Thursday, February 22, 2007


It's an age old question that until today had no answer. But now, following up on our earlier post regarding "Ganso Iberico", FoieBlog has learned that a farmer in the unlikeliest of culinary outposts - South Dakota - is marketing a product called "Natural Fatty Goose Liver" that sounds a lot like the award winning Iberian alternative to Foie Gras.

The Schiltz Goose Farms website describes a similar process to Pateria de Sousa's, where they harvest naturally large livers at just the right time in the geese's annual fattening up cycle. Schiltz says that older geese are more prone to this condition and are larger than typical market birds, but the resulting liver is still only about half the size of one brought about through la gavage.

The photos on Schiltz' website depict an organ that is much lighter in color than a normal liver, but not quite as white and fatty-looking as Foie Gras. FoieBlog will not try to speculate on the taste of this product until we try it for ourselves, but the photos certainly whet our appetites. At $58 for two pounds, just over half the price of traditional Foie Gras, we hope to enjoy it soon.

In the meantime, FoieBlog sees the birth of a new debate, perhaps the most important gustatory discussion since "champagne" vs "sparkling wine" or "great taste" vs "less filling."

When does a liver become Foie Gras?

The French Professional Committee of Foie Gras Producers is adamant that Ganso Iberico doesn't qualify, and while Schiltz only calls their product a "Foie Gras Alternative," FoieBlog thinks that phrase is going to be a tough sell on the menus of four star restaurants.

Let FoieBlog know what you think. Should naturally fatty goose liver be considered Foie Gras, or do we need to create a new appellation for what looks to be a growing industry?

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