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Chicago is the first city to ban foie gras


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Chef thumbs nose at ban: 10 courses of foie gras :huh:

Chicago Suntimes ...

Graham Elliot Bowles, chef at Avenues in the Peninsula Hotel, is going full-tilt with the French delicacy by offering a foie gras tasting menu for $238. Bowles started thinking up the menu the day after the Chicago City Council voted to ban the sale of foie gras -- the fattened livers of geese or ducks -- in Chicago. He said it's his way of thumbing his nose at a measure he and other chefs consider ridiculous.The restaurant began offering the foie gras menu Friday night and will keep it until the ban goes into effect in August. ...
more on this story ... :wink:

Avenues' Chef's Palate menu with Foie Gras can viewed here.

=R=

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I'm hoping this post is a joke, I can hardly imagine what a particular food being French has anything to do with the animal activist backlash against foie gras. If anything, I think the French have an even greater love and respect for food than Americans.

Exactly...I think Lonnie's point was that some Americans have a tendency to demonize the French for this very reason, turning a love and appreciation for things culinary into decadence and gluttony on par with the late Roman Empire.

Ironic, really, considering we're the country with the weight problem.

Not to mention the current (or at least recent) retarded anti-French sentiment on account of differences over invading Muslim countries.

Don't you remember the Bordeaux boycott, Larry?

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Megan and Sneakeater:

I guess you're right. And then there was the absolutely ridiculous "freedom fries" thing. For the love of... will someone please think of the FOOD? As if the American cattle industrial complex has anything to be proud of...

FYI, NYT ran another piece on foie gras around Christmas, which provides another perspective on the production of foie gras.

www.nytimes.com/2005/12/14/dining/14foie.html

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I'm hoping this post is a joke, I can hardly imagine what a particular food being French has anything to do with the animal activist backlash against foie gras. If anything, I think the French have an even greater love and respect for food than Americans.

Exactly...I think Lonnie's point was that some Americans have a tendency to demonize the French for this very reason, turning a love and appreciation for things culinary into decadence and gluttony on par with the late Roman Empire.

Ironic, really, considering we're the country with the weight problem.

Not to mention the current (or at least recent) retarded anti-French sentiment on account of differences over invading Muslim countries.

Don't you remember the Bordeaux boycott, Larry?

I would love for anyone to provide some real evidence that the fois gras bans have anything whatsoever to do with perceived or real "anti French" sentiment.

people "boycott" things for various reasons (a result of free societies). I have heard no one attribute or even associate the bans of fois gras in question here, with anything other than animal rights issues.

One result of boycotts--is the reasons are clearly and loudly proclaimed--that's the point of a boycott in the first place isn't it?

I sense a touch of American self loathing here!

:shock:

really--if we start bringing in red herrings to this discussion then the opposition viewpoint will be watered down.

The fois gras bans in question here are not limited to imported product--it includes fois gras made by Americans from domestic bred ducks and geese served to Americans (or anyone regardless of citizenship)-- eating it on our soil. :sad:

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To clarify, I don't think foie gras bans have anything to do with direct anti-French sensibilities...just trying to clarify Lonnie's post.

However, I do think they have a little bit to do with reverse snobbery (I think foie gras is targeted, and not factory-raised chicken, because of it's high-cuisine associations.), and I do think that those who practice reverse snobbery often associate that which is French with that which is high-falutin'. :wink:

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

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I don't know if this has been brought up on the thread, but has duck magret been outlawed as well? Magret is the breast of a force-fed duck, so one would assume any such item would be off limits as well.

Interestingly enough, I don't think it's been banned...I think someone mentioned this at the beginning of the thread. Something about Charlie Trotter continuing to serve this, but not foie gras...

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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To clarify, I don't think foie gras bans have anything to do with direct anti-French sensibilities...just trying to clarify Lonnie's post.

However, I do think they have a little bit to do with reverse snobbery (I think foie gras is targeted, and not factory-raised chicken, because of it's high-cuisine associations.), and I do think that those who practice reverse snobbery often associate that which is French with that which is high-falutin'. :wink:

You may be right.

However--I believe it is even simpler than rich vs poor or a snob thing--it is about numbers.

They are going after factory raised chicken--it is just that their tactics need to be different because so many people enjoy factory raised chicken--they are up against a large number of people who will not be easily turned against something they enjoy.

Fois Gras is an "easier" target.

Most people do not eat it and most people do not even know what it is.

This allows the anti folks to "educate" people on their terms from their perspective.

It is thus hard for anyone to "defend" it--people are already loath or at best too lazy to stand up for the rights of "others."

So fois gras is a loser!

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Has there been any talk of creative solutions to the ban? Could a restaurant give foie gras away and avoid prosecution (and adjust prices on other items accordingly)? Or perhaps consider charging a "cover" that happens to coincide with the price of the foie?

Edited by joey madison (log)
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To clarify, I don't think foie gras bans have anything to do with direct anti-French sensibilities...just trying to clarify Lonnie's post.

However, I do think they have a little bit to do with reverse snobbery (I think foie gras is targeted, and not factory-raised chicken, because of it's high-cuisine associations.), and I do think that those who practice reverse snobbery often associate that which is French with that which is high-falutin'. :wink:

This is what I meant, too.

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people "boycott" things for various reasons (a result of free societies). I have heard no one attribute or even associate the bans of fois gras in question here, with anything other than animal rights issues.

I would submit that while boycotts are indeed a product of free society, legislative bans are an indicator of government acting in loco parentis, which tends to make society a little less free. Similar thing with Whole Foods' anti-foie policy -- I've no problem with their declining to sell it, but ordering their supplier not to deal with other companies that sell it is paternalistic and implies that I (the consumer) am incapable of making an informed decision about what I should and shouldn't eat.

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As to the French anyone who hasn't seen it should watch Anthony Bourdains Show No Reservations specifically the segment called "Why The French Don't Suck" Which was produced after the the whole anti France hysteria started and showed their love and respect of all food. A wonderful show from a great series. I think maybe some of us should apply for political (and food) asylum in France.

As to foie gras ban what's next? as someone once suggested meat? leather? fish?

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This has even been noticed in Oklahoma. In Short takes on Sat., May 13, 2006, in The OKLAHOMAN, "Goose liver gets the boot." "Are the rough-and-tumble politicos going soft? We're left to wonder, after reading that city leaders recently caved to animal-rights activists and voted to outlaw the serving of foie gras within city limit. Foie gras is a gourmet item made from the liver of geese or ducks that have been artificially fattened. The method of fattening - forced feeding - is what raised the hackles of the anti-crowd. The alderman who sponsored the ban declared that its approval lets it be known to all "that we uphold the value of a civilized society." Or that the City of Broad Shoulders clearly is losing some of its brawn." As you may be able to tell just from reading this they gave it a down arrow.

I've been reading these posts since the beginning and hoped this would not be the result, and by the way some of the best foie gras I have had was at TRU, and some of the worst was at Charlie Trotters.

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Is it just me or does this law have no teeth? If you want to buy foie, then it's just a short trek to the suburbs or mail order it. If you want to eat foie in restuarants, well, the ban is enforced by "user complaints". All you need to do is to know the chef fairly well, ask for the "special menu" and your in. The fine is also a mere laughable $500 and theres no provision to escalate it for repeated offenses.

In short, it seems more like a token gesture to appease the PETA folk than any real serious ban on foie.

PS: I am a guy.

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Okay, I wouldn't exactly be the first to hold a candle to foie gras, but this is getting ridiculous... it's almost as if these politicians are raising this issue just to get their name(s) in the press!

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They banned it because it was inhumane??!!

Jesus! Anybody ever see one of those chicken trucks drive past them? The ones where the chickens are squashed in all mashed up but not quite dead yet? Had the unpleasant experience of walking my then small children down the street one day, when one of these chicken trucks drove by and christ if a half dead chicken didn't fall out and try to drag itself along before it got run over! right infront of my kids. So why aren't we "banning" chicken?

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cjs, I believe that it was mentioned earlier in this thread that PETA's strategy is to attack "softer" targets first. Chickens in cages will be next.

(That is to say nothing about my opinions of chickens or agribusiness)

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Hmm... seems like the chicago ban on foie gras is starting to rear its evil head. Now other cities are thinking about it, and some are modeled after the chicago one.. read this about  "Philly councilman seeks to ban foie gras"

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14600409.htm

Here is a link to the Philadelphia City Council pages:

Philly City Council

I hope Philadelphians will take the time to write and not allow the same thing to happen to them.

S. Cue

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The particular irony, aside from the fact that they are not banning much more inhumane practices associated with veal and chicken and the like, is that dogfights are still a problem in Roger's Park, Ald. Moore's neighborhood. He is roundly hated in the neighborhood but not enough for someone to run against him, it appears no one in our neighborhood actually wants to be alderman. So I'm sending out a distress signal that someone, if anyone lives in the ward, to rund for alderman.

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I had a high school civics teacher tell us that if you want to have a kegger don't sell the beer, sell the cups. Maybe an $80 chinett plate that just happens to have a terrine of foie gras sitting on it???

Has there been any talk of creative solutions to the ban?  Could a restaurant give foie gras away and avoid prosecution (and adjust prices on other items accordingly)?  Or perhaps consider charging a "cover" that happens to coincide with the price of the foie?

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