On July 1, the country's first statewide ban on foie gras goes into effect right here in California, terminating the ancient practice of gavage and the sale of all products that result. At this point, an overturn looks unlikely, so we're saying our good-byes in the only way we know how: A look at all the glorious foie gras we won't be able to eat in a month.
The foie gras ban will hit at a time when Southern California's chefs are particularly inspired to get playful with the delicacy. Chefs all over the area are taking the versatile texture and full-bodied flavor of this fattened duck and goose livers and turning them into a range of recipes that are a far cry from traditional French pates, parfaits, and terrines.
The owners of Animal famously bulk-up Hawaiian loco moco with seared foie gras and SPAM, much like Umamicatessen also has a hit on its hands with a donut leaking foie gras and jam, while the ingredient is variously employed as the central feature in a range of dishes including sushi, ravioli, shabu-shabu, satay, cotton candy, clams, ice cream, and even pet treats.
Here now, a look into some of L.A.'s most unique and satisfying foie gras dishes. We've include some parting words from the chefs as to why foie makes the perfect ingredient. Enjoy this slideshow as we prepare to bid adieu to foie gras before it's wiped off the plate (or, more likely, goes underground) next month.
Also, our compatriots in San Francisco have done a similar slideshow of endangered foie dishes up there, and our Grub Street friends in New York, Chicago, Philly, and Boston have followed suit in solidarity. Enjoy.