Not many people may know what foie gras is, but the controversy surrounding it has left an enormous mark in the culinary world. Foie gras is considered a French delicacy that is made up of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specifically fattened. The dish itself is not reason of debate, but rather, it is the technique that is used to create this delicacy. The fattening of the duck or goose is typically achieved through force-feeding the animal with corn. More specifically, workers are jam pipes down male ducks’ or geese’s throats up to three times daily and force as many as four pounds of fat and grain into the animals’ stomachs. This causes the bird’s livers to bloat and expand up to ten times their natural size. Due to their enlarged and heavy livers, many birds struggle to stand on their own and some even rip out their own feathers and eat each other out of stress. This sparks the argument of whether or not this is animal cruelty.
Unsurprisingly, France is the leading producer and consumer of foie gras. But that does not necessarily mean that France is the only place where you can find and taste the controversial dish. In the United States, farms produce up to 340 tons and supply most of the domestic market where foie gras is sold generally through restaurants. The 340 tons come from only two companies in America; Hudson Valley Foie Gras, New York, and Sonoma Foie Gras, California.
Normally, the French preparation of foie gras is done over low heat, due to the fact that fat melts faster from the traditional goose foie gras than the duck foie gras produced in most other parts of the world. In American and other newer preparations, commonly using duck foie gras, have more recipes and dish preparations for serving foie gras hot, rather than cold. In Hungary, goose foi gras is traditionally fried in goose fat. It is then poured over the foie gras and left to cool. It is eaten warm, after being fried or roasted, with some chefs smoking the...
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