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Old July 12th, 2015, 09:50 PM
Bruce Chafkin1 Bruce Chafkin1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ibiza / Japan
Posts: 622

Originally Posted by Marc View Post
No problem getting Grade A foie gras in the great U S of A!

Fresh Foie Gras (Duck) Grade "A" - Foie Gras

Yes, the producer calls it Grade A. But that is "American" Grade A.
The rest of the world calls it Grade B.

How do those folks in the Hudson Valley get away with this?
They are the ONLY producer of Foie Gras in America. They work together with D'Artagnan. And they claim that they produce the best Foie Gras in America - which is true (as the only producer).

If you examine Hudson Valley / D"Artagnan Fresh Foie Gras next to European Foie Gras, the difference is very obvious. The American product is filled with veins and other flaws. The liver color is pinkish. That's Grade B in Europe.

How do they make it in America?
By performing lobotomies on Ducks.

PETA and the ASPCA lobbied the US Government to outlaw fresh Foie Gras in America based on the torturing of Ducks and Geese required to produce it. Strangely the US Government ruled that if Europeans used Grade C Foie Gras, steamed and pureed it, and then put it in a tin, it was somehow less painful to the Ducks and Geese and could be legally imported into the USA as Pate de Foie Gras. But the fresh livers cannot legally be brought into America.

Those clever folks at D'Artagnan came up with a great idea.
They could not legally force feed the Ducks and Geese in America to fatten their livers. But suppose those animals voluntarily over-ate themselves to death?

The Hudson Valley and D'Artagnan folks first imported the same Duck breed that is used in Europe. These Mullard ducks are a cross between Mallard and Muscovy.
Then they did some research on how a duck's brain operates. They located the part of the brain that controls the duck's appetite.
After the duck matures, they perform brain surgery on each duck, destroying the part of the brain that tells the duck when he has had enough to eat. (Sounds a bit like some cruise passengers I know.)

When the duck wakes up from his surgery, there is a small mountain of grain sitting in front of him. The duck takes a few weeks to "voluntarily" eat himself to death, in the process enlarging his liver and producing American Foie Gras.

The US Government approved this procedure as humane, as nobody actually "forces" the ducks to eat all that grain.

The American product is not bad. But it lacks the silkiness and richness of the A Grade Foie Gras produced in France and Hungary.
It also lacks the price. Fresh Hudson Valley Foie Gras sells wholesale for less than US$50 per pound.

Fresh French Foie Gras (A Grade) sells for nearly double that much.
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