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I'm scared to try foie gras

OK. I'll admit it. I've never had foie gras. I think it's because I hate hate hate liver. Having said that, the only way I've ever had it is pan-fried by my mom when I was a kid. My dad is Irish, so of course he loves fried liver and onions, but I cannot get past the memory of being force fed it in my childhood.

Having said all this, I love liver pate. My dad and I will fight over it at Christmas when it's put out for nibblies before dinner.

So....do you think I'll like foie gras? Is there a particular way I should try it for my first tasting experience? Please advise; I hear all these raves about it, but I'm being such a chicken!

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  1. I have to admit I got a chuckle out of your description of being "force fed" in a post about foie gras! At least you called yourself "chicken" instead of "silly goose" - but I digress.

    Fresh foie gras, which is what I assume you're asking about, really doesn't taste particularly liverish, so just don't be concerned about that and give it a try. The flavor is luscious, but not strong, so even if you end up not liking it I doubt you'll find the experience objectionable. So you can really get a good sense of the taste, I'd recommend a simple pan-seared slice, perhaps on a bit of plain white toast to soak up a bit of the delicious oil that melts out of it.

    1. Fly Fish is right to suggest a pan-seared version as your first try. It can taste more strongly (maybe not more livery) cold or partialy raw as in an 'au torchon' preparation. My first experience with foie gras was as 'au torchon' and I found it a little hard to take and had to have it pan-seared before I learned to absolutely love the stuff. Ironically, now I prefer a good au torchon over the seared. I'm still remebering the last time I had foie gras. It was the Modern restuarant at MOMA which made a very, very nice 'au torchon'. Mind you, I have some foie in fridge right now and I plan to sear it and have it on a bagguette cruton in a light duck broth with raspberry and shallot.

      I've been thinking of how best to describe foie and it is really hard to do. But, I think if you can imagine cutting that liver pate from christmas with about fifty-percent butter yet not losing the richness, that's sort of what good foie gras tastes like.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Atahualpa

        I've had fois gras in pate and also as a seared slice. Not bitter in my experience, sweet buttery, the seared fois gras reminded me most of bone marrow.

      2. We were at some friends a few months ago and knew we would have foie gras. Neither SO nor I had had it before and we both were a little stressed that we would not like it (as we don't like liver). Well... there is a world of differences between both! We both absolutely loved foie gras and can't wait to have it again. It is like velvet melting in your mouth, with an extremely faint livery taste (somewhat similar to pâté, just much more delicate tasting). Yum!

        1. Don't fear the Foie! Submit to peer pressure!

          I'm thinking a beginner would prefer a smoother variety to a "country pate"

          Next, you'll have to try Haggis!

          1. If you can eat, much less like, liver pate, you can eat foie gras no problem.

            Between the flavor and texture, I don't like foie gras enough to pay for it, but I don't mind it. On the other hand, I'd have to be awfully hungry force down chopped liver or liver pate, and close to starving to eat something like fried liver.