My Parisian Restaurant Map

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gitanjali's Tasty Tidbits

The problem with this column is that it makes me fat. Writing about food always manages to wet my appetite, which means that every time I sit down to write, the scrumptious chocolate souffl├ęs and delightful dark cherry pies I’m writing about start dancing around in front of my head, commanding me to go eat them. The result is a rather unfortunate side-effect on my waistline.

This week, I’d like to warn all vegetarians to stop reading now and turn the page while I tell you about something that we should all have the privilege, and the budget, to eat at least once a month. Decadence is the word when it comes to foie gras. French for “fat liver,” making this delicacy requires animal cruelty at its finest. And as we all know, nothing is ever too barbaric for the French. For those unfamiliar with the process, and I’m willing to bet money on the fact that the average American has never heard of it, it involves force feeding a duck or goose until its liver is on the brink of bursting. The liver is then removed, and ready for devouring. The rich, velvety texture of foie gras comes from the fat that accumulates around the liver during the force feeding process. And to ensure the liver is extra fatty, the birds are fed corn boiled in, yup, you guessed it, fat.

Surprisingly, I think it’s the Hungarians that go all out when they cook foie gras. Not only do they fry their foie gras, but they fry it in goose fat. It’s fat fried in fat, topped with, surprise, a goose fat dressing. A miraculous, artery-raping concoction which deserves a round of applause. They may have just topped the French when it comes to gorging on animal fat. Bravo.

The only problem I have with this delightful dish is the duck version of it. It’s too strong, too chunky, and definitely too grainy. The flavor is almost a bit pungent, reminding you that the liver’s function is indeed to filter toxins, some of which may have ended up in your nostrils. But the goose foie gras, or as the French call it, foie gras d’ oia, is a melt-in-your-mouth, culinary orgasm. I do not exaggerate when I say this; spread it on toast and your life is complete. And if you’re feeling particularly decadent, or rather particularly French, you should eat it for breakfast, accompanied by a glass of champagne. C’est la vie, you only live once.

If the only thing stopping you from buying some this instant is the concern over your waistline, I can assure you, this food falls under the French Paradox category; in other words, not only will it not make you fat, but it will make you live longer too.

In the time it has taken me to write this article, I have gorged myself on one loaf of baguette, and half a jar of foie gras. (Bon Apetit.)

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog, Gitanj! The foie gras thing is big here, they put it on poutine and other entrees, I disapprove. It's grotesque & unhealthy.

    I am a big fan of the German style which is called leberwurst, preferably the pork version, both fine & coarse. On rye bread with raw onions & a really crisp bitter beer, it's very satisfying.

    How about some recipes, esp. the Greek stuff, such as Fasolakia? Tomorrow I'll make a chicken stew with avologmena (spelling?) sauce.

    Had some lok-lak Saturday, it was perfect!

    love, mahen