foie gras

Foie gras, an exclusive product for the taste buds

As winter and the Christmas holidays approach, the consumption of foie gras, a food that is considered luxury, begins to increase in the households.

Foie gras comes from the French language and translates as fat liver. It is a food elaborated from the liver of a duck or a goose, which have been fed with corn. It es regulated by the European Union, which is also in charge of its promotion and consumer information.

History of foie gras

Foie gras goes back more than 5.000 years. The Egyptians realized the natural capacity of migratory birds to store fat in their livers during the long migrations. They elevated them and benefited from them to their advantage.

Subsequently, the technique of the foie gras arrived in the antique Greece, Rome, and later among the Jewish communities, which extended it to Europe, particularly to France and Hungary, two countries with a strong cultural and culinary identity, furthermore linked to this food.

From the XIXth century, with the arrival of industrialization, France was the first country to commercialize and export the use of this food, elaborating it with the corn that had arrived from America barely a century ago.

Foie gras with toast
Foie gras with toast

The different presentations of foie gras

Foie gras is elaborated from the fat of the goose and duck livers. This product can be served in three ways:

  • Raw: Cooked mainly by processors and restaurateurs to make terrines or to serve it fried in a pan.
  • Processed and canned: Ready to eat, generally purchased by consumers. It has an expiry period of 4 years.
  • Half cooked: The product is half cooked and possesses a conservation period of up to 6 months. Despite having a lesser conservation period, it is of superior quality.

Denominations it can receive according to the preparation method:

  • Whole: Composed of a whole fat liver and accompanied by a condiment.
  • In a block: Preparation composed of mixed foie gras and reconstituted with the addition of a condiment.
  • Magret: The Magret is a fat goose or duck breast and can be served as a main dish or be smoked and dried to become an ingredient for fabulous salads.
  • Confit: The confit is the thigh of a duck or a goose. It is obtained through a particular cooking of the meat in its own fat.
Duck magret
Duck magret

Differences between the paté and the foie gras

In contrast to the foie gras, which is elaborated 100% from the liver and without mixing with other meat, paté consists of a paste out of different components, which results in the paste. The paté contains animal fat, liver, milk, flour, and is aromatized with differnt seasonings. Paté is not necessarily made out of goose or duck, it can also be made out of pork and chicken.

This product was created to be an economic food accessible for families that wanted to taste a food similar to foie gras, but in a comfortable and accessibe way.

If you want to know more about paté, don’t miss this article.

Paté with toast
Paté with toast

European regulations

Presently, foie gras is regulated by the European Union under the regulation 543/2008. The regulation not only allows to inform the consumers so they won’t be misled about the quality of the product, but also to watch over the animal wellbeing. The European products are subject to the directive 95/98/CE relating to the protection of the animals in stockbreeding exploitation.

At a European level, there are other organisms in charge of watching over animal wellbeing and the quality standards for their production, like the European Federation for the Foie Gras. This organism possesses different functions, among them beoing to develop a commun reflection about the diverse subjects of interest for the sector.

Situation in Spain

Spain is a country of large importance for the foie gras market. It one of the only five countries in Europe that produce it, together with France, Belgium, Hungria and Bulgaria.

On one hand, it is the fourth producer worldwide of this food, behind France, Hunagary and Bulgaria. On the other hand, it is among the largest consumers in the world, together with Belgium and France. Spanish people consume on average 3.000 tons of foie gras per year, which is equivalent of a consumption of 60 grams per person per year.

Foie gras platter with jam
Foie gras platter with jam

Local Foie gras at Agust Barcelona

At Agust Barcelona, we work with a local product from Sant Pere de Ribes, in the region of El Garraf, in the province of Barcelona.

Our suppliers work with a principle of quality, so they can offer us a food of excellent quality, which is sure to present an extrordinary experience to the palate.

That said, we invite you to try our foie gras starter with salt, pepper, and apricot jam, pistachios and a PX reduction. This delicious dish is an appetizing starter to share, which you will love, both for the quality of the food and for its taste.

We wait for you at Agust Barcelona!