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Foie Gras Facts

message posted 26-Mar-07 21:03:22
There is so much in the news at the minute about foie gras that I thought i would give a brief outline. In Google news this last week there are 277 related articles to foie gras and in every one they go on about cruelty, not one article has mentioned that there are organic foie gras producers out there, this says to me that they have chosen to ignore this, why I believe because foie gras is a class issue and a luxury product.

Organic Foie gras

Spanish company Pateria de Sousa, in Badajoz province, is seen as more ethical because it makes its foie gras by slaughtering the birds at a time when they have naturally eaten more to create reserves for what would have been migration.

It means the harvest is seasonal, before Christmas or in February, depending on the weather. And it is limited to geese, not including the more reliable, breed-able ducks. But the proof of the pudding comes in the tasting - and the French have already given it a food award at the Paris International Food Salon.

"We don't force feed the animals, they feed and live freely on our land," says the farm's owner, Eduardo Sousa. "The animals eat and eat and eat, so that they'll be fat for winter."

They live in symbiotic harmony with the farm's pigs, bred for its Spanish "jamon". While the pigs feed on acorns, the geese pick up their leftovers, plus the figs and lupins dotted around.

"We know when the geese are ready because their bellies drag on the ground." So how would they take off to migrate? Well, these ones don't

Now some Facts about Foie Gras

Goose or Duck liver that is enlarged methodically fattening the bird. The force-feeding of geese was done as early as Roman times when figs were used. As soon as the bird was slaughtered, the liver was plunged into a bath of milk and honey, which made it swell as well as flavouring it. Nowadays the birds are fattened with maize, each liver weighs 675-900gr for geese and 300-400gr for ducks.

Take a not of these weighs, animal activists grossly exagerate the weights. !

Foie Gras from Toulouse geese is ivory white and creamy, from Strasbourg geese, pinker and firmer. It is a highly prized delicacy, yet opinions vary in its suitability for culinary preparation in comparison with duck foie gras. France imports foir gras from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel and Luxemborg, as demand exceeds French procuction.
Foie gras is available in four forms:
Raw foie gras (foie gras cru)
Fresh foie gras (foie gras frais)
Semi-cooked pasteurised foie gras (foie gras mi-cuit pasteurise)
Preserved foie gras (foie gras de conserve)

Whether from the goose or duck, foie gras has always been concidered a rare delicacy, but the way in which it is served has changed according to culinary fashion. At one time it was served at the end of the meal. The traditional truffle and aspic accompaniements are now thought to be superflous by some , who prefer to serve it with slightly toasted farmhouse bread (leavened and slightly acid), rather than plain slices of toast.

Preparation of raw foie gras

Carefully remove all the tubes and skin from the liver, using the point of a thin bladed knife. First make an incision in each lobe starting from the larger end, where the main vein is located. Seperate it. Still using the knife (i prefer using a teaspoon end) pull on the vein. It will come away by itself, showing the rest of the network, which can now be easily removed.
Once the lobes are open, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper per 450gr of foie gras. Close up each lobe and wrap it tightly in muslin, and chill overnight.
The next day place liver in a terrine, cover with goose fat and poach it allowing 4 min per 100gr foie gras. When cooked, cool and drain the liver on a wire rack and chill for at least 24 hours.

The taste of the liver can also be enhanced by marinating for 48hours in port mixed with 10% armagnac.

Right so there are some basic facts, I hope we are all a little better educated, and remeber that not all foie gras is force fed.

message posted 11-Dec-08 09:46:30
Here we go again !!!

Found in BBc Today
Protest at celebrity chef's dish

Michael Caines did not take the petition in person
One of Devon's best-known chefs has been given a 600-signature petition to take a controversial dish off his Exeter restaurant's menu.

Protesters want double Michelin star-winning chef Michael Caines to stop serving foie gras at the Abode Exeter.

Production of the pate made from force-fed geese and ducks' livers is banned in the UK, but it can be imported.

Mr Caines did not take the petition in person. Neither he nor anyone from his restaurant was available for comment.

'Cruel product'

Protesters showed a human being force fed with spaghetti to compare the conditions, they said, birds were subjected to to produce it.

Sharon Howe of the organisation Exeter Friends for Animals, which held the protest outside the restaurant while the petition was handed in, said: "It's quite ironic.

"Michael Caines promotes local produce, which we think is a very praiseworthy. But at the same time he is importing a product, which, were it produced in this country, would be banned because it contravenes animal welfare legislation.

"It's a very cruel product."

Mr Caines was born in Exeter in 1969. He appeared in the BBC's Great British Menu programme and was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry in 2006.

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