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Bruce Cole

Schwarzenegger terminates foie gras in California

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I just received an email from Viva Usa celebrating the fact that Arnold Schwarzengger has signed the foie gras bill.

"Sacramento, CA - Demonstrating he truly cares about the welfare of animals, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed SB 1520 into law, a bill that bans the force feeding of ducks and geese in the production of foie gras. The bill also bans the sale of the product when made from force fed birds, both provisions taking effect in California in the year 2012..The bill was supported by more than a dozen top celebrities including Martin Sheen, Sir Paul McCartney, Kim Bassinger, Alicia Silverstone and Mary Tyler Moore. It also was supported by a broad coalition of animal protection groups, including the sponsors: the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, Farm Sanctuary, Los Angeles Lawyers for Animals and Viva!USA."

At least we have 8 more years to eat the stuff - legally that is.

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Being an occasional observer of American politics I have full faith that this law will change three or four times before 2012.

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Just a friendly reminder: Let's keep the conversation food related. We get into politics here only to the extent that it is the politics of food.

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Just a friendly reminder:  Let's keep the conversation food related.  We get into politics here only to the extent that it is the politics of food.

We need a forum to talk about how people are using politics and the media to vilify food -- efforts to ban foods, encourage crazy eating regimes like Atkins, the attempts to blame foods for obestiy and other health problems. Fast food today -- your favorite meat and three cafe tomorrow.

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We need a forum to talk about how people are using politics and the media to vilify food -- efforts to ban foods, encourage crazy eating regimes like Atkins, the attempts to blame foods for obestiy and other health problems.  Fast food today -- your favorite meat and three cafe tomorrow.

Many of those topics exist in the Forum called Food Media & the News .... :laugh: they are clustered and hover there waiting for someone to read, and learn, from them!

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Just a friendly reminder:  Let's keep the conversation food related.  We get into politics here only to the extent that it is the politics of food.

An ending made in Hollywood for an epic fight over foie gras.

...the owners of California's only foie gras-producing duck farm came out with a statement reacting to the new legislation signed into law on Wednesday night, and the issue took on a whole new complexion. "We supported this bill and thank the governor and the legislature for their very serious consideration and deliberation," wrote Guillermo Gonzalez, the owner and operator of Sonoma Foie Gras.

"We will go on with our business." Looking at the fine print of the bill, it was easy to see why Mr Gonzalez was pleased. The ban on force-feeding will not take effect until 2012, giving him almost eight years to negotiate with the state about practices on his free-range duck farm in California's dusty Central Valley. Even after that deadline, foie gras will continue to be sold in California and will be banned only if it can be shown to have been produced through cruel methods within the state itself. Until 2012, meanwhile, Sonoma Foie Gras will be immune from all lawsuits - two of which had been pending before the courts but will now be dropped.

...And here, in the land of political correctness, gastronomic paranoia and endless celebrity causes, was a brilliant compromise that managed to make him look good in the eyes of just about everyone - as long as they won't paying very close attention.

edited to add: its difficult to take the politics aspect off this issue.

"Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf." - G.K.Chesterton

and Paul McCartney doesnt even get to eat his half loaf.


Edited by Lalitha (log)

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I just received an email from Viva Usa celebrating the fact that Arnold Schwarzengger has signed the foie gras bill.

"Sacramento, CA - Demonstrating he truly cares about the welfare of animals, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed SB 1520 into law, a bill that bans the force feeding of ducks and geese in the production of foie gras. The bill also bans the sale of the product when made from force fed birds, both provisions taking effect in California in the year 2012..The bill was supported by more than a dozen top celebrities including Martin Sheen, Sir Paul McCartney, Kim Bassinger, Alicia Silverstone and Mary Tyler Moore. It also was supported by a broad coalition of animal protection groups, including the sponsors: the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, Farm Sanctuary, Los Angeles Lawyers for Animals and Viva!USA."

At least we have 8 more years to eat the stuff - legally that is.

I could use a little education here. For the record, I'm not a chef and I haven't undertaken the study of food on a formal basis. I live in the middle of cattle country... and well, a lot of people who eat steak wouldn't want to know some of the details about how it's produced.

As a friend of mine (who works in a butcher shop) says, "it's FOOD." In other words, as carnivores, we need to understand that animals are being killed so that we can eat, but he and I both are adamantly of the opinion that whenever possible, measures need to be taken to minimize suffering.

And that brings me to my question. Is it absolutely necessary to force-feed ducks to produce foie gras? Has anybody studied any alternate methods?

And while we're at it, does anyone know of any websites or other references where RELIABLE information can be obtained about cruelty-free food production methods? This is a little off the subject, but from time to time, a local animal-rights group puts an ad in the paper alleging various horrors at pork production plants, and the local pork industry isn't even addressing them... even after I sent them copies of the ads. While it's hard to believe allegations of live animals being boiled alive, screaming, I was a little disturbed when I received no response after sending them the ad. Where does a conscientious citizen find accurate information?

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And that brings me to my question.  Is it absolutely necessary to force-feed ducks to produce foie gras?  Has anybody studied any alternate methods?

Yes (sort of) and yes. Currently the only reliable way to make foie gras as we know it is to force-feed the birds. There has been some research to find alternate methods, but the only method that's worked is to lobotomize the bird to give it an endless appetite. This is obviously a much worse tactic, and though I'm sure some would do it, it's also not manageable on a large scale.

Research is being done on this score, but no alternates have surfaced. Gavage (using the tube for getting in large volumes of food) has been around for 2000 years (fattened livers have been around for 3000 more). We're certainly not the first to question the ethics of this; that debate goes back something like 1800 years. And still no one's found an alternate approach. But maybe these days we have more knowledge and can pull it off.

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Yes (sort of) and yes. Currently the only reliable way to make foie gras as we know it is to force-feed the birds. There has been some research to find alternate methods, but the only method that's worked is to lobotomize the bird to give it an endless appetite.

Wow: a lobotomy and an endless appetite.

Where do I sign up?

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And that brings me to my question.  Is it absolutely necessary to force-feed ducks to produce foie gras?  Has anybody studied any alternate methods?

from my Independent.co.uk link below:

Waitrose is currently trying to find a new supplier for its own-brand foie gras products which, they say, do not use force-feeding methods. They claim the ducks that supply its products will grow 350g livers naturally over a period of 25 days with an unrestricted diet as opposed to the 600g liver produced in 14 days by force-fed birds.

edited to fix url link


Edited by Lalitha (log)

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Waitrose is currently trying to find a new supplier for its own-brand foie gras products which, they say, do not use force-feeding methods. They claim the ducks that supply its products will grow 350g livers naturally over a period of 25 days with an unrestricted diet as opposed to the 600g liver produced in 14 days by force-fed birds.

So it's not even as big as French duck foies gras, which usually are in the 450-500-gram range. I wonder if what they're selling is just fattened livers and not foie gras, but they're calling it foie gras as a marketing effort.

Hmm. I'd be curious to see what they're working with.

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Is it absolutely necessary to force-feed ducks to produce foie gras?  Has anybody studied any alternate methods?

Define "force-feed." Ed Behr, the editor of The Art of Eating, a highly respected quarterly devoted to food, has written that he's observed geese on a farm in the Dordogne region of France, come running to the farmhand when they show up with the funnel and the feed. Of course he had no way of knowing if these geese had been lobotomized. I don't know what goes on at at larger American farms, but I'm will to believe the ducks and geese at foie gras farms lead a better life than the average chicken in the US. The average American has little contact with foie gras, but cheap tortured chickens are the mainstay of the family food budget.

A 350 g. liver is obviously not as large as a 600 g. liver. I have no idea if it's as great a delicacy. I assume it's not as normal goose and duck livers are not. Is the difference worth the suffering of geese and ducks? Do they suffer? I'm told that their gullets are lined with a material that's not unlike that of our toe nails. Waterfowl are not built like humans and the arguments of one side seems designed to garner sympathy for them on the basis of a belief that their anatomy is very much like ours.

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Define "force-feed." Ed Behr, the editor of The Art of Eating, a highly respected quarterly devoted to food, has written that he's observed geese on a farm in the Dordogne region of France, come running to the farmhand when they show up with the funnel and the feed.

Are you thinking of his "foie gras and Champagne issue" (no. 48)?

From the issue:

...but during the fattening, the feeder is always the same, and after a few days the birds grow accustomed to that person and don't much shy away. The goose or duck is held between the legs. It doesn't resist.

I wouldn't classify that as "come running to the farmhand when they show up". But perhaps you're thinking of a different source?

The average American has little contact with foie gras, but cheap tortured chickens are the mainstay of the family food budget.

And the eggs they produce. Mustn't forget about those, which is where the real horrors are, if you believe Michael Pollan.

From the NYTimes Magazine a couple years back:

And broiler chickens, although they do get their beaks snipped off with a hot knife to keep them from cannibalizing one another under the stress of their confinement, at least don't spend their eight-week lives in cages too small to ever stretch a wing. That fate is reserved for the American laying hen, who passes her brief span piled together with a half-dozen other hens in a wire cage whose floor a single page of this magazine could carpet.

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So it's not even as big as French duck foies gras, which usually are in the 450-500-gram range. I wonder if what they're selling is just fattened livers and not foie gras, but they're calling it foie gras as a marketing effort.

Hmm. I'd be curious to see what they're working with.

well foie gras IS 'fattened liver'...what did you think foie gras is...

good grief! are you telling me that ducks and geese are being force fed for livers @ 600g...a good 16-25% more than what the French think is ideal? what I want to know is this... has anyone informed the French about this?

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well foie gras IS 'fattened liver'...what did you think foie gras is...

Sure, but there's a difference between fattened liver from a bird that's gone through gavage, and a fattened liver from a bird that's been fattened through some other means (like, just being given the chance to eat a lot).

good grief! are you telling me that ducks and geese are being force fed for livers @ 600g...a good 16-25% more than what the French think is ideal? what I want to know is this... has anyone informed the French about this?

French foie gras de canard tends to be about 450-500g. American foie gras de canard tends to be about 600g. This is sort of accepted, but I've rarely seen anyone put forth theories about why that is (I have some thoughts, but they're only hypotheses; I don't have anything to back them up).

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Sure, but there's a difference between fattened liver from a bird that's gone through gavage, and a fattened liver from a bird that's been fattened through some other means (like, just being given the chance to eat a lot).

French foie gras de canard tends to be about 450-500g. American foie gras de canard tends to be about 600g. This is sort of accepted, but I've rarely seen anyone put forth theories about why that is (I have some thoughts, but they're only hypotheses; I don't have anything to back them up).

from here

The American version is larger, with a bit more protein and a bit more blood than the French style. (His French-style foie gras comes from Canada.)

here is another bit:

It has been a luxury food for some 5,000 years, according to Michael Ginor, author of "Foie Gras: A Passion" (John Wiley, 1999).

It was found in ducks who naturally gorged themselves prior to migration, their swollen livers acting as storehouses for protein. When animal husbandry techniques are employed, though, a formerly natural process becomes wildly controversial.

are you telling me that the original foie gras that was found in the ducks that gorged themselves (by themselves, of course) prior to migration(this means that they can fly with their fat livers) were less heavier (or less tastier) than the 600g gavage version of american foie gras. if this is the case, what Mr.Ginor is selling is a foie gras that has evolved from the 'luxury food for some 5000 years'. obviously its not the same kind of fat liver found in migrating birds. thats my first objection when an argument is put forth about the antiquity of foie gras as food.

so..get this timeline. first, you have foie gras from the swollen livers of migrating ducks/geese. flying birds that used this as a storehouse for protein when food wasnt plenty. then you have foie gras of antiquity when these birds were force fed figs. in fact, i believe that the ducks used for foie gras production now are a hybrid and one of the species doesnt even migrate. hmm...some food of antiquity. somehow, i have this feeling and i am even willing to bet that the original foie gras were nowhere near 400-600gm(over 10 times the normal weight of a normal liver, iirc) of today. then the french, being masters of all things cuisine, began the foie gras business which is smaller than the non french standard of today. and finally, you have the american foie gras that is obviously oozing with passion and with incriminating photographic evidence. wait...are they fed normal duck food? this is my first objection to lines being dangled in front of me by foie gras manufacturers..obviously from the kindness of their hearts to alleviate my guilt...what foie gras is in today's world is a man made abomination....which is fine actually..we like to munch on cakes that glow in the dark...all i am saying is that justifications like 'food of antiquity' is horse manure. *I* am not buying it...having said that, i am not calling for a ban on foie gras. if i am swallowing force fed duck liver, i will do it knowing what i am putting in my mouth. and i will live with it.

anyways, to your point..i do not think that a 350gm fat liver is going to much different in taste than 600gm fat liver. a normal duck/goose liver is 75-100gms. foie gras is 6-10 times larger than a normal liver. why should anyone think that something that is 10 times bigger and fatter is better than something that is 6 times bigger and fatter than a normal liver. i know. because thats what they are told. or they are not told otherwise. surely, a bird that can give double the amount of foie gras is more profitable than a bird that isnt fattened enough. of course, i have never tasted the waitrose version and we'll know for sure when we taste it. but if you think that the appeal of foie gras lies in the gavage/force feeding and not the foie gras itself is..which is mostly fat stored in liver..then i have to say that i am disappointed in the producers of foie gras who havent educated the public, the media that is obviously now useless and the consumer himself who doesnt know or care about what he is putting in his mouth...

the connection between food and the table is lost these days. you look at your plate and knowing where it comes from is part of the relationship we ought to have with food. what people see is milk in a bottle..eggs in a case...meat wrapped in paper..foie gras in pouches. food is no longer food. food has become plastic and impersonal. sad.

edited to add: re typos, its 3.57 am here. thats my excuse and i am sticking to it.


Edited by Lalitha (log)

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Define "force-feed." Ed Behr, the editor of The Art of Eating, a highly respected quarterly devoted to food, has written that he's observed geese on a farm in the Dordogne region of France, come running to the farmhand when they show up with the funnel and the feed.

Are you thinking of his "foie gras and Champagne issue" (no. 48)?

From the issue:

I wouldn't classify that as "come running to the farmhand when they show up". But perhaps you're thinking of a different source?

I must apologize for misquoting myself and not checking my source. In 1999 I wrote the following on the WorldTable web site:

Mr. Ginor, whose operation produces duck foie gras, presents the process of force feeding as neither painful nor distressing to the ducks. As proof, he adds that "when a person comes to feed them, they come to the feeders." These birds don't like people and usually avoid humans, or worse yet, act aggressively toward them. In his excellent article on Foie Gras from duck and goose in Southwest France, in the Fall 1998 issue of the Art of Eating Edward Behr, concurs, noting that the birds grow accustomed to the feeder during the fattening and neither shy away much nor resist. The feeding tube stays in the bird's neck for about ten seconds. (Mr. Ginor says it's one and one half seconds.) Ducks naturally swallow grit and stones. The esophagus of a duck is lined with fibrous protein cells that resemble bristles and does not bear comparison to that of a human. The activists attempts at anthropomorphism are understandable when the intent is propaganda, not enlightenment. In Behr's words, "a stressed or hurt bird won't eat and digest well or produce a foie gras." Behr's article also cites a section of the forthcoming Foie Gras . . . A Passion as source for some interesting history about the production of foie gras. 
It seems that over the years, I've confused statements from the two men. I'm not sure if the Fall 1988 issue is also No. 48, but it appears we both have similar quotes. I regard Behr as neutral and generally unimpeachable. I have no reason to doubt Ginor, but he does have a vested interest in the business. I should not have confused statements by those two. It's also likely that there's a difference between the way geese may react and the way ducks react.

That appeard on a page containing a review of sorts of Ginor's book and was written in reaction to the news that a panel discussion and tasting of foie gras scheduled at the Smithsonian Institute was cancelled after threats. I also noted:

Proceeds from ticket sales would have benefited the Smithsonian. Apparently the "tenor" of the messages from self styled animals rights activists caused the Smithsonian to cancel the event out of concern for the health and safety of the audience rather than the supposed inhumane treatment of the birds.

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so..get this timeline.

Yes, what we eat today isn't exactly what got eaten 5000 years ago. The gavage, which created foie gras versus just liver from a fat goose, started around 2000 years ago. I'm inclined to agree that it wasn't what we know today. For one thing, there was a practice about 300 years ago of blinding geese and nailing their feet to boards to make foie gras. It almost certainly wouldn't have made a good foie.

And you're right about the migrating habits of the ducks, by the way (good memory!). Muscovies are tropical, so don't migrate. Mulards are a (as you say, sterile) cross between Muscovies (from which they inherit the ability to make foie gras) and Pekins (from which they get their size). And they've only been around for a handful of decades (and definitely manmade; Pekins don't mate with Muscovies for much the same reasons polar bears don't eat penguins).

It's an interesting point about being sold the "historical" food product when its current form is (probably) vastly different than what got made 2000 years ago.

of course, i have never tasted the waitrose version and we'll know for sure when we taste it. but if you think that the appeal of foie gras lies in the gavage/force feeding and not the foie gras itself is..which is mostly fat stored in liver..then i have to say that i am disappointed in the producers of foie gras who havent educated the public, the media that is obviously now useless and the consumer himself who doesnt know or care about what he is putting in his mouth...

I'm just suspicious that with all these places banning force-feeding and not foie gras explicitly (and in the case of Israel, foie gras was a sizable chunk of the economy), and with France facing a potential ban in 14 years, no one has said, "Hey, wait! These guys have figured out how to do it! Let's do it that way!

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I'd have to re-read Ginor's book and I should look for my copy of Behr's article as well, but I don't think Ginor was saying we've been eating foie gras for thousands of years, but that this is the culmination of a long process that began when man first started to fatten geese. My understanding is that farmers noticed the birds' natural propensity to gorge themselves seasonally for the migration and started in on the process towards modifying that propensity to increase the amount of the birds' intake. I don't think anyone is suggesting the birds mind the amount of food. It seems the funnel and the way the food is applied to the funnel is what's being declared more cruel that what goes on in egg farms.

It may be that the 300 g liver and the 600 g liver all both entitled to the name foie gras. If may be that producers aim for the maximum for profit or for quality and flavor. I don't know that answer. Given the need to make a profit, I will assume that the livers will cost almost the same price no matter when the bird is slaughtered. That might mean that smaller livers could cost almost double per pound if they were the legal limit, so to speak.

I also don't know if some of the variation in weight between the US foie gras and that of France has to do with breed or feed.

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I regard Behr as neutral and generally unimpeachable. I have no reason to doubt Ginor, but he does have a vested interest in the business.

Indeed on both counts. I don't remember seeing Ginor say the ducks come willingly to the feeder in his book, but it's been a while since I read it, so perhaps I should re-examine. My old brain cells don't work like they used to :smile:

It may be that the 300 g liver and the 600 g liver all both entitled to the name foie gras. If may be that producers aim for the maximum for profit or for quality and flavor. I don't know that answer. Given the need to make a profit, I will assume that the livers will cost almost the same price no matter when the bird is slaughtered.

But if they're not doing force-feeding, as the piece claims, that would be a huge expense saved, so it might work out.

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Encore un Foie?

I’m certainly no expert on the production of foie gras, and have become an infrequent eater of it, especially after it became so very ubiquitous, even in inexpert hands (it deserved much better), a decade or more ago. I regret that it lost its purity, became a plaything -- even a cynical hamburger fixing.

It's safe to say that the foie reared in Quebec is exemplary; indeed many chefs believe it the best foie product on the continent. I had the opportunity to inspect two foie gras (actually, foie canard) farms in Quebec last summer and was allowed entré into the inner sanctum of the gavage pens, which, for reasons of disease control and increasing political sensitivity, are usually off limits.

The first farm, south of Montreal, was a fairly large scale commercial operation that is licensed to export product extra-provincially and into the US (and in fact supplies many eastern seaboard US restaurants). It was an unfettered production line with all stages of the process carried out in a carefully controlled environment. Diet, heat, humidity and light were fastidiously calibrated and constantly monitored by computer. It was also a scrupulously clean operation; the main fear being, because of the close quarters, a systemic outbreak of disease.

As the ducklings matured toward gavage, their pre-migratory instinct to gorge was seemingly tricked into action (no matter the time of year) via the diminishment of light and heat (imitating shorter autumn days), and diet deprivation followed by a spate of abundant feed; deprivation, feed. The gavage stage (heavily air-conditioned and humidified) was clinical but expertly managed (the speed of the technique is not learned overnight) from a mechanically-forced machine that follows the operator, although the ducks were held in restrictive individual pens within a shed the size of a small warehouse. It was cold and wet, and the ducks were certainly not running to be fed -- they couldn't budge. The pens were suspended above frequently flushed concrete floors; the shed smelt much as you might expect.

Although the ducks did not appear to protest the gavage, which, again, was both swift and expert, there is simply no way—short of inviting Dr. Doolittle to the party—to know. (A little like being at the dentist with wadding and a rubber dam in your mouth when he asks you the pain threshold question?). But neither did we see any evidence of animals squealing or otherwise behaving in an obviously distressed manner.

Although I asked on more than one occasion, the actual diet of the ducks is closely guarded and it would be unfair to speculate what, if any, medications might or might not be added to their feed. But it was obvious even to an outsider that bacterial or viral disease could be commercially lethal to this type of closed facility.

What struck me most about this operation though, was the very large size of the finished liver. At over 600 grams, the liver distends below the animal’s ribcage and has an exterior appearance, prior to slaughter, not unlike a human hernia poking through skin.

All of the parts of the duck carcass were packaged and sold, in large part to restaurants: the foie, trimmed breasts, legs en confit, pate, and the carcass for stock.

The second farm, located near Quebec City, was a somewhat different story. This smaller producer, which used smaller, old (and picturesque) wooden sheds and barns, also revealed a slightly different methodology. The ducklings (hatched off-site) were allowed free range in outdoor pens before being moved indoors to the manipulated environment. But even that seemed a little friendlier: at this stage the ducklings were still allowed to roam in quite large rooms. The gavage was similar to the prior operation, but with an important difference: the feed was stopped when the livers were estimated to be at the 400 to 450 gram stage of growth, and before any obvious distension had taken place. For regulatory reasons (and much like many of the province’s wonderful cheeses), their product is not available outside of Quebec.

The chef with whom I was traveling, Jean-Luc Boulay, who operates a restaurant in Quebec City called Le Saint’Amour, visited this operation regularly, as much, I came to feel, for his interest in the welfare of the animals as for the quality of the finished (smaller) product that they gave up. He seemed convinced that the smaller livers were superior—less likely to be granular—and that the ducks knew no suffering. Boulay regularly serves several variations—typical might be a homemade terrine with Sauternes jelly and fig pulp; squab stuffed with fresh foie gras; or foie gras seared with fleur de sel, its pan deglazed with cranberries and mango chutney. One can also order a foie gras plat combining several of these.

Without for a minute wishing to prejudice anyone, having seen these two producers, I wouldn't eat from a foie over half a kilo. And because in a restaurant setting that’s nigh on impossible to verify, I choose to eat it no more. But that’s an entirely personal choice, albeit one I regretfully add to a growing list of other much-missed foods, especially that other luxe one, Caspian caviar.

In fact, the last foie gras I ate was in Quebec City, early last summer, from the hand of the master Boulay. It was generous and seared quickly, with a topknot of good salt and a fresh, barely warmed compote of rhubarb that put sweaters on my teeth. Those perfect combinant flavours, plush under their crust and tinctured with the rhubarb, melted away slowly, and then forever.


Edited by jamiemaw (log)

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jamiemaw: thanks. it was very informative

bux: i wrote a whole reply but it fluttered away in net space..

however..it was all notes circling around this and this .

question re the feed...france/europe=maize and usa=soy?

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question re the feed...france/europe=maize and usa=soy?

All the U.S. producers use corn. It's the most common feed used, but there are some French producers (a very small number) who have gone back to using figs, the traditional feed for foie gras (iirc, foie comes from the word for fig through some convoluted etymology). There's a question of cooked corn versus uncooked; cooked is considered superior by some.

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All the U.S. producers use corn. It's the most common feed used, but there are some French producers (a very small number) who have gone back to using figs, the traditional feed for foie gras (iirc, foie comes from the word for fig through some convoluted etymology). There's a question of cooked corn versus uncooked; cooked is considered superior by some.

hey derricks, i spoke to a french chef today who said that french foie gras can be anywhere between 500-650gms in weight these days. he also dismissed american foie gras. his manner of dismissal was impressive and amusing at the same time. i am not going to elaborate further on that issue.

edited to add: a little net digging reveals>

Hudson Valley Foie Gras is a grower of the Moulard Duck from which Foie Gras is produced. The Moulard Duck is a crossbreed between a Moscovy male and a Pekin female. This technique was invented in Israel in the mid 1970's and Izzy Yanay, co-owner of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, was one of the first to utilize this technology in the production of Moulard Foie Gras. As a hybrid it is more resistant to disease than either parent.

The young ducklings are fed a normal ration of corn and soy protein. As the ducklings grow they are switched to a feed of 100% pure white corn. The last stage, the force-feeding stage (also known as gavage), differs at Hudson Valley from other methods, and relates to the traditional, 5000 year old method of hand feeding the ducks individually for a period of 4 weeks, instead of French and Canadian methods of only 2 weeks. The resulting Foie gras is bigger, creamier, fattier and firmer. It is the preferred Foie gras for sauté and other high heat preparations. It is also outstanding for terrines and processed products.


Edited by Lalitha (log)

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hey derricks, i spoke to a french chef today who said that french foie gras can be anywhere between 500-650gms in weight these days. he also dismissed american foie gras. his manner of dismissal was impressive and amusing at the same time. i am not going to elaborate further on that issue.

Not sure if I'm missing something, but it would be interesting to know if he truly felt the quality was inferior (based on cooking and tasting).

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