Foie gras is an indulgent, luxury duck or goose live pâté and is the perfect choice for celebrations and special occasions. Almost 75% of this delicacy is produced in France and it’s typically available in whole, pâté or mousse forms. You’ll find that duck and goose varieties do have a different taste. Duck pâté is far stronger and has more flavour, while goose liver pâté tends to be smoother and more delicate in taste.
History and origins of foie gras
The direct translation of foie gras is “fatty liver”, and that’s exactly what this delicacy is. The dish dates back to ancient Egyptian times and is a constant menu option in all French restaurants and regularly served in French homes.
- The Foie gras we know today originated in the Alsace region of France and is now also produced in the Dordogne, Landes, and Gers regions.
- Buy “entier” livers if you want to prepare your own delicacy. This is sold as whole livers and just requires the addition of salt, pepper, and your alcohol of choice.
- Traditionally, foie gras is served in entier format along with fresh bread or small pieces of toast.
How is it made?
The pâtés are made with minced livers and a little water, creating a very dense pâté with or without “morceaux”. The morceaux are entire pieces of chopped liver. In general, good quality products contain around 50% goose liver and 30% duck liver. The truffé pâtés also contain a minimum of 3% truffles. If you plan to serve this pâté as an entree you should provide at least 50g per person.
Foie gras is ideally served as a starter with small slivers of lightly toasted rustic breads. White dessert wines are an ideal accompaniment. If you’re served the delicacy in entier format, it will be thinly sliced and should simply be placed on top of the toasted bread. It’s considered bad form to try to spread entier slices of this gourmet food.
Make your own!
It’s quite easy to make your own duck or goose liver pâtés. Simply cut out the veins of entier livers, salt the meat, and then chill the liver for at least two hours. You should then place the livers into a casserole dish and cover with a sweet dessert wine, then leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Remove the white wine jus, and cover your livers with a layer of fine gauze and roll into a log-like form. Add a generous layer of salt to the casserole dish, place the pâté roll on top, then cover it with more salt. Place the dish in the refrigerator for a further 24 hours, then take out of the casserole dish, and rinse with the remains of the white wine jus to remove all remnants of salt. Hey Presto! Homemade foie gras to impress your friends!
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