Friday, November 19, 2010

Duck, Duck, Goose

Phase 3, Week 2, Day 9

Today was all about poultry. turkeys, duck, and game birds. Chefs lead with a demo and finished with a lecture about various market forms and classifications of types of poultry including a lengthy tangent about foie gras.

Foie Gras is a pretty interesting topic in the food world. It was pretty controversial a few years ago and event banned in some cities, including Chicago. Many well known chefs including Wolfgang Puck stopped using the produce for a while. The main point of contempt is over how the ducks are fed. For those of you not familiarized with fioe gras, it is basically fattened duck or goose liver. The ducks are force fed a corn diet using a feeding tube. There are two manufacturers of foie gras and other duck products in the US, Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras.

During my first phase at school we had a representative from Hudson Valley come to school and give a lecture and demonstration on their products. Due to all of the bad press fois gras has received in the US in the last few years, foie gras purveyors have had to result to a grass roots campaign to educate the public and new and aspiring chefs about their product. Hudson Valley actually has a standing invitation to chefs and culinary students alike to come and visit their farm in New York so that industry professionals can make their own decision about the controversy.

Who would have thought that food could be so controversial?

Here is a link to pro foie gras articles as well. The choice is yours, but also think about where your chicken comes from and how they are treated....

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