Let's Eat

Mar 30

Foie Gras — its days are numbered

Foie Gras with pancakes at Parcel 104

For years, I have heard rumors that eventually it would be illegal to sell foie gras in many places. Apparently, the day draws near for us: on July 1 of this year, you will no longer be able to produce, sell or purchase foie gras in the state of California.

While I have enjoyed foie gras served many ways, I can’t say that it’s something that I cannot live without. Yes, it can be delicious and indulgent. One of my favorite versions was at a restaurant in Oslo, where they served a small portion atop a crème brûlée. I don’t recall but I imagine there was also some sort of berry or puree with it. Unfortunately, it was before the days of foodspotting, but fortunately not before the days of my enjoying fine food. It was a tasty combination of salt, fat and sweetness. I’m sure it was low in calories, too.

According to this "short" history of foie gras, Norway banned the production of foie gras in 1974. Apparently it didn’t stop them from importing it, since I had my Oslo treat some time after 2005. Also interesting, if you can believe the article, Chicago banned it in 2006, and then overturned the ban in 2008.

It’s a dangerous topic. Some people are militantly against foie gras. I know of a man who claims he had to stop dating someone once he found out she ate foie gras. I would guess there were other reasons but that was the one he chose to highlight. I’m pretty sure I could give it up if a man I loved asked me. But I’m not sure I could be repentent about having eaten it.

There was an interesting episode of This American Life about trying to raise foie gras in a humane fashion. It’s a fun story: check out Act 3.

I’ll be curious to see where we land with this one. At least I had my fill recently, enjoying the foie gras with pancakes at Parcel 104.

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