If you are looking for another unfamiliar but also well-known delicacy for something new you should try, foie gras is the one for you! Foie gras, from the name itself you might be thinking it’s french. Well, you are quite right. Foie gras is a french delicacy that is simply a duck or goose liver. However, you will be surprised with the facts and controversies that go along with this well-known french delicacy.
In this article, we will discuss the questions like “what is foie gras?”, “what does foie gras taste like?”, “is it legal to eat foie gras?”, and what are the said controversies that go along with it. For a glimpse, foie gras is banned in several countries. Sounds intriguing, right? Hence, sit back, relax and continue reading on as we roll out these things to you; hopefully, we can help you decide if you are going to try out one.
What is Foie Gras?
Before we proceed, let us clarify what is the right foie gras pronunciation – “fwa gra“, which means fat liver. Understandably, many people may pronounce this wrong considering it’s a French word; consider yourself lucky now that you know it right.
So, what exactly is foie gras? What does foie gras mean? Foie gras is another considered luxury delicacy that is being enjoyed around the world but most popular in French cuisine. It is made out of duck or goose’s liver by doing gavage or forced feeding to these animals that are done to get their liver fat. The same reason why controversies are scattered about this delicacy – ethical reasons, which is by forced-feeding these animals. Ducks are force-fed twice a day for 12 and a half days while geese thrice a day for 17 days, then slaughtered after 100 and 112 days accordingly.
Typical ducks/geese’s liver weighs about 50g, with gavage, their liver is fattened up to 300g. With this practice, some countries have banned the consumption and even production of foie gras – UK, Germany, Norway, Brazil, Australia, Asia, and some parts of the United States. Some retailers have as well stopped selling foie grass to support these campaigns. On the other hand, despite the said controversies, foie grass is still be enjoyed in the best parts of the world.
What Does Foie Gras Taste Like?
Moving on, let us now discuss exactly what does foie gras taste like. While foie gras means fat liver, the taste itself does not have an overwhelming liver taste that you can get from the usually cooked livers. Instead, it has this rich and creamy buttery taste that melts in your mouth. It also offers an intense umami taste that satisfies your savory cravings. The perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness in it along the soft buttery texture is what always the first time try-ers! So if you hate the taste of liver but would want to try this anyway, you will never regret it. Just be ready for some pennies as it is an expensive type of delicacy.
How Is Foie Gras Made?
Now that we have learned what exactly is foie gras, let us now dig more into how ducks are geese are getting their liver fat. Precautionary, this may sound too cruel and nasty at the same time so brace yourself.
First of all, only male ducks and geese are selected to go through the rough force-feeding or gavage. Workers ram down a pipe through their throats and pump fat and grains in their stomachs around 4 pounds, twice to thrice daily. This will cause their liver to swell and develop hepatic steatosis – abnormal enlargement of the liver.
Saying such things will help you understand why there are so many campaigns against it. Looking through it, these poor animals are forced-fed daily just so they can have their liver swollen, serve, and get eaten. Nonetheless, these are still continuously being enjoyed most especially in France.
Foie Gras Recipe
In case that you have decided that you would want to try foie gras at least once, we have prepared you some simple and good foie gras recipes!
Seared Duck Foie Gras with Green Grape Sauce
- 1 – grade A duck foie gras
- 1.5 cup – vermouth
- 3 tbsp. duck and veal demi-glace
- Seedless green grapes
- Salt and Pepper
Once your foie gras is cleaned, season it with salt and pepper and sear it to a high skillet for about 30 seconds on each side then set aside. For the sauce, turn your seedless grapes into a puree with vermouth. Strain into a saucepan and bring to boil until it thickens and reduced its amount. Then, add the duck and veal demi-glace and adjust its taste by either adding sugar or vinegar, according to your desired sweetness and sourness. Drizzle the sauce on top of your sauteed foie gras and garnish it with fresh seedless grape and you are set!
Sauteed Duck Foie Gras
- Grade A duck foie gras
- 2 tsp. oil
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to season the foie gras
On a medium skillet with hot oil, saute the seasoned foie gras for about 30 to 60 seconds on each side then set aside. On the same pan, bring the balsamic vinegar to boil and drizzle it on top of sauteed foie gras.
Foie gras is indeed a unique and one-of-a-kind delicacy that is made differently and extraordinarily and sometimes in contrast to what we have usually known to. However, what does foie gras taste like? Is it really worth the price? Well, by this part you should now be able to tell how it tastes but to sum it up foie gras is heavenly. If everyone would have the chance the try one, they would fall in love with the buttery and creamy umami taste and the fine texture that leaves your mouth wanting for more.
So, if you are still skeptical about trying one out, we highly suggest you put on your shoes now and head to that restaurant. We tell you, you are missing out on a big thing in French cuisine!