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Apr 29, 2013 09:46 AM

Bring foie gras terrine back to CA?

Hi chowhounders - from previous threads, I was able to find that Eataly sells 1lb of Hudson Valley foie gras terrine! Thanks for that.

Now I'm wondering if i'm supposed to keep the terrine cold all the time. Meaning, can I bring it back to me on a flight to California? Because I realllllllllllly want to, since we have that silly foie gras ban law in CA :)

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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  1. You can still order foie gras online in California. Just stores / restos can't sell it.

    A terrine should be fine in your carry-on, though - or even in your checked bags, just seal it well in a ziploc. It's not like transporting raw foie, where it can start melting fat at room temp. Terrine is already cured / cooked, so it's not going to spoil or anything. And they keep planes pretty cool.

    I've transported foie for hour-long rides on the subway in summer. You'll be fine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sgordon

      OP would certainly pay A LOT more in shipping from Hudson Valley than just carrying it on. I'm with you. Carry on :)

    2. I just did what you want to do this past Christmas when I was in PA. Your foie MUST be hermetically sealed, and your blue ice MUST be frozen SOLID. Otherwise I hand-carried on the plane back to CA.

      2 Replies
      1. re: letsindulge

        Why must it be "hermetically sealed" if it's from the US?

        1. re: c oliver

          Sorry, I meant vacuum sealed. It prevents possible spoilage that occur when oxygen is present such as salmonella. In re-reading the OP I saw she wants to transport terrine, not plain foie gras. That could potentially require different requirements.

      2. You can still ship into the state. You just can't buy it in California. So basically, it puts your local retailers at a disadvantage.

        You'll need to keep it very cold and your ice packs won't be allowed through the gate. But packing it in a checked bag with ice packs will be fine. We do it pretty frequently with raw meat actually.

        1. Can you tell me how much it was per lb? I bought some from Marche du sud in midtown east last month but I can't believe I forgot the was either $30 or $40 per lb.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Monica

            Can't find it on Eataly's site but here it is from Hudson Valley.


            1. re: c oliver

              well, i am definitely going back to marche du sud for more.

              It was store made and was terrific.

              1. re: Monica

                They both do the same thing likely. Get the foie gras from Hudson Valley and then make their terrines. I just ate the last of the last foie in CA that I bought last June :) Just quickly cooked and ate. Nothing like it.

            2. re: Monica

              Eataly sells it for the same price as the Hudson Valley website, which is why I was excited! No mark up! No shipping charge!

            3. Thanks so much for all the responses! I'm going to just stick it in my suitcase and check it in.

              I wanted to do Hudson Valley order, but the shipping is soooo expensive :) I'm in NYC for work a lot now so I can pick one up and fly home hahaha (deliriously happy about this)

              17 Replies
              1. re: bobabear

                I'd recommend you carry it on. From the time you check your bag til you pick it up, the temps can range HUGELY! Just a thought.

                1. re: c oliver

                  It won't be considered liquid, right? So I can carry it on? (stupid question, but worth asking so they don't confiscate my terrine!)

                    1. re: bobabear

                      I've never seen a terrine or pate' that looked anything like a liquid. And Bkeats shared the TSA link. I wouldn't hesitate but I'm not you. If it's 100 degree out on the tarmac, you might not like the results when you get home.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Thanks, bkeats and c oliver! This is going in my carry on and will be enjoyed once I'm back in CA :)

                        1. re: bobabear

                          I know this may sound crazy, but I once had to argue with the TSA to bring a semi-soft cheese that was above 3oz onto the plane because they said that it is considered a gel or liquid. I'd try calling your airline just to make sure they let you carry it on without an argument so you don't have to give it up at the airport.

                          1. re: jessbnjess

                            The airline and TSA have nothing to do with each other. And a semi-soft cheese is far different in texture than a terrine. A terrine is more like a meatloaf. IMO, of course.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              I know the airline and the TSA have nothing to do with each other, I just assume the airline is easier to get in touch with and they would know the rules for what can be carried on. I was just letting the OP know that I had a problem with another food item that was pretty solid in my opinion and the TSA did not agree with me (this wasn't Brie, it was a cheese with a texture more like havarti)

                              1. re: jessbnjess

                                But even within TSA, there are no guarantees. An individual agent CAN confiscate anything s/he chooses to. It's unlikely but it happens. So depending on the airline to give you advice seems to me to be a waste of time. BTW, I just carried on pate' and a soft cheese within the last couple of months with no problem.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  That's fine. I just wanted to warn the OP since I had a different experience and flying with anything questionable is always risky since there are never any guarantees TSA, as you noted.

                                  I wish the OP luck and I hope they are able to easily fly with the terrine and enjoy it at home in CA.

                                  1. re: jessbnjess

                                    And I agree with you. There IS a risk and only OP can decide if it's worth saving on the shipping. I once looked into ordering some H&H bagels from NYC. Two dozen were going to cost me close to $90!!!!! I've lived without them :) But next time in NYC, watch out:) 'Course they're never going to be considered dicey items to carry on.

                      2. re: bobabear

                        I ::hides:: work for TSA.. and depending on the officer (we're not agents, we're federal officers) it might be considered a paste... remember no liquid, gels, aerosols, or pastes...just make sure your icepacks are fully frozen... if so they can go....

                        1. re: LouisvilleFoodie

                          Thanks for the 'insider' info. I consider toothpaste a paste and always carry a liitle tube on. But, yeah, OP has to consider that an officer (sorry about that) has the discretion to make his/her decision.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Wow, what a debate :) Eataly sells some "insulated" bags so I might just buy one and pack it with some blue ice bags and put it in my luggage to be safest. Thanks again, all!

                            1. re: bobabear

                              Another option for added ice is to buy a fountain soda once you are through security and then just use the ice from tha machine. I once brought BBQ back to NYC from North Carolina to and I brought a few extra ziplocs. I then filled them with ice from the soda machine to insulate my pork a bit better. Our flight ended up being delayed for a few hours so this was a savior.

                          2. re: LouisvilleFoodie

                            I know the OP got her terrine through TSA without difficulty, but I had a problem last week with TSA at LAX trying to confiscate two pints of chopped liver that I was trying to carry on in a cooler. I was taking them to my father and stepmother in Southern Oregon as an anniversary gift, because my dad complains that he can't get decent deli where he lives and had to beg and plead with the TSA supervisor to let them through. I finally got off with a warning and was told that they consider any type of spread or pate to be prohibited for carry-ons.

                            1. re: Jwsel

                              That is excellent feedback! As we discuss, individual TSA agents have huge amount of latitude. My MO is to not try to bring anything with even a slim possibility of getting confiscated. But I could also pack something in my checked bag even if it required keeping cool. A will, a way :)