Sunday, May 16, 2010

Foie Gras

Just before we leave Beynac, a comment or two about foie gras. For those of you who know about it, don't read this post. Go and do the dishes; take the dog for a walk; pat the children; watch a football replay. Kip, Immy and Erinoer - get to your study!

Your foie gras is made from goose livers. It is a pate that you spread on biscuit or a piece of bread as an appetiser and eaten before the main meal with an aperativ (eg dandelion and oxalis wine). It is quite tasty, though doesn't quite match it with duck l'orange pate you can get at the Victoria Market or Aroma Deli, if you ask me.

Foie gras is sold everywhere around Beynac. In shops with photos of geese ('oisoies') tracking around in herds looking very content, or from the goose farms themselves where you can see the geese themselves. All looks most idyllic; and it is. UNTIL YOU DISCOVER WHAT THEY DO TO THE GEESE THROUGHOUT THEIR BORN DAYS!

It seems that goose livers (the basic ingredient of your foie gras) grows to inordinate proportions within your average goose if you force-feed them with ground-up corn. This force-feeding is effected by holding a funnel over the upturned open mouth (beak) of your goose and pouring in the mash. While one hand of the foie gras farmer (usually farmette) holds the funnel, the other hand strokes the neck about half-way down! Can you believe it? Many postcards and posters present drawings/paintings/photographs with depictions of this seemingly cruel act (I could be wrong, the oisoies may really enjoy it , but doesn't LOOK all that comfortable) ...

Mind you, the worst thing about foie gras for the goose is that they are put to death just prior to the implementation of the foie gras recipe. As far as I know there is no device yet discovered to extract goose liver that allows them to continue happily strutting up and down their grassy swards in a mob with all their chums (as they can be observed doing as you drive past a goose farm). But you could say the same for roast chicken and lamb chops, I suppose.

Anyhoo, I just thought I'd tell you about foie gras and its manufacture.

1 comment:

  1. One more, final, observation about foie gras is that there don't seem to any dishes available for other parts of the goose. No 'roast goose', no 'goose flambé', no 'poached gosling'. Nothing! It's a poozle. Is the rest of the goose just chucked out after liver-extraction?

    Can anyone shed light on this conundrum?