California Bidding Au Revoir to Foie Gras Sunday
The French delicacy know as foie gras will disappear off California menus and plates Sunday. Restaurants caught serving the buttery treat can be fined up to $1,000.
Made from the fattened livers of ducks and geese, foie gras is primarily produced in France. The birds are force-fed corn through a process called gavage and then slaughtered for their organs.
Chef Wolfgang Puck sent a letter to 5,000 California restaurants in May to show his support for the law, the only state to do so. The city of Chicago banned foie gras in 2006, reversing the decision two years later.
"Cramming pipes down ducks' throats is both physically painful and psychologically terrifying for these poor ducks," Bruce Friedrich, Farm Sanctuary senior director, said on the ASPCA website.
Chefs and foie lovers have been bulking up on the delicacy before the looming end date, buying large quantities of the product as well as hosting dinners based on the treat.
Dishes focused on foie, like cheesecake and risotto, have been appearing on menus across the state. "After July 1, sadly, we will be having no more foie gras," William Rolle, a Sacramento, Calif., chef, said.
The industry had almost eight years to work on keeping their foie. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill in 2004 that granted farmers a grace period to find alternative ways to produce it.
With no other humane methods found, the ban stands to begin Sunday. Most of the small farms and shops that the ban affects have already moved out of the state.
Chefs looking for a vegan alternative can try faux gras which is made with lentils and walnuts.