Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Little Forbidden "Foie Gras," Anyone?

Force-fed duck and goose liver is a French delicacy, as most people know; but it has begun to find disfavor with the PETA crowd in the US, and "somehow" -- I wonder why (duh) -- the political-correctness of it all has managed to infect local governments in places like Chicago and California, where prohibitions are either on the books or in the works.

foie_gras
[Thanks to hotel-pleinciel.com for the photo.]

But like most prohibitions, it's having the opposite effect. Sales of the luxury item have blossomed as never before in Chicago, according to a producer in the New York region.

This article from the French newspaper Le Figaro describes the foie gras market situation from their point of view. The title of the article is:

"French foie gras manages to resist the attacks"

Here are the salient points (my translation):

"Chinese competition or American prohibition hasn't hurt this gastronomic speciality.... After a record 2005, consumption is again expected to rise. Sales have increase 16% in France during the first eight months of the year, while exports advanced 5%.... The professionals are smiling, and won't be discouraged by ... [Hungarian and Bulgarian competitors] who are already in second and third place worldwide, behind France, followed by Spain. Even the Chinese are beginning to show their face. Meanwhile, certain American regions forbid consumption of this food, in the name of animal rights.

"American prohibition is good for sales

"'I sell four times as much foie gras in Chicago as last year!' laughs Ariane Daguin, who fabricates, distributes and iimports foie gras in a New York suburb. Ever since the midwest capital forbid restaurants from selling this product in April, curious consumers have reacted in accordance with the old prohibition reflex. 'Our attorneys said the sale is forbidden, but not consumption. That's why we began to see obscure-sounding "toasts" at $20 each.... Even establishments that never served foie gras before have begun putting it on their menu. For many, it's a question of principle: The government has no business dictating to people what they can eat,' continues Mrs. Daguin, who by the way has attacked the prohibition in the courts.... The mobilization campaign launched by Ariane Daguin has stopped [the anti-foie gras hysteria promoted by the likes of Kim Basinger, Martin Sheen, Loretta Swit, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a few Chicago and New York lawmakers.]"

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