Foie gras is a rich pâté made from the liver of ducks and geese that have been force-fed and fattened until their livers become enlarged. It has a rich flavour and the texture is silky smooth. The name literally translates from the French as ‘fat liver’. The south-west of France is the major foie gras producing area - the method of production is not practised in Britain. After preparation, the livers are soaked overnight before being marinated in Armagnac, port or Madeira, depending on the chef's recipe.
Foie gras is a great French delicacy, and very expensive. It's sold both fresh or cooked. Cooked foie gras livers are baked in a bain-marie and then chilled.
Foie gras is usually served in thin slices at the start of a meal with a sweet wine. It's become more widely available to buy in recent years – fresh or mi-cuit (partially preserved) and in cans. As it is such a luxury it's best eaten simply, just spread on toasted brioche. Small slices can be fried and used to top meat or fish dishes.
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