Monday, February 19, 2007

"Iberian Goose" Flies Across The Pond

Well, not all the way across...yet.

Ganso Iberico, or Iberian Goose, is a new so-called "ethical" form of Foie Gras being marketed by Spanish Company, Pateria de Sousa. Rather than utilizing La Gavage, the company harnesses the birds' natural tendency to overeat prior to the migration season, and harvests their oversize livers at just the right time.

The Telegraph reports that the product is now being exported to the UK, where Foie Gras manufacture is banned, and anti-Foie Gras efforts are reaching a fever pitch like those in the United States. However activists there face much greater legal hurdles due to European Trade laws that pretty much prevent governments in member states from being able to ban the importation of products produced in other EU countries.

Of course the French aren't happy about Pteria de Sousa's success. Although the company received a Coup de Couer award for innovation at last year's Paris International Food Salon, the French Professional Committee of Foie Gras Producers is protesting the award, claiming that by definition the animal must be force fed for the product to be Foie Gras.

Once again the Iberians show why they have largely overtaken the French in the realm of innovative cuisine.

Unfortunately, the product can only be made once a year, so the price is a bit high. Currently running about 50% more than typical Foie Gras (is there such a thing?!).

FoieBlog looks even more forward to it's next trip to Spain than usual. It's not a country particularly known for Foie Gras, nor a large producer, but when they do it, they do it right. On a recent trip to Seville, we enjoyed a very nice foie de oca salteado at La Albahaca, one of the loveliest restaurants in the city. The dish is a sauteed Foie Gras in a honey-sherry reduction which was a bit heavy on the reduction in my case - it's a good thing Geese can swim - but a great regional take on the dish just the same. Well worth the trip.


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