Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"They Actually Eat That:" Foie Gras.

Ah, France. Home of Notre Dame, l'Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and fine cuisine. Fine, disgusting cuisine.

The chocolate and such is all right. It's when you get into what they consider cuisine that you have to wonder what the hell went wrong. The whole frog-eating thing is 100% true, as is eating snails (classily called escargot). Frogs and snails...aren't those two of the ingredients that go into making little boys?

Then they have this. Oh, gosh, there is NO way to make this one look good without turning it into a fine paste, France.

They Actually Eat That?!

Well, it doesn't look like that when it gets to your table. It looks more like this:

Sometimes, there's even more garnish or sauce.

Foie gras (lit. ''fatty liver") is made from the fattened liver of a goose or duck. It can be sold as mousse, parfait or pate, which all sound pretty classy given that it is still an animal's liver. There is a VERY good chance that you will never want to order it off of a French restaurant's menu again after reading this entry.

If liver was not gross enough already, the French have found a million ways to make the geese suffer in the process. Sure, they're free to frolic about as little goslings...but as soon as possible, they are stuffed into little box-like cages for phase two of foie gras preparation:

Is it just me or are these particular geese possessed, too?

Europe is more humane than people in the U.S. to many of their animals. These geese are not among them. After being crammed into tiny cages, they are force-fed corn ("gavaged") until their livers turn yellow with fat. Then the organ is made into whatever classier form you like.

This doesn't look half bad. I avoid most meat and I'm salivating a little.

France not only considers this a perfectly legitimate part of their culture, but did not invent that method of force-feeding. It goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. Yes, the Egyptians gavaged their geese; it was fairly well-known throughout the ancient world. It will not being going away any time soon, unlike the perfectly preventable (and equally sick) factory farming.

Bon appetit.


  1. Frankly I am not french but Italian.
    I find at least funny how Americans, who let's not forget are ex Europeans, Korean, South Americans, Japanese and so on, have only managed to forget their original culinary cultures in favor of a truly absurd "american style" of eating.
    This "style" is basically a sickening concoction of dozens of ingredients that "sound good" written on a menu but have no structure or meaning whatsoever.
    Last but not least 70-80% of these ingredients are not natural but are industrial products featuring all the worst that mankind can gobble including palm oil and processed artificial saccarine and even petroleum derivates (such as aspartame).
    So to me reading of your comments on the French cusine (BTW let me enlighten you: snails are not solely eaten by the French, in fact they are also very appreciated in traditional Nortern Italian cusine, especially in lower Lombardy. I've eaten a couple kinds of dishes with them and they are not bad beginning from risotto con le lumache - snail risotto) might sound "strange" but it is natural and the result of centuries of practice from thousands of gourmet enthusiasts through the ages serving Kings, Emperors and rulers.
    On the contrary American style eating is the result of a mix between marketing, chemistry and greed.
    So the French might force feed their geese for Fois Gras (I'm not an enthusiast of it)...but the Americans force feed THEMSELVES ending up more or less like the fat geese of France.

  2. That's it I'm once again going away from fat, oils and butters. I think I want a health looking liver.

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