Foie gras offers a silky, delectable option, whether you prefer it cold or hot, seared and served with other meat, or paired with fresh greens. Read on to learn more about foie gras.
Liver has long been a staple food for humanity, along with other organs. However, the difference between liver and foie gras is tremendous – it’s like comparing plain flour to artisan bread, or fresh grape juice with the finest wines.
Foie gras is much more than just “liver”, and exploring this culinary delight can yield incredible pleasure. If you’re unsure what foie gras is, or what place it might have on your table, we’ll explore this topic and help you understand this ancient delicacy.
While probably most famous from its use in French cuisine, where it gets its name, as well as its surging popularity in the modern local food movement, foie gras actually has a very long history, dating back many thousands of years. The French term “foie gras” literally means fat liver, and that’s precisely why it has been held in such high esteem for so long.
Historians and culinary explorers date foie gras back over 4,000 years, not to the lands of Europe, but to ancient Egypt. When the Egyptians domesticated geese, they discovered that livers harvested from geese preparing for their migration were much more flavourful, packed with fat, and offering a silky, delicious flavour not found with livers harvested from geese during the rest of the year.
There are many historical depictions of ancient Egyptians hand-feeding geese, a process called gavage. Eventually, this tradition spread throughout the Mediterranean, and the Romans spread it throughout their empire in later centuries. Since then, foie gras has remained a vital staple in many cuisines, and today, it enjoys tremendous popularity around the world.
As mentioned, foie gras can be made with either goose or duck liver. Goose liver is the more traditional, but duck liver is more widely available. Both make delectable additions to the menu, but they provide different culinary experiences, and you’ll need to understand a bit more about what each brings to the table in order to make an informed choice.
At Kingdom Fine Foods, we pride ourselves on offering only the highest-quality, gourmet foie gras. We offer both torchon and sauternes foie gras (duck) and port and sauternes foie gras (goose). In addition, we offer a number of confit options to enjoy with your dish, including chicon, fig, raspberry and traditional confit.
While goose liver might be the most traditional option, duck foie gras has gained popularity around the world for a range of reasons, including its lower price. Duck liver is more earthy than goose liver, with a more rustic texture and a more pronounced flavour. While it can be served cold or warm, it is most often served hot – seared.
Goose liver is silkier in texture than duck foie gras, and is often described as “creamy”. The flavour is more subtle than duck liver. It can be served cold, warm or hot, and can be eaten alone with a lighter accompaniment, or served with other meats.
Both can deliver the culinary delight that you crave, and our recommendation is to experiment with each to experience for yourself the buttery flavour and silky smoothness, and then choose which is right for your menu.
Foie gras can be prepared and served in any number of ways, depending on the cuisine in question, as well as the chef’s preferences. The most common method is to cook it at a very low temperature, and then transform it into a pâté or terrine. It can also be used to make sauces and mousses, if you prefer. Another option is to poach the foie at a low temperature in order to achieve a silky, smooth texture. Raw foie can be seared and served hot or warm.
Many types of foie gras are created using wine or alcohol. One prime example of this is our foie gras sauternes, made with sweet sauternes wine for a unique contrasting flavour. Another option is port – you’ll find this used in our foie gras with port (goose). This is perhaps the most traditional option in French cuisine, and you’ll find it in many traditional French family kitchens, as well as restaurants throughout the nation.
Many chefs choose to serve 50 grams of foie gras per person, combined with a fresh assortment of greens, often drizzled with a vinegar-based dressing to truly enhance the flavours of the foie.
Finally, many types of foie gras pair beautifully with confit, of which we offer many options.
You may have heard the term “duck confit” or “goose confit” before, but been unaware of what confit actually is. Really, it’s just a jelly-like condiment. It is often served with foie gras, but can be served with any number of other dishes, as well.
Technically, according to French tradition, a confit is really any type of food that is coked slowly over a long period of time in order to preserve it. This can apply to both fruits and vegetables, as well as to meats. We offer several fruit confits, as well as a traditional option.
Our chicon confit, or chicory confit, is made with the highest quality honey and sugar, as well as macerated chicory. Our fig confit is an ideal accompaniment for foie gras, or can be eaten on bread or toast. For a true flavour explosion, consider our raspberry confit – made with the freshest of raspberries and gourmet ingredients. Finally, our traditional/natural confit is made with onions for a rustic yet flavourful experience.
At Kingdom Fine Foods, our goal is to deliver our customers not only gourmet products, but an incredible culinary experience. We believe that our foie gras selection and confit options are ideal additions to any menu, and can provide a stunning culinary adventure, as well as a connection to humanity’s historic roots. Serve it cold or hot, seared or in a terrine – you’ll discover an incredible world of flavour and enjoyment.
If you’re interested in exploring the world of foie gras and/or our selection of delectable confits, you can find many options within our pages. If you have a question about our foie gras, or simply want clarification on something, we welcome you to contact us today.
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