It can be said that Foie Gras is the new controversial meat dish. It seems that many animal rights activists have turned away from addressing the issue of the treatment of other animals and are focusing on Foie Gras and its “inhumane” way of procuring this tasty food. It’s not uncommon for activists to jump on a bandwagon, but hey, we’re not complaining. As long as bacon is safe, us pork-lovers will sit back and watch the commotion.
If you’re unfamiliar with Foie Gras, it is a food made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose. The fattened liver is achieved by gavage (force-feeding corn). Gavage-based Foie Gras production is controversial due to this force-feeding procedure. The section 25980-25984 of the California Health and Safety Code was enacted in 2004 and will become effective July 1, 2012. This code prohibits the “force feed[ing of] a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size” as well as the sale of products that are a result of this process. (1)
Funny that this food is being protested when the production of Foie Gras dates back to as early as 2500 BC. Foie Gras can be noted in a bas-relief depiction, as well as a “fattened geese” reference made by a 5th Century BC Greek poet. The ancient Egyptians learned of the “force-feeding” process by noting that pheasants’ esophagi were different from mammals’. Ducks and geese have expansive throats allowing them to store large amounts of food in an enlarged portion of the esophagus, while awaiting digestion in the stomach. In other words; no, these animals are not choking when the feeding tube is placed down their throats. (2)(3)
Since the law was placed in 2004 to ban Foie Gras, the end date of its legality becomes closer. All over, high end restaurants have marked July 1st 2012 with impending doom. They’re feverishly arranging complete Foie Gras dinners and tastings to satiate their customers’ Foie Gras needs. Because of course, it would seem that Californians want what they can’t have. It’s also possible that the basic fact that Foie Gras is illegal will make it sexier; seducing the California foodie with taboo connotations and exotic rebellion.
What does this dish have to do with bacon? Aside from the common interest of animal rights groups’ distaste for these ultimately delicious foods, bacon is a wonderful addition to Foie Gras. Of course, separately they have their own distinctly palatable taste. However, it seems that adding bacon to Foie Gras makes it infinitely sexier. (Of course bacon added to anything has this effect.)
The famous Strasburg Pie is a pastry containing pate De Foie Gras and bacon. There is a Foie Gras Deviled Eggs with Bacon, a Foie Gras Mango Bacon Rice Paper Wrap Spring Roll; Quails roasted with bacon and Foie Gras, and a gourmet pie with Foie Gras and smoked bacon ragout.
Here’s a recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Buffalo Tenderloin with Foie Gras Lavender Demi-Glace.
And apparently the Foie Gras craze doesn’t stop at just food. The Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas had a match between Bacon and Foie Gras: Which made a better martini? A Foie Gras Martini or the Bacon Martini? Wow. Liquid Foie Gras? Boozey Foie Gras? People are really taking this Foie Gras thing to a whole new level.
Are you Foie Gras-ed out? Because we sure are.
But hey, if you’re a pro-Foie Gras Californian, you had better find one of those private dinner parties and get your fill before you have to do it the Owney Madden way. Don’t forget to add the bacon.
(2) (Toussaint-Samat 1994, p. 425).
(3) (Ginor 1999, p. 3).
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