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Flying with foie gras carry on

echooo23 Jan 4, 2013 04:54 PM

Does anyone know if it's possible to carry on foie gras (fresh, not canned)? Specifically, would this be possible if flying to California where foie gras is banned?

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    GourmetWednesday RE: echooo23 Jan 4, 2013 08:55 PM

    I'm no TSA agent or lawyer, but my understanding is there are no meat restrictions on domestic travel within the US. Unless the California law is significantly different than when Chicago had a similarly absurd law, there is likely no prohibition on private citizens possessing it, only on restaurants/stores selling it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GourmetWednesday
      nsxtasy RE: GourmetWednesday Jan 5, 2013 06:17 AM

      Here's what Wikipedia says about the California law:

      "This outlaws the traditional method of producing foie gras in California. The law went into effect on July 1, 2012.[3][4]

      The law does not prohibit the consumption of foie gras, giving it as a gift, or its importation from outside California."


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      wattacetti RE: echooo23 Jan 5, 2013 12:51 PM

      No restrictions as the others have mentioned, but the hardest part will be keeping it cool. TSA won't allow ice packs so you'd need to see if one of the concessions will give you some.

      1. twyst RE: echooo23 Jan 5, 2013 12:52 PM

        I see a lot of these threads and really don't get it.

        Save yourself the headache and just order foie gras from Dartagnan. Its perfectly legal to buy foie on the internet and have it shipped to you in california.

        4 Replies
        1. re: twyst
          foodieX2 RE: twyst Jan 5, 2013 12:55 PM

          Cost for one. The price for shipping meats and other perishables can often be prohibitive never mind the often inflated prices of online sellers.

          The cost to ship what I just brought home is more than what I paid for the meat.

          1. re: foodieX2
            twyst RE: foodieX2 Jan 5, 2013 12:58 PM

            Luckily Dartagnan and hudson valley do a lot of shipping and are able to offer really low rates. The prices are competitive with anything local here and overnight shipping is under $20.

            I think the reason most people are choosing to carry on is because they don't realize they can just order it online and have it the next day.

            1. re: twyst
              foodieX2 RE: twyst Jan 5, 2013 01:00 PM

              But why pay the $20 bucks if you don't have to? I was there, my flight was paid for so why pay more? I honestly don't get that.

              I assume the OP is flying to CA anyway, not booking a flight to bring the foie gras.

              1. re: foodieX2
                twyst RE: foodieX2 Jan 5, 2013 01:05 PM

                $20 to have your foie gras arrive properly cooled and without running the risk of some TSA idiot hassle you and having to spend an extra 20 minutes at airport security seems like a bargain.

                Lets not forget if you carry on foie gras you are essentially going to have to carry non-iced offal for a period of time. Organ meats go bad extremely quickly if not kept at proper temperature. $20 to have foie that is properly cared for seems a small price to pay.

        2. foodieX2 RE: echooo23 Jan 5, 2013 12:53 PM

          I just flew with 2 pounds of meat (corn beef and pastrami) along with fresh (not commercial) loaf of bread with no issues accpet jealousy.

          4 Replies
          1. re: foodieX2
            escargot3 RE: foodieX2 Jan 7, 2013 08:30 AM

            yo foodiex2, just curious. how did you pack the meat? in a cooler chest with blue ice? carry on? checked luggage?

            1. re: escargot3
              foodieX2 RE: escargot3 Jan 7, 2013 08:53 AM

              I carried it on In an insulated shopping bag. Still cold and delish by the time I got home! Bread was ever so lightly squished from the overhead bin.

              1. re: foodieX2
                taos RE: foodieX2 Jan 7, 2013 05:46 PM

                How long was your trip? I'm wondering how long it would stay cold in an insulated shopping bag.

                1. re: taos
                  foodieX2 RE: taos Jan 8, 2013 08:12 AM

                  All and all about 8-9 hours but part of that time would been in the trunk of a cab (freezing in NYC) and in the trunk of our car (freezing in Bean town too).

          2. t
            treb RE: echooo23 Jan 7, 2013 08:56 AM

            I always bring food on flights, never had a problem with TSA.

            1. mr_morcilla RE: echooo23 Jan 7, 2013 11:14 PM

              You'll have less spoilage risk if you salt-cure it before you travel. Separate the lobes, wrap them tightly in cheesecloth, bury in 1.5 lbs kosher salt for 2-3 days. If it's refrigerated just before you travel, it will be fine when you arrive.
              There are a few recipes on-line, but this method of "cooking" makes amazing buttery FG.

              1. letsindulge RE: echooo23 Jan 10, 2013 12:27 PM

                I can personally speak to your question echoo23 as I recently hand-carried 2 lobes of vacumn-packed foie gras from Philly back to CA over the holidays. There was only one potential issue. That being if the icepack was fully frozen hard. Luckily I passed through no problem. To me, I got great satisfaction in the "hunt" rather then ordering on-line. Lol!

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                  echooo23 RE: echooo23 Jan 13, 2013 11:57 PM

                  Thanks to all who replied. The foie gras made it through as a check in rather than carry on. I semi-froze it in the freezer for 3 hours prior to the flight to keep it really cold, then wrapped it in plastic and aluminum foil, placed it in a ziplock bag along with an ice pack, and included a friendly note to TSA in case they wondered what it was. It didn't even appear that my suitcase was opened at all.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: echooo23
                    Isolda RE: echooo23 Jan 14, 2013 04:29 PM

                    I'm glad this worked out so well for you. I was going to suggest that you (and everyone else who wants to bring meat products) check it. The cargo hold is much colder than the cabin and things generally keep better, even if you don't have an ice pack. The worst that can happen is some TSA agent will toss it (or take it), but this could happen with checked baggage, too.

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