Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Faux Gras

Laura Hampton alerted me to this Wall Street Journal article about some chefs who are attempting to sidestep persecution by animal rights activists by making fake pate de foie gras with chicken liver. Boy, did this article ever bring me back to the days when i was first learning to cook the haute cuisine and the only kind of foie gras that was available was in a tin and none too easy to get. I used to make truffled chicken liver pate and use it for Tournedos Rossini and Chateaubriand en croute et al. It tasted pretty good but nothing at all like the real thing.
In any case these chefs who think they are going to get a pass from the animal rights folks are not facing up to reality. Once the Humane Soiciety, PETA and the rest are finished wiping out the foie gras industry they will, choose a new meat product to target. And who is to say that it will not be chicken?

No Geese Were Hurt In the Making Of This 'Faux Gras' -


Emily said...

Do you think there might be some benefit to at least making changes to the meat production industry? Perhaps I'm naive, but there's got to be a middle ground where animals aren't tortured (apologies for the histrionic verbage) and we still get to eat tasty meat.

Robert said...

Faux Gras is just a lame cop out for the chefs that dont want to fight against such B.S.from Peta and or are too ignorant to teach there customers that there is nothing wrong with the real stuff.

Jennie/Tikka said...

What specifically is it that these groups are so very upset about? Forgetting la gavage for a minute, I recall a co-worker from many years back who was morbidly obese. She sought a doctor because she wasn't feeling well. It was discovered that her liver was beginning to resemble a foie gras due to her incredibly high-in-fat diet. Now, she didn't get into specifics with me about why she sought out a doctor's help (who naturally advised her to change her diet) but neither was she struggling through agony and pain either - that much I know. She was able to show up at work just fine with perhaps some moments of lethargy, but that was about it.

We can't ask ducks and geese how they're feeling, but I was able to ask this woman....and it wasn't particularly bad.

She changed her diet, decided to lose weight, and become a generally more healthy person. The nearly becoming a human foie gras wasn't the hellish torture that its being made out to be, in my opinion.

Bob del Grosso said...

I want to see big changes in the way that meat is produced. And frankly, I'm not all that comfortable with the way that most animals are raised -even moulard ducks. But the thing that flips me out about the anti-foie gras movement is that it's real goal is not to make the industry more human but to eliminate it. That's something that I not comfortable with at all.

If lessening the violence of the foie industry was really what they were after, they'd be spearheading ways to make more it more"humane." Instead they've opted to destroy the market and are now suing the producers with the intention (I believe) of bankrupting them.

sfchin said...

Jennie, careful with the anthropomorphizing. A common argument against the animal rights position against foie gras is that they appeal to human notions of discomfort in describing the act of forcing a tube down a duck's throat. Your argument that your obese co-worker was not in discomfort is just as specious.


Emily said...

Thanks for clarifying, Bob. I totally see your point now and I'm right there with you. By eliminating the industry altogether, they're not only destroying the livelihoods of the producers, but also infringing upon the rights of consumers.