Yes, I know the saying, "Don't knock it till you try it."
Foie gras, directly translated, is "fatty liver". In many countries, it is considered a delicacy. Its flavour is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of a regular duck or goose liver.
Of course, a fatty liver is not a normal thing. In many cases, including humans, a fatty or enlarged liver indicates a serious liver problem. Under normal circumstances, a fatty liver should not occur. For foie gras ducks/geese, these animals attain livers five to six times the normal liver size.
Now this begs the question: How does it even happen?
That's where the controversy lies. Foie gras is produced by force-feeding a duck or goose moreso than they will normally or voluntarily eat. This is done by either an auger or pneumatic tube. The tube goes down the esophagus and pumps corn boiled with fat into the stomach. To be ethically responsible, many foie gras farms use rubber tubes instead of steel tubes to lessen the damage done to the esophagus.
Because of these ethical questions, there are many foie gras farmers that are trying to find ways to obtain fatty livers without forced feeding. Many of these are smaller livers (2 to 3 times the size of a normal liver, compared to 6 times) and much more expensive than farmed foie gras.
Until the technology catches up with this unsatiable need for fatty livers, I will not eat a single bite of foie gras.
Foie gras (French for "fat liver") is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through gavage (force-feeding) corn, according to French law, though outside of France it is also produced using natural feeding. Pâté de foie gras was formerly known as "Strasbourg pie" in English due to that city being a major producer of this food product.