Foie Gras Tasting

Foie Gras

If you are in Paris on Monday, November 29, 2004, I’d like to invite you to join us at La Table de Lucullus, where my friend Nicolas Vagnon is organizing a (free) tasting of his homemade foie gras.

The foie gras is from Les Landes (a region in the South-West of France), and Nicolas prepares it in the traditional salt-cooking method (cuisson au sel), using fleur de sel and black pepper.

We will be tasting the foie gras with some wine, and if you want to stay on for dinner afterwards, there will be a special 15€ menu that night. If you like the foie gras (but there will be absolutely no pressure), you will also be able to order some for your holiday meals, at the price of 100 €/kg.

If you’d like to come (and especially if you’d like to stay on for dinner), it would help with the planning if you could give Nicolas a call at +33 (0)1 40 25 02 68 — but the tasting is an open house kind of thing, so if you decide at the last minute you will still be welcome.

Here are the details, hope to see you there!
Date : Monday, November 29, 2004
Time : 8pm
La Table de Lucullus
129 rue Legendre – 75017 Paris
La Fourche
Phone : +33 (0)1 40 25 02 68


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  • Sigh, I will miss it, but it sounds so lovely. Is anything like this taking place right after the New Year’s? I’ll be in Paris around then.

  • Joan

    alas..yet another sigh to add to my list!

    however, dreams are scrumptious, are they not! Clotilde, I do believe a special Nobel prize is being considered for you…and the Nobel Prize for Food-related Wonderment goes to CLOTILDE!

    “My idea of heaven is eating pates de foie gras to the sound of trumpets.” Sydney Smith, English writer (1771-1845)

    How easily I can imagine this night..I can hear the sounds already..the lights..the laughter…the exquisite friendships..and in Paris…doesn’t get much better than that!

  • kisela

    ARGH! I don’t think I can read this blog anymore. (fois gras?!) the poor waterfowls..:-(

  • christoph

    Salut Clotilde,
    what an excellent idea, and we have time, too !! I already phoned Nicolas. See you on Monday

  • WOW ! this is great I will be there .. I hope I will meet you also !

  • Alisa

    this is such a nice idea – I hope that I will be able to be there!

  • maxine

    When I tried foie gras for the first time years ago I thought I had had a culinary revelation, it was just so delicious. But now I can’t even enter a restaurant that serves foie gras for fear of becoming ill. Because I think of the ducks, who are force fed large quantities of grain via a tube shoved down their throats 3 times a day. I think of the rats who eat some of these ducks alive, ducks who are so unnaturally overweight they are unable to move.

    I also thought this was an adorable site until I came to this post.

    At the least, for those who insist on eating foie gras, know the facts.

  • I don’t know that I would list Gourmet Cruelty as a source of facts about foie gras; they most certainly have an agenda and they deliberately mislead. That picture of a duck in a cage on their website? It’s not from a U.S. producer. None of them (there are three, by the way, not two) use battery cages, despite their claims. I could give a long list of all the things they have wrong.

    The ducks can certainly move, even right after a feeding at the end of the gavage. And are there rats running around? Probably; it’s a farm with a lot of grain on site. I know SFG has about ten cats to help with this. Are they eating the ducks alive? I imagine some ducks occasionally get attacked by rats; that’s what rats do. It’s probably much worse on an egg farm (where the mortality rates are about 10%, as opposed to foie gras farms with a mortality rate of 1-2%), except perhaps the rats can’t fit in the tiny cages with the three or four chickens stuffed into them.

    I agree foie gras is a gray area, but I wouldn’t trust an animal rights group to provide an objective view on the situation.

  • Alisa

    ay yi yi! As a group we are carnivors. And fois gras is a gift from the gods. Does anyone not eat eggs, due to the growing and gathering process? Okay, maybe someone doesn’t, but let’s just lighten up a bit. Pleasure is a good thing.

  • Julie

    All life lives at the expense of other life. The cruelty of that lies in the nature of existence itself. Even a carrot emits a death cry when you pull it out of the ground. I mean, if you’re going to choose to dwell on it, why don’t you consider the fact that each time you take a breath, you’re murdering billions of microbes and tiny bacteria which are all (yes, really!) alive…until you kill them, of course.

    Personally, I prefer to follow Alisa’s wise counsel and “lighten up a bit”. And thanks, Derrick, for balancing the equation a bit.

  • maxine

    I appreciated Derrick’s very sober post, his questions regarding GC, and his comparison with the egg industry which is also repulsive but certainly capable of being non-tortuous as so many free-range farms have demonstrated.

    But I have to pipe in again with the “lighten up a bit” routine that is going on. First, I never advocated vegetarianism, I am just against torturing animals. And yes, I do see a difference between torturing animals and then killing them versus merely killing them for food. Last, this “death cry” of our friend the carrot is absurd, as mr. carrot has no brain or central nervous system and thus can not say or feel an “ouch”! That’s just this myth that meat eaters like to throw in the face of vegetarians or people they assume are vegetarians.

    Let’s be real. We know that ducks are tortured for this delicacy of the diseased liver, foie gras, and I’d respect anyone who chooses to eat it a lot more if they’d just admit that they prefer to live by the adage “ignorance is bliss”.

  • Maxine,

    I agree that foie gras is among the most ethically difficult meats (assuming, as you point out, good producers of other types of meat), though fish caught on a hook and line strike me as problematic. The torture and disease aspects of foie gras are debatable (the ducks don’t release stress hormones during the feeding, and you can find pathologists on both sides of the disease issue), but I’ve heard the argument that if something is so debatable, perhaps it’s best to avoid it.

    On the other hand, I firmly believe that ignorance may be bliss, but we have a responsibility to understand how our food is produced so that we can make informed decisions.

  • Alisa

    I am grateful to Derrick and Julie for so eloquently expressing themselves, and in so doing, my feelings as well. However Maxine, I am not the least bit ignorant of the process, and have witnessed it, first hand. These ducks are not unhappy while being fed. Not AT ALL. And then there is the reality that perhaps in the universe, there is balance and a reason for things, and that ducks taste so good, and well….hey, they are DUCKS!!!!!!

  • Alisa

    2 more cents: In respect for C&Z, if this conversation must continue, perhaps the C&Z forums is the more appropriate place.

  • rex yap

    Just returned from Paris a week ago. Foie gras was definitely one of the “highlights” of my tour…and then this forum. :-)

    To life!

  • Erin

    I am not remotely veg, but I do cry when I see road kill. There are always two sides to every decision you make and if you are like me and still feel the call of foie gras do your research and buy from a producer you feel comfortable with. You may pay more and get a less product, but it is your way to speak for quality.

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