• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
yellow truffle

Chicago is the first city to ban foie gras

148 posts in this topic

Are they going to ban factory chickens?  Non-kosher beef?  Come on.

You can't claim to ban foie gras because it's inhumane and not go after other inhumane foods (no WAY am I getting into a debate over what's more or less inhumane than another, though) that are perceived to be less exclusive.

Reverse snobbery has been put into law.  Or ordinance.  Whatever. :raz:

Exactly. If they're going to do this, then they should also ban Tyson chicken, non-free range beef, and mass produced pork. Idiocy.


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saddest part of all of this to me is that the first time I tried Foie Gras was at Charlie Trotter's.

If McDonald's can get sued for making people fat, can I sue Trotter's for making me like foie? :)


--adoxograph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morons,

Absoloute, irredeemable, morons.

Pandering to the stupid and ill-informed.


Edited by The Apostate (log)

I'm so awesome I don't even need a sig...Oh wait...SON OF A...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What might hit the city where it hurts is if the National Restaurant Association moved its show elsewhere in protest.

That might have an impact.

But really, I don't see how they can enforce this. If a restaurant puts "duck liver" on the menu and claims it isn't foie gras, and shows a receipt labeled "natural duck liver," how are they going to determine that the duck was force fed?


LAZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But really, I don't see how they can enforce this. If a restaurant puts "duck liver" on the menu and claims it isn't foie gras, and shows a receipt labeled "natural duck liver," how are they going to determine that the duck was force fed?

As I emailed to another eGulleter on this very point,

Misquoting dear Shakespeare, "foie gras by any other name tastes just as damn good!" :raz:

u.e.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a bunch of gloomy Guses!

Can't you see Chicago is trying to bring back the glamour of the Speakeasy age? Before you know it, we'll have old fashioned gangsters like Martin "Pimpaz" Picard, Mario "Bag O' Bacon" Batali, and, of course, Tony "the Shiv" Bourdain getting the whole town worked up in a liver-divvyin' frenzy.

As Frank woulda said back in the old days,

"The best is yet to come, won't that be fine?

You think you’ve seen the sun, but you ain’t seen it shine."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bullies, wimps, and hypocrites. Much easier to take down a foie gras producer, than it is to take on Tyson.


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chicago City Council What a bunch of showboating ignoramuses. How embarrassing for Chicago. It's the kind of thing you'd expect in Cleveland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Isn't there some sort of law in North Carolina saying you can't serve any meat cooked red or pink?  I can't remember if that's how the law reads, but that's how the waitress described it to me when I wanted a simple burger medium rare.  Nope, couldn't get it.  Illegal. 

Let's not get off topic, but unless meat is freshly ground on the premises, burgers must be cooked to medium well. Fortunately, I know lots of places where they grind it themselves. Moreover, many places will cook it the way you want regardless. But this is a food safety issue, not a moral one. So back to the discussion on foie gras, which I just might have to have for lunch today.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So back to the discussion on foie gras, which I just might have to have for lunch today.

No kidding! Suddenly, I am craving the stuff. :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But really, I don't see how they can enforce this. If a restaurant puts "duck liver" on the menu and claims it isn't foie gras, and shows a receipt labeled "natural duck liver," how are they going to determine that the duck was force fed?

I would guess that the difference in flavor and texture between livers from birds that have and haven't been gavaged would be plenty apparent to anybody with a palate. I do not generally include Chicago's foodservice inspectors in that category, however. Their primary imperatives have to do with sanitation and, to a lesser degree, worker safety, and there aren't enough of them to say with a straight face that those jobs are effectively done at this time.

And now the inspectors who are accustomed, for the sake of public health, to watch out for cockroaches, mouse pellets, stale-dated dry goods, and unwashed hands are going to go on bootleg liver patrol? What kind of raises do they get for this addition to the job description? Who's going to train them? How?!?

Angry as I am that the City Council is making our city a laughingstock over this, I intend to be one of the ones leading the laughter -- because major public ridicule is the one thing (beyond the Mayor's known opposition) that will turn the Council around.

Don't call City Hall. Call Second City.

:hmmm:


Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would guess that the difference in flavor and texture between livers from birds that have and haven't been gavaged would be plenty apparent to anybody with a palate. 

Well, Ald. Joe "Gooses" Moore though sponsoring the bill, admitted that he is not sure that had ever eaten foie gras and did not know what it tasted like. If the numbskulls who voted for the damned thing can't tell foie gras from chicken liver (and at $90K annual salary plus whatever they got going on the side, they certainly could endeavor to find out), then how would the less well-paid food inspector or cop deal with this?


S. Cue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would guess that the difference in flavor and texture between livers from birds that have and haven't been gavaged would be plenty apparent to anybody with a palate.  I do not generally include Chicago's foodservice inspectors in that category, however.
Personally, even thought I'm not the biggest fan of foie gras, I would have to admit that the texture is remarkably different. Fattened goose foie gras is much silkier and more delicate that duck liver.

But, as a point of clarification, does anyone know whether foie gras, technically/legally refers to gavaged goose liver, or if it just refers to the liver of any gavaged fowl... that is, has the city of Chicago banned fattened goose liver specifically (meaning fattened duck liver is okay), or have they banned the liver product of any/all gavaged fowl?

Don't call City Hall.  Call Second City.

1. Laughable, indeed!

2. With this sorta nonsense, Chicago has permanently conceded itself to the backseat - living up to its hard-earned title! With the recent storm of super-star chefs coming out of Chicago, I was really thinking that Chicago was poised to be a new gastronomical capital... it seems that it can't be that now. :sad: Not that foie gras is the be-all end-all of good food, it's more of the city's attitude toward the diversity of food that is limiting, and that I (and I suspect others on this forum) find troubling.

u.e.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic leaves me wondering if the US has ever before banned a food on moral grounds - sure there was alcohol and see how far that got us. But that was more about its effect on its imbibers rather than how it was made, killed, prepared etc. For example, are these mythical delicacies from other countries like dog, chicken embryo, etc. not available here because the public would object or because of formal legislation?


The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an outrageous act by a bunch of ill-informed, hypocritical, headline grabbing politicians. And yes, without the publicity Trotter gave to this subject we would have been a long way from where we are today. When I dined there in October he had no problem serving rabbit and veal, no less (both were tasteless, so maybe that's his criteria for what is allowed on his menu).

By the way, unless you are nuerotic, you can eat your burgers rare, your eggs runny and your cheeses raw if you are even slightly judicious about your sources.

And Au Pied de Cochon is my favorite restaurant in the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chicago City Council  What a bunch of showboating ignoramuses.  How embarrassing for Chicago.  It's the kind of thing you'd expect in Cleveland.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By the way, unless you are nuerotic, you can eat your burgers rare, your eggs runny and your cheeses raw if you are even slightly judicious about your sources.

True, true... but I think the issue here is one of morality (or characterized as such).

Although the government can warn us of certain dangers, we, as consumers, ultimately have the choice in what we eat: ie. shellfish, raw meats, unpasteurized dairy products, tobacco products, etc... Now, there are certain things that the government/FDA has identified as so toxic that no reasonable consumer should consume them, unpasteurized under-aged cheeses, for example - and these are legally banned. But, even many of these items are questionable - and new scientific studies are constantly wavering. The one product that comes to mind is Szechuan peppercorns (a Chinese spice), which were outlawed until recently on the claim that they were highly carciniogenic.

Our government has also banned foods on the basis of environmental/natural preservation (e.g., forbidding certain products derived from endangered animals). Beluga caviar jumps off the top of my head right now.

Here, I think that Nina C. has identified the more cogent issue: morality. And to tell the truth, other than alcohol, I can't readily think of another food item that the U.S. has banned on the basis of morality.

ulterior epicure.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NYT chimes in.

The ban, adopted on a vote of 48 to 1, makes "food dispensing establishments" — restaurants and retail stores — subject to a fine of $500 for selling foie gras. The ordinance, which takes effect in 90 days, will be enforced by means of citizen complaints, said Joe Moore, the alderman who sponsored it.
"Today Chicago made a historic, kind statement, and I think its ramifications will be felt in other parts of the country," Mr. Bauston said.
Lookout Cleveland, you're next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of corrections, not that I'm any expert:

Szechuan peppercorns were banned because of the canker virus, not some cancer virus. The canker virus can contaminate citrus trees, and the fear was that Florida and California trees could become infected like a plague. They ARE NOT carcinogenic! The reason the ban was lifted is because the exporters agreed to irradiate them before shipping, thus sterilizing them.

Virtually all foie gras in this country and Canada comes from ducks, not geese. The main reason for this is that geese require much more time, hence are not at all cost effective for the farms. Occasionally, Hudson Valley raises a few geese, such as at Christmastime.


Edited by Pitter (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Today Chicago made a historic, kind statement, and I think its ramifications will be felt in other parts of the country," Mr. Bauston said.
Lookout Cleveland, you're next.

Let's hope Michael's way with charcuterie isn't an index on his ability to foretell the future! :wink:

Chicago City Council  What a bunch of showboating ignoramuses.  How embarrassing for Chicago.  It's the kind of thing you'd expect in Cleveland.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A couple of corrections, not that I'm any expert:

Szechuan peppercorns were banned because of the canker virus, not some cancer virus.  The canker virus can contaminate citrus trees, and the fear was that Florida and California trees could become infected like a plague.  They ARE NOT carcinogenic!  The reason the ban was lifted is because the exporters agreed to irradiate them before shipping, thus sterilizing them.

Thanks for the catch. I stand corrected.

u.e.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
he doesn't like the flavour of North American beef

A little OT, but I have to disagree with him! American beef is one of the best in the world!


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The outright ban strikes me as particularly short-sighted. If the council is concerned about the humane treatment of ducks and geese, why not establish a moratorium on foie gras for the next year or so, leaving it up to producers to prove that their methods are indeed humane or to adopt methods that the council accepts as humane? This is closer to what has been attempted in California with f.g. and with Caspian caviar. In the latter case it was an issue of sustainability rather than humane treatment, but the logic still applies. I don't think any f.g. lover would mind if producers were encouraged to use the most humane methods possible. Maybe the producers could make their case, maybe not. But it would be far more reasonable than this ban.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The outright ban strikes me as particularly short-sighted.  If the council is concerned about the humane treatment of ducks and geese, why not establish a moratorium on foie gras for the next year or so, leaving it up to producers to prove that their methods are indeed humane or to adopt methods that the council accepts as humane?  This is closer to what has been attempted in California with f.g. and with Caspian caviar.  In the latter case it was an issue of sustainability rather than humane treatment, but the logic still applies.  I don't think any f.g. lover would mind if producers were encouraged to use the most humane methods possible.  Maybe the producers could make their case, maybe not.  But it would be far more reasonable than this ban.

This idea is too sensible. The city council is only interested in headlines, not humane treatment of animals. The approach they took proves it.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.