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Thread: Foie gras frenzy grows as California ban nears

  1. #46
    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    ^One of my favourite authors. You should read his column in the Brisbane Times, he's hilarious (or maybe you already do).
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    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    I love falafels too. Love!

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    mmmm, falafels.

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    I had foie gras years ago, but I didn't really know anything about it at the time. I'm not a fan of animal cruelty but I do have to admit that it was delicious... I haven't ordered it since, but then again I haven't seen it on many menus really.
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    Elite Member Kathie_Moffett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    it's one of the 3 most delicious foods on earth. and that's a fact. you guys don't know what you're missing.
    those ducks and geese are being force-fed for a good cause. that stuff melts in your mouth and tastes like buttery, livery HEAVEN IN YOUR MOUTH.
    Well, if you like "livery" .

    I've had it a couple of times. I'm not a super-zealot or preachy about animal cruelty in food, but it does bother me. I can feel my latent fanaticism just dying to come out and quack angrily at everyone.

    Fois gras was good, but obviously this is a matter of taste. Honestly I think a lot of dumb humans would prefer a burger. But then again, I am sure that many sad cows currently awaiting a gory death at the stinky, sun-scorched, filthy Harris Ranch stockyards along the I-5 would object to that too. Hence, I agree with that one guy's comments about factory farming and corporate meat production, yep. Doesn't mean I don't want to eat meat, but damn if I'm gonna eat Harris Ranch meat.

    I can cope with the fact that animals die to feed me, but death is one thing, torture is another. There's plenty of great food in the world that doesn't require the some poor little critter to literally live in pain and misery. That kind of suffering isn't necessary, so fuck it.

    At any rate, fois gras wasn't special enough to me that I shall mourn its loss. I might describe it as much more delicately flavored and fine-textured Braunschweiger? That's in the ballpark, anyway. Miles beyond liverwurst. May I add, if you are going to eat it, have it in French food. I really think they do it up the best.

    Those of you who adore fois gras, chow down and enjoy. I'll stick with some fresh salmon or a Niman Ranch steak.
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  6. #51
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Californians Would Slice Their Mamas’ Throats for a Bite of Foie Gras as ‘Foie-mageddon’ Looms

    Everyone in California has lost their damn minds in advance of the state's foie gras ban that goes into effect this Sunday, July 1st.

    Californians have known this was coming for 8 years (the ban was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2004) but, with a child's concept of time, have spent the intervening months convinced always that the dark day of the foie gras ban was still very, very, very far away. Now that the final hours are upon them, many of the state's more insufferable citizens are downing foie gras like it's the only food their bodies can process.

    For the past few weeks, chefs have been adding special foie gras-based dishes to their menus, hosting 7-course foie gras dinners, and inserting foie gras into every food into which foie gras can be inserted and also many into which it can't, including: chocolate cake, cheesecake, jelly donuts, cotton candy, waffles, parfait, and toffee.

    This kind of behavior is very déclassé. This is why Californians do not deserve fancy French things.

    Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese corn through a rubber tube in order to enlarge their livers, a process that sounds much more majestic when you describe it using the French term gavage.

    The L.A. Times reports that some experts believe the method doesn't hurt the birds, as these BJ naturals have no gag reflex. Animal rights advocates claim the process does cause pain and is, in any case, inhumane.

    While Californians are indeed bugging, perhaps no one has taken news of the ban as hard as random French people interviewed by Reuters for a story about their outrage.

    A spokesman for France's foreign ministry noted that the country "can only regret California's decision," though the economic implications for France will be negligible, as most of the United States' foie gras comes from the United States.

    French chef André Daguin suggested that the ban would create a cutthroat new black market for foie gras, before clarifying that he wasn't suggesting that, and then going ahead and suggesting exactly that, once more:
    "This will spur consumption and people will make fortunes thanks to it. I wouldn't go as far as to say it will create a new Al Capone, but it's like that."
    One can only hope that, eighty years from now, a premium cable channel will develop a television series set against the backdrop of early 2010s California, a place where foie was power and the only things bigger than the unnaturally-fattened goose livers stored in dodgy characters' Styrofoam coolers were the foie bosses' wallets and also their McMansions. ("A more elegant time," our grandchildren will text.)

    But there may yet be a ray of hope for the poor, the persecuted, the foie gras aficionados of America's 31st state: underground revolutionary pamphlet The San Francisco Examiner is spreading the word that, like caring too much or being ugly on a Sunday, defiance of California's foie gras ban may be one crime that police are willing to overlook.
    "This is not a crime that would be investigated by the LAPD or likely any other municipal police department," Los Angeles Police Department Officer KarenRayner said in an email.
    "I'm not aware of any plans for us to enforce it," San Francisco Police Department Sgt. Michael Andraychak said in an interview.
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    Californians Would Slice Their Mamas' Throats for a Bite of Foie Gras as 'Foie-mageddon' Looms
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  7. #52
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    "This will spur consumption and people will make fortunes thanks to it. I wouldn't go as far as to say it will create a new Al Capone, but it's like that."
    How about the next Al Capon? That seems more appropriate.
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    Default Foie Gras Proponents Sue California, Claim Foie Gras Ban is Unconstitutional

    A lawsuit filed earlier this week in Los Angeles [PDF] alleges that California's recently enacted ban on foie gras is "unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws."

    Canadian duck-farming trade organization Association des Éleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Québec joined forces with New York-based "duck delicacy" producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras and LA's Hot's Restaurant Group to ask the state to clarify the meaning of "force-feeding" — the most common method used to fatten up duck liver, the main ingredient in foie gras.

    The law defines "force feeding" as "using a process that causes a bird 'to consume more food than a typical bird of the same species would consume voluntarily,' according to the suit, which claims that the existing language "makes it impossible for anyone to know at what point a particular bird has been fed 'more food' than the Bird Feeding Law allows."

    Though the state-wide ban on the food item has been in effect since Sunday, the plaintiffs' attorney, Michael Tenenbaum, said he will seek a preliminary injunction, freezing the law until the suit is resolved. "I think the injunction will help all chefs from the risk of unknowingly breaking the law, and give our legislators time to fix it," Hot's Restaurant Group co-owner Sean Chaney told the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The attorney general's office has yet to issue a comment.

    Eater notes that the law is mostly toothless, given that the LAPD and SFPD "don't plan on investigating any cases at all," and neither do state animal welfare organizations.

    Foie Gras Proponents Sue California, Claim Foie Gras Ban is Unconstitutional
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  9. #54
    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    How about the next Al Capon? That seems more appropriate.


    So, they're not going to crack down on this like they crack down on those evil farmers selling raw milk? I kind of like the idea of people riding around with tommy guns opening up cases of foie gras. It's so madcap that way!

    And I love foie gras. I think it's a love it or hate it food. I find it buttery, but I'm not sure if that's the correct term. It's heaven on a cracker.
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  10. #55
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    San Francisco restaurant defies California's foie gras ban

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Housed in a converted infantry barracks on a former U.S. Army base, the Presidio Social Club never attracted much attention from San Francisco's avid gourmets -- until Saturday night.

    That's when foie gras lovers descended on the restaurant to have their first taste of the delicacy since California imposed a ban on July 1.

    Animal rights activists fought for the law because they detest the way foie gras is made: farmers force-feed ducks or geese to fatten their livers. Some fans of traditional French cuisine find the ban just as hard to swallow.

    The restaurant owner, Ray Tang, and its general manager, Maureen Donegan, reasoned that the restaurant can legally ignore state law because the Presidio, now managed mostly as a national park, has remained federal property even after being decommissioned by the Army. Businesses on federal property must adhere to federal regulations, which trump state ones, they say.

    Tang and Donegan timed their event for Bastille Day -- the French national day -- hired a publicist and sent out a press release.

    "There are a lot of people who are upset about not being able to do something they have a right to do, so we just decided to go ahead and do it," Donegan told Reuters. "The next step was to celebrate independence."

    By Saturday the drab clapboard building was on the map as never before, with diners claiming every one of its 117 seats, a dozen activists chanting outside and park service police -- some of them on horseback -- struggling to make sure the two groups didn't clash.

    "Helpless ducks are force-fed," the protesters chanted. "Eat somewhere else instead."

    Dana Portnoy, 32, a resident of nearby Oakland and member of the Animal Protection and Rescue League, organized the demonstrators, who held banners and placards displaying photographs of brutalized birds.

    "We're here to educate consumers that they care more about serving a cruel delicacy than abiding by the law," she said.

    Portnoy described horrific conditions in a foie gras facility she had visited: ducks too sick to stand up, asphyxiating on their own blood from feeding tube wounds, or choking on the corn they were forced to swallow.

    Tang responds that the restaurant is getting its foie gras from a humane source in New York's Hudson Valley. "Birds of that type naturally gorge themselves," he said. "I do not believe they suffer."

    The restaurant planned to continue serving foie gras, Donegan said.

    QUESTION OF AUTHORITY

    Portnoy rejects Tang's legal reasoning along with his ethics and has asked the federal agency managing the park, the Presidio Trust, to enforce the state ban.

    The trust has yet to state its legal position. On Friday, Executive Director Craig Middleton issued a statement: "I met with Mr. Tang on Wednesday and encouraged him to reconsider his decision" but did not say what would happen if Tang kept serving foie gras.

    Enforcement of the foie gras law in San Francisco falls to the Animal Care and Control Department, and its director, Rebecca Katz, was unsure what authority she had in the Presidio.

    "It's not an unusual question to raise," Katz said, citing an ongoing dispute about dog leash laws in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

    The state attorney general's office also withheld opinion. "We have not looked into it," spokeswoman Lynda Gledhill said.

    Others have tried to work around the ban. Thirty miles away in Mountain View, California, Chez TJ restaurant was serving foie gras without listing it on the menu.

    "It's given away by the chef as a complimentary gift at his discretion," said General Manager Jessamine McLellan, noting that the law bans the sale and production -- but not the possession or consumption -- of foie gras.

    Back at the Presidio Social Club -- which, contrary to its name, is a public restaurant with no membership -- diners figured they would enjoy their loophole as long as it lasted. Tang ordered enough foie gras for 560 two-ounce (57-gram)servings.

    "It's stunning," said Greg Pelling, 52, who was enjoying a $20 plate of foie gras sliders. "The pineapple adds a slight acidity, and paired with the sauterne (wine), it's amazing."
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    GAG - it's still fucking liver and it's cruel as hell.
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    **checks flights to SF**
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    So This Exists: Foie Gras Corn Dog at Urbana in D.C.

    Brian Oh Jul 16, 2012
    5:30 PM 10 Comments Tags:




    A trio of Urbana's foie gras corn dogs. [Photographs: Brian Oh]
    For the non-initiate, foie gras isn't the most accessible dish. Most are familiar with it by virtue of the surrounding controversy; others know it as the French method of producing fattened duck livers (foie gras literally translates to "fat liver") for an especially rich and buttery flavor.
    Could this be one of the most clever interpretations of foie gras around? Executive chef John Critchley of Urbana's latest creation is definitely one of the most fun. Wanting to create a summery dish, Critchley introduced the foie gras corn dog ($10). They start with housemade foie gras sausages made with a mixture of chicken breast, foie gras, and pork fat back, added to a lamb casing. Critchley takes the sausages and dunks them in his corn dog batter (made with white cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda and buttermilk) and deep-fries them, serving the finished dogs with a cornichon relish, housemade cognac mustard, and espelette pepper.

    A look inside the corn dog to the foie gras, chicken, and pork sausage inside.
    Originally introduced on the bar menu this spring; the corn dogs were eventually added to the starters menu because of their popularity. They're served as three mini-dogs, each containing a third of a six-inch link.
    Given how rich foie gras tends to be, the entire link might be too much for one person. Their size and the fact that the foie gras is cut with the chicken and pork produces a very mild foie gras flavor. Critchley describes it as a "beginner's foie gras experience." For both those new to foie gras and veterans, Urbana's foie gras corn dogs are a fun twist on a summer staple.
    Urbana
    2121 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20037 (map)
    202-956-6650; www.urbanadc.com

    So This Exists: Foie Gras Corn Dog at Urbana in D.C. | Serious Eats
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  14. #59
    A*O
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    I think fois gras is vastly overrated and I can take it or leave it, mostly leave it. Ditto oysters and caviar. There's a lot of food snobbery involved and people think that eating it makes them klassy and sofisticayted.
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    Hmm. I never thought of oysters as snobby.
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