looking up how to process it after I get it out of the goose.
I will leave the cooking to my chef buddies, one of them should know what to do, and if not, I know they must know someone who does.

So it is like fat? When I process a goose I get a lot of abdomenal fat from them and save it in the freezer for some of my folks who like to fry potatoes in goose fat. Does the foie gras taste like that?

I found one website that gave directions on how to devein the foie gras, on the same page it said that only duck foie gras is (grown...made) in the U.S. and NO goose foie gras is (grown ...made) is made in the U.S. That all the goose stuff is either processed in cans or frozen and shipped to the U.S.
Is that correct?

If it is not allowed to be made I had no idea.

Anyway, my geese are happily slurping away inbetween bathing/ grooming sessions in the pools, grazing the back 40 and sleeping.

And I hate to say it , but I do not know what a umami is :huh: . If it is a bad word that is all you need to say, it is a bad word :hmmm: .

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"Umami" ain't no bad word. It is a Japanese term for "meatiness", a taste characteristic in addition to the usual salty, sweet, tart and bitter. It is a very good thing. :wink:

I am not aware of any U.S. laws singling out the production of goose foie gras rather than duck, although that doesn't mean they don't exist. I think one of the reasons duck foie gras is more popular is that the byproducts of the production (i.e. the rest of the duck) is more popular in the U.S. than goose, although I can't say why.

Goose or duck fat are both very tasty, but the foie gras fat is different from either. It is actually a little richer and morre delicate with a more distinctive flavor.
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#26 edsel

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 04:37 PM

...
So I see the foie gras is something that can be messed up easily if not done properly so I started looking up how to process it after I get it out of the goose.
I will leave the cooking to my chef buddies, one of them should know what to do, and if not, I know they must know someone who does.
... View Post

I'm no expert on the processing, but from what I understand about foie gras, it's really important to avoid bruising the liver before, during, and after slaughter. The super-high fat content makes it especially delicate.

I think that most of today's commercial foie gras is shipped in vacuum-packed bags to keep it protected from contamination. When I've bought foie gras from mail-order sources, it comes vacuum packed and surrounded by bubble-wrap or "peanuts", along with the requisite cold-packs to maintain temperature. Fresh foie is highly perishable, but I doubt you'll have a problem finding folks who will buy it from you as soon as it's available. :wink:

I have a chamber vacuum machine you can borrow if you want to seal it. Selling it locally, you can probably just bag it up and have people pick it up as soon as it's processed. :smile:

#27 suseyblue

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:55 PM

In addition to being kind of tricky to cook, there's a lot of advance work that needs to be done if you're dealing with a whole unbutchered goose. For example, the removal of the veins from the liver is pretty tedious. You might want to find someone with foie gras experience and offer up a few  lobes in exchange for lessons and tastes.

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or practice on a few hunks of beef heart, liver (or something similarly venous). admittedly i'm speaking from the perspective of one who has merely dined upon it (there is a sushi joint in orlando that does it nicely whose name escapes me, begins with an 'r') and not cooked the stuff (although i'm a beef heart prep veteran), but i'd say dive in. how tricky can it be? a saute surely seems sufficiently simple :raz: . veins are veins. play with it on something cheap first and then go for it.

(i used to have a toulouse goose *sniff*. blue egg, you are fortunate to be able to have geese. my chickens exploded & i need to get rid of about 20 hatchlings, let alone have geese.)

#28 edsel

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 12:56 PM

...
And no I do not need to force a tube or funnel down their beaks. They are self stuffing at this time of year, they will eat n eat n eat out of a bucket till they fall asleep. View Post

I thought of this post when I saw the following:
'Ethical' Foie Gras from Naturally Greedy Geese.

Because the geese are fattening up for migration, this form of foie gras, called Ganso Iberico, can only be produced once a year.
This is usually before Christmas but because of a mild winter in Spain, the geese are only being slaughtered this month.



#29 Truc

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 04:35 PM

I remember my first time eating foie gras, it was a small piece on a plate left over from a piece of foie that my chef was cooking for a special client and offered me the piece. At this same place i got to try a real authentic foie gras torchon (welll they did it sousvide style) made very simple with reglise (like a licorice powder used to make icecreams etc) it is served cold and melted in your mouth withs ome great toastes french baguettes. oh the memories. :biggrin:

#30 Truc

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 04:44 PM

If you have a cast iron pan heat it up really hot and sear it quick then your fine. devein the foie gras though. We also soaked our foie when we were makeing the torchon in milk over night and deveined it.