in English; French
for "fat liver") is a food product
made of the liver
of a duck
that has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through gavage
(force-feeding) corn, according to French law,
though outside of France it is rarely produced using natural feeding. Pâté de foie gras was formerly known as "Strasbourg
pie" in English due to that city being a major producer of this food product.
Foie gras is a popular and well-known delicacy
in French cuisine
. Its flavour is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of a regular duck or goose liver. Foie gras is sold whole, or is prepared into mousse, parfait, or pâté
(the lowest quality), and is often served as an accompaniment to another food item, such as steak.
The technique of gavage dates as far back as 2500 BC, when the ancient Egyptians
began keeping birds for food and deliberately fattened the birds through force-feeding.
is by far the largest producer and consumer of foie gras, though it is produced and consumed worldwide, particularly in other European nations, the United States
, and China
Gavage-based foie gras production is controversial
, due to the force feeding procedure and the possible health consequences of an enlarged liver: A number of countries and other jurisdictions have laws against force feeding or the sale of foie gras