Ducking the Foie Gras Ban

Wolfgang Puck, a former foie gras proponent, has sworn off the food at his national chain of restaurants.

In Chicago, banning foie gras has been a divisive issue in a working class city known for its meat-eating ways and its past as hog butcher to the world. Even Chicago politicians are split on the new law. Mayor Richard Daley called the ban "silly" and said it had made his town "the laughingstock of the nation."

But Chicago Alderman Joe Moore, who was behind the ban, thinks it is seriously important.

"The fact of the matter is there is no other meat production where the animal is tortured for two to four weeks before they are killed," he told ABC News.

Some of Hot Doug's Chicago customers wonder whether political correctness, even in this meat-and-potatoes city, has gone too far. Others in Chicago simply subvert the law. Chef Michael Tsonton at Chicago's Copperblue restaurant makes sure his customers still get their foie gras -- even if it's called something else, with a wink and a nudge. A town that thrived during Prohibition, now drinks openly, but has to sneak its pate.

"I don't serve foie gras. I serve a duck liver terrene. It's not foie gras anymore," Tsonton told ABC News. "This is a town of bootleggers. You can get anything in Chicago."

Other chefs find it more palatable -- literally and figuratively -- to serve "faux gras," a vegetarian or cruelty-free alternative to the original. Meanwhile, at least one foie gras farm in Spain has come up with a method for producing the delicacy without force-feeding birds. The farm, Pateria de Sousa, reportedly slaughters geese at a time when they have naturally eaten more to store up fuel for seasonal migration.

Hot Doug's Sohn paid his fine, but still says there are more important things for the government to worry about than his menu. For now he's ruled out the duck liver and gone back to selling the basic hot dogs And of course, no one wants to see how that sausage is made.

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