A Brief History of Foie Gras
Foie Gras is a French delicacy. The word means fat liver and is made of the liver of a duck or goose that has had its liver specially fattened. It can be sold whole or made into a mouse, parfait or pate. Foie gras is protected by French law as part of the cultural and gastronomical heritage of France. Foie gras as a food remains controversial due to the practice of gavage or force feeding of the ducks. However, it has been popular for centuries and in fact the Ancient Egyptians were documented as doing this as early as 2500 BC. The Ancient Romans were also reported to be fond of foie gras. It did however decline in production after the collapse of the Roman empire, but the Jewish Community maintained the practice.
France is the Worlds largest producer of Foie Gras and the biggest consumer. Second is Hungary then Bulgaria. In recent years Canada and even China has become a large producer of this prized delicacy.
How is it Made:
Ducks are allowed to roam outdoors and graze for the first few weeks of their lives then at the end they are taken indoors for fattening. The special fatty diet is fed to enlarge their liver giving it a rich buttery taste. Foie Gras has always been regarded as a Luxury dish throughout the ages being enjoyed on special occasions.
The following clip explains the process and relays fears that it really isn’t cruel. During this week we have a special treat as Black Star Gourmet has teamed up with Chef Michael Fenster, a board certified cardiologist, to make a week of Foie Gras recipes:
- Duck Foie Gras Torchon Preparation
- Red Wine Poached Asian Anju Pears with Seared Torchon of Foie Gras
- Grilled Duck Breast with Champagne Mango Ginger Sauce, Grilled Baby Bok Choy and Foie Gras Hash Browns
- Shell Fish Foie Gras Tons
- Cromesquis of Ice Wine and Chanterelle Mushrooms