HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


On the eve of the Foie ban [moved from Los Angeles board]

I just wanted to post a brief message here.
Tomorrow, the ban on Foie Gras begins.
I realize that there are much more pressing issues taking place in the world, but still, I find this to be sad.
As a French American foodie, I feel great sadness in knowing that it will be illegal to celebrate la féte de Noël with Foie gras.
As a way of mourning, I've had foie gras four times in the past week.
I just wanted to ask, what's everyone's favorite way to serve foie.
The best preparation I had was served cold, with fig jam, yesterday in Montmartre.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Having lived in France and knowing how the culture treat and respect the raising of their animals, it angers and saddens me to see the success of this misinformation campaign. It's just not a cruel process that the animal rights activists have made it out to be. And as a human being it angers me that using terrorist threats against the family who had the only foie gras farm in CA turned out to be an effective tactic in getting what they want.

    Anyway, I like pate de foie gras, but it doesn't just doesn't compare to having it seared with toasted bread and soft pears. Seared foie gras is like bacon, bone marrow and the fat off a grilled ribeye steak in a mouth watering, succulent meaty form. It's what you eat when you graduate from bacon indulgence.

    Hopefully this board will come up with a purveyor list of where we can buy the fresh or frozen form in Nevada and Oregon for Angelenos and San Franciscans looking to get their fix satisfied. I know Mirepoix foie gras is going to be supplied along the Nevada/CA border, but that's pretty much it. Luckily Las Vegas is the most popular weekend trip for SoCalers. It won't be hard to find a family member or friend to take some back for you on a visit.

    5 Replies
    1. re: david t.

      My only question now is whether Customs would confiscate foie at a major California airport.

      1. re: adrouault

        They already do. I've never successfully ever been able to bring foie gras from France to California. It was always confiscated. I don't think they do these check across state lines though.

        1. re: david t.

          How many times have you tried?
          On the CBP site, I found a page.
          Can I bring any meat, poultry or pork products into the U.S.?
          Pate - If cooked and in a hermetically sealed container, maybe. Otherwise - no.
          Fois(sic) Gras - If cooked and in a hermetically sealed container, maybe. Otherwise, no.

          1. re: david t.

            Ach, now I feel so lucky that I recently was treated to some foie gras brought direct from France from some visiting students! Maybe you have to actually be French to bring it in without customs stopping you.
            We had it with soft bakery bread and fig jam. A heavenly memory.

            1. re: david t.

              There's a jar in my fridge right now, presented to me with a wink and grin by a favorite relative just back from France. Especially delightful as she's studying to be a vet, and would never have anything to do with the product of a mistreated animal …

        2. Worry not, my friend, give it a couple of weeks and foie gras will again appear on menus in CA.

          1. All those poor, unemployed geese.

            1 Reply
            1. re: beevod

              And all of them magnanimous organ donors.

            2. I'm also upset on principle, but that's only the beginning of why I became so opposed to the ban. Even if it were cruel, it's such a small issue that the effort put into banning it (or unbanning it) seems almost petty. The majority of my involvement in the pro-foie movement was on account of the harassment some restaurateurs were receiving from animal "activists". These were the same Chefs/proprietors who dedicated their establishments to sustainable/ethical sourcing and farming, yet came under attack for serving foie.

              I digress. I'm a little unclear on whether or not it can be bought online from another state and received in Cali. Either way, I don't see getting it being that much of a hassle, and I can't imagine any sort of real regulation.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Rodzilla

                Currently Hudson Valley (in NY State) says they are unable to ship to private customers in California, but also says they are "working on it".

                1. re: huiray

                  Suit was filed by Hudson Valley Farms and two others against the ban. The suit is being allowed to proceed.


              2. Just wanted to share this.
                It's from RTL, a french news site.
                They have an interview with the head of D'artagnan.
                I can translate it if you are all interested.
                It provides info about the future.
                D'artagnan is worried.
                It's the audio link entitled "Ariane Daguin était l'invitée de RTL Matin. Elle est à la tête de la société "DArtagnan", premier distributeur de foie gras aux Etats-Unis"

                2 Replies
                  1. re: adrouault

                    In the audio, Mme. Daguin said that they're really worried.

                  2. Well, if you are in the neighborhood on your travels...

                    1. Unfortunately, we missed several celebrations, in memory of foie gras, in San Francisco, as we were between trips.

                      However, we will hold our own celebrations OF foie gras in New Orleans, Blackberry Farm, London and then Paris.

                      Some bureaucrats cannot keep a great dish down. Even if I have to travel across the globe, I will not be denied.

                      Sorry about the jobs lost in CA, but that is just one of those "unintended consequences," like so much else.


                      1. Runarounds appear to be both rampant and escalating. Restaurants are openly offering to serve free of charge any foie gras brought in by patrons, I assume if they purchase the rest of the meal; I gather a few others are giving away tastes of "old stock" ("Yeah, we've had that in the walk-in for years!"). Prohibition of alcohol was widely viewed as the political act of a bunch of prissy old maids and killjoy preachers, and thus a challenge to circumvent rather than an order to stop; this will almost certainly affect us the same way. And that really bothers me: plain fact is that any law seeking to forbid anything people are used to doing and like to do practically guarantees that the general public loses that much more respect for law itself. I recall too well that compliance with the posted highway speed limits dropped to something like 20% after imposition of the infamous "Double Nickel", as opposed to over 70% before, and as we all got used to ignoring those silly signs we're still largely driving as fast as we're comfortable with. I just hope all the foie gras scofflaws won't start looking for bootleg dog restaurants or live monkey brains …