Sunday, November 23, 2008

Foie Gras and Fine Dining

It started yesterday. Actually, a lot of people have been gone since Thursday night. On Friday, generally there were only half of the class present. I kinda want to skip some of the classes on Friday, but I decided to just go. I will be staying in town for the rest of the week, so there is no point skipping class - I won't be able to go anywhere. Yes, probably I could just sleep and take a rest, but by doing that I have to spend extra time reading the materials that should have been gone through during class.

I'm being diligent, that is :)

Went out to try foie gras (fat duck's liver in French) in a fine dining restaurant called Everest in Chicago with my brother. No walk-ins: you have to reserve before going there. It was really, really expensive: the two of us spent $300 in total for a 4-course menu + dessert.

Sautéed New York State Foie Gras, Pineapple, Mango and Gewurztraminer
. Yes, that was the complete name of the menu. Sadly, I don't have a picture of it

Foie gras was banned in Chicago because of the brutality involved in production of the raw material: force feeding. Basically, the ducks were forced to become abnormally fat. Yes, the breeder make them obese. Well, this time I'm on the animal rightists' side: I agree that it's overly too cruel. But again, as a food lover, I want to try all sorts of food out there.

Just for trivia: the trend of eating foie gras originated in Egypt, and then was spread to the Mediteranean. The dish was finally made into a distinct food by the Romans under the name iecur ficatum, which means "liver" and "figs".

The foie gras I ate was prepared as hot food and medium-cooked. When I tried to slice it, it feels as if I was slicing tofu - smooth and tender. It certainly didn't look like any kind of liver I like to eat, even though the greyish appearance somehow reminded me of pig's liver.

It melt perfectly inside my mouth. It was even better than eating high-quality chocolates with lots of cocoa butter content. It was tangy, with slight bitter taste of liver.

It was a WOW.

The serving size is rather small - about 5 cm square wide and 1cm thick - but I think that is what makes it addictive. I bet that if you eat more than that, you'll get sick of it because its flavor is so strong and it's just so fatty.

I'd love to eat it again, but considering the cruel production method and the ultra high price (I'm not a billionaire), I don't think I would be eating a lot of it for the rest of my life.

And I don't think I'd like to sit for a fine dining - it's so tiring to keep up with the proper table manners when you're so not used to it. I had to be self-conscious at most times. I have no problems with remembering the positions of the cutleries and the proper eating manner, but to refrain myself from expressing my enjoyment of the dishes presented in an open manner is probably too difficult for me. LOL.

I feel like licking the plate till it's clean when it's overly delicious, but I certainly won't be able to do that in high class restaurant, right? That would be a great embarrassment to myself.

Sources: our beloved Wikipedia


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