The Foie Gras Black Market Has Begun

California outlawed the sale of the French delicacy foie gras—fattened duck or goose liver—in July of 2012, but one Hermosa Beach restaurateur has found a workaround: Give it away for free. NBC LA reports:

According to the restaurant’s menu, if a patron buys "THE" Burger, as it’s called, they receive a free side of the prohibited organ.

Animal rights group PETA believes that the force-feeding process involved in the production of foie gras is inhumane to the birds and has sued Hot's Kitchen for refusing to respect the law:

"The allegation that you can have foie gras for free is as childish as it is illegal,” said Matthew Strugar, with PETA. “The only way you can get foie gras is to purchase an eight-dollar burger."

Reason TV reported on the impending ban in early January 2012 and noted that animal rights groups have long used intimidation tactics, both legal and illegal, to stop restaurants from serving foie gras. Mark Pastore, co-owner of the San Fransciso restaurant Incanto, has seen his restaurant vandalized and has received threats for serving the product.

"I believe that the only way to deal with bullying tactics is to stand up to them," says Pastore.

But now that the activists have the power of the state on their side, standing up to them might prove more tricky.

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  • sarcasmic||

    Being that I love my chicken livers, I've got to try me some of that stuff before it's outlawed completely.

  • SugarFree||

    Think "smoked butter." It's delicious.

  • ||

    The way the fat spreads across your tongue...so delicious.

  • sloopyinca||

    Dude.

  • ||

    Don't judge me!

  • juris imprudent||

    I won't judge you, I'll just think of you in the same way I think of John.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Etiole, Napa Valley, Domain Chandon. I ordered the Fois Gras appetizer. What I received was quite possibly the best thing I have ever eaten in my entire life. 1/3 (approx 4ozs) of an entire, intact, lobe. Seared and cooked in pure bacon/pork fat and butter. Nothing else on the plate...I shall never love again.

  • ||

    I went to Quinn's one time, got the frog legs, the bone marrow, the frites cooked in duck fat...and the foie gras. Which was cooked perfectly. That was an indulgent evening.

  • sloopyinca||

    I got to watch it get prepared and eat foie gras personally prepared for my boss, his wife and me and my ex-wife by Wolfgang Puck.* I almost came in my pants.

    *It was supposed to be his contribution to a $1,000/plate dinner my boss was putting on while in PR for Christopher Reeve's foundation but he wasn't feeling good, so he asked my chef to do it for him as a favor.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    /drool

    I ate at Spago vegas for New Years once...has the Osso Buco...damn.

  • SugarFree||

    CB, if you are back in that area, Ad Hoc in Yountville was a fucking epic meal.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    You know, my wife and I had a moment of pure insanity before our last Napa trip. We spent three days calling for The French Laundry. I was happy to not spend 600 a head but pissed I didnt get the option to say no (which I wouldnt have anyway). I had flashbacks of the incident when calling for Westvleterren at Saint Sixtus. When I got through at 2am MST I flipped out and woke the whole house (probably scared the monk on the phone too).

    So, all that said, is it possible to get into Ad Hoc or will i fall into a deep depression and kill small animals for pleasure?

  • sloopyinca||

    It's still a lot easier than getting in The French Laundry. But don't despair, either are easy to get into any time between mid-January to mid-March. Just plan your trip for then and you'll be all set.*

    *Bring an umbrella.

  • SugarFree||

    I got in with no problem whatsoever. We planned in advance, but it's a fairly large space and I'm pretty sure they underbook for walk-ins.

    We stayed in Calistoga, so the only place I ate in Napa itself was a meatball sub at the Fatted Calf. And I got $30 of beef jerky. OMG.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Kewl...It is now on our list.

    If you go to Napa then I assume you like good wine. I suggest Vincent Arroyo and August Briggs. Both are micro-batch vintners, up near Calistoga, and both are in my opinion the best wine in that Valley...and that is after having tasted over 100 wineries there. (We can have a different discussion about Sonoma)

    And here ends my hipsterish aspects...seriously. In the words of Epi...Don't judge me!

  • sloopyinca||

    Next time one of you guys come out, please let me know. We may have to make it a Reason trip. 4 hours isn't that far.

    Aside: why not go to Santa Maria valley or Paso Robles instead? It's less...less French there and their Pinot Noirs are markedly better than those in Napa and other northern regions.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Dude I am down with PASO!

  • juris imprudent||

    Have you had the Jack Creek Pinot? We missed them on our trip to Paso.

  • Delroy||

    You know who else force-fed a duck?

  • Tim||

    Elmer Fudd?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Kevin Spacey?

  • sloopyinca||

  • SIV||

    Philippe Pétain's mother?

  • rts||

    Elzar: Hey, that's what rich people eat. The garbage parts of the food.

  • Tim||

    Quack is Wack...

  • Randian||

    said Matthew Strugar, with PETA. “The only way you can get foie gras is to purchase an eight-dollar burger."

    That's pretty much what I expect to pay for one nowadays anyway. Since when did Flyover Country get more expensive than the vaunted California Coast?

  • ||

    An $8 burger PLUS foie gras? That's a fucking steal! I wish I could get a fucking (good) burger by itself for $8.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    exactly my thoughts...the above mentioned plate by me cost 18$...was worth every fucking penny.

  • Randian||

    I know right? Has this PETA guy never bought a decent burger?

    Oh I guess I answered my own question. Eight bucks is a lot for a tofurkey burger, pussy.

  • Rasilio||

    Oh the horrors, an $8 burger.

    Lol

  • KDN||

    Srsly. FFS, that's what they go for at Five Guys.

  • Pro Libertate||

    With a bag of fries.

  • sloopyinca||

    What would Picard have thought about foie gras? Would he have eaten it when back on earth? How about from a replicator? For that matter, would the federation ban the replication of extinct animal foods? For example, how would they feel if Will Riker killed the last polar bear on earth (knowing they were going to become extinct) just so he could have the data fed into the replicator so he could enjoy some sweet, sweet polar bear steaks once a month?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Kirk disapproves of you and your "next" generation.

  • sloopyinca||

    I only mention Picard because they addressed replicators a lot more in TNG, and because he was such a collectivist pussy I'd be willing to bet he bans even replicated foie gras and endangered animals on his ship.

    That said, he still would destroy Kirk's Enterprise in a fight. He wouldn't even have to do a saucer separation.

  • ||

    That said, he still would destroy Kirk's Enterprise in a fight. He wouldn't even have to do a saucer separation.

    Doubtful. Kirk unquestionably has the better crew with Spock as First Officer and Scotty in engineering. Plus he wouldn't have to waste time listening to Troi talk about her senses.

  • sloopyinca||

    Better crew? First of, while Spock may get the edge over Riker, the rest of the command crew is definitely stronger on Picard's ship. Data is superior to anybody on either ship and I'd give the nod to Worf in a battle situation over Sulu or Chekov or whoever else Kirk had at weapons. And LaForge was a much better engineer than Scotty. Shit, he was always developing new shit to get more power while Scotty was constantly saying he's giving her all he's got. Fucker had no imagination.

    Troi would have been removed from the bridge in a battle and I could care less about the doctors. Crusher could have been sucked into a wormhole for all I care.

  • ||

    Data is superior to anybody on either ship and I'd give the nod to Worf in a battle situation over Sulu or Chekov or whoever else Kirk had at weapons.

    In hand to hand combat (fencing foils notwithstanding), sure, Worf beats Sulu. But manning the weapons console doesn't seem that difficult. It's just something you learn. Checkov and Worf are probably equal in that regard.

    Scotty was constantly saying he's giving her all he's got. Fucker had no imagination.

    Scotty was being modest. He'd always come up with miracles to fix the Enterprise warp engines or some other solution. The fucker cheated death by rigging the transporter to keep in mid-transport for 60 years until he could be rescued when his transport shipped crashed.

    And McCoy contributed more to Kirk than Troi and Crusher combined could do for Picard, so no contest there.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And Spock. Come on.

  • sloopyinca||

    Um, Picard had a Vulcan every bit as smart as Spock on board. He was just still a junior officer.

  • sloopyinca||

    Your dodge on addressing Commander Data has been noticed.

  • ||

    Is there really any difference between a Vulcan and an android? Spock beats Riker and Data since Spock has a better understanding of humanity than Data does.

  • sloopyinca||

    This might be the most ridiculous thing written on here by someone other than Pro Lib, Episiarch or Shrikey in quite some time. Data spent his life trying to understand humanity. Spock spent his life trying to change it because he couldn't grasp it. And Data had superior strength, was much faster at processing data and was able to move much faster than Spock could ever hope to.

    I'll take Data over Spock in a Star Trek draft any day of the week. Hell, I'd take Data as the #1 overall pick.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You're a moron. Spock is second only to Kirk in awesomeness.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Shit, he was always developing new shit to get more power while Scotty was constantly saying he's giving her all he's got. Fucker had no imagination.

    But as Scotty, himself, said to LaForge, he was lying so that he could establish his reputation as a 'miracle worker'.

  • Rasilio||

    Who friggin cares about the Crews, taking the Kirk Enterprise against the TNG enterprise would be like taking a steam powered iron clad up against an Aegis Cruiser. I mean just look at the reboot, a friggin civilian mining ship from just a few years bast TNG took out half of the TOS era Starfleet without even breaking a sweat.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You are insane. Kirk could destroy Picard's ship from a shuttlecraft.

  • sloopyinca||

    Picard had a better ship, better weapons, better shields and Commander Data. He'd win by attrition.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Dude. Kirk defeated gods. More than once.

  • Randian||

    What the hell is Q then?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Undefeated?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Sisko knocked Q on his ass, and Q never returned to DS9. Picard is a little bitch compared to Sisko.

  • ||

    Picard never defeated Q. In fact, if Q didn't have an obvious mancrush on him he would have wiped out humanity in the pilot episode.

  • Tim||

    Picard would turn to ask Troi about her feelings only to find that Kirk had beamed over and was doggy styling her right there on the bench.

  • sloopyinca||

    And that would be all the diversion Picard and the NCC-1701-D would have needed to blow the 1701 or 1701-A into space dust.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Your absurdity aside for the moment, ever notice how the new ship always seems to be dealing with warp core breaches? But the old ship didn't? I'm thinking the communist takeover of the Federation may have resulted in some shoddy workmanship.

  • sloopyinca||

    Doubtful as the commie takeover of the Federation was pre-Kirk. More likely, it was the future enviro-nuts taking it over and forcing the Federation to adopt "greener" (or blacker since it's in space) warp drive technologies to save space from some nefarious man-created pseudoscientific bullshit. IIRC, there was an episode of TNG that directly addressed that issue when come nutball scientist intentionally caused a warp core dump to cause a spatial rift.

    Fucking Federation politics.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, it was post-Kirk. There are references to money, etc. Remember, Starfleet is military, so some authoritarian stuff showed up because of that.

    While I enjoyed TNG, it did some lame-ass stuff on occasion. Like the quickly forgotten warp speed limit.

  • SKR||

    Pro-lib is right, they still got paid kirk era and had to buy stuff.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually it was more than a single episode, it lasted at least half a season where Starfleet ships were restricted to speeds under Warp 4 because the damage that their warp engines were causing to the fabric of spacetime. I don't remember however if they came up with a solution or just convienently forgot about the issue in later seasons.

  • SKR||

    Lol

  • Pro Libertate||

    How much for the tribbles?

  • ||

    They would just clone the polar bear. Data should be able to fully sequence the DNA in a matter of minutes.

  • sloopyinca||

    I think they have issues when fully replicating living beings. Otherwise, they'd just have replicated Kirk and spared the Federation the nonsense that is Janeway.

  • Randian||

    Actually, it's the fact that 'cloning is banned', in some alternate universe where that works all that effectively.

    See Bashir, Julian for further explanation.

  • sloopyinca||

    See Bashir, Julian for further explanation.

    Don't you mean Martin Bashir?

  • juris imprudent||

    Mentat Bashar?

  • Pro Libertate||

    What, they don't have transporters?

  • Randian||

    Let's not get into that.

  • sloopyinca||

    A transporter is not a replicator, dumbass. That was addressed in the season where Dr Pulaski was onboard.

    I swear, sometimes I wonder what idiot jiuce they replaced the water with in the Tampa Bay area.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Riker? Two? Kirk? Two? Alien dog, two?

  • sloopyinca||

    Sorry, but when Pulaski went down to that planet where the supergenius kids were killing all of the scientists there, they addressed the replicator/transporter question and it's pretty well-known that they are not the same.

    First off, you cannot replicate memories, emotions and the like when you replicate something, only general characteristics. Therefore, transporting someone is not the fucking same as replicating them.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Riker's clone had the same memories.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Also the same beard, despite the fact that Riker had no beard at all when he came on board the Enterprise.

  • sloopyinca||

    Of course, all of this was just an exercise to see if I could turn a simple thread about foie gras into a Picard/Kirk pissing contest in 20 minutes or less.

    You all failed. Sadly, I did as well since I have nothing better to do with my life.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You all failed

    No, we all won.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You loom large?

  • sloopyinca||

    I think the best I can do is loom medium-sized.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Like Apollo, when he got big? You know, before Kirk kicked his ass?

  • T||

    Eat more foie gras. You'll loom larger eventually.

  • Rasilio||

    yes but the Riker clone was created by the interaction of a transporter beam with super duper space radiation resulting in the beam being split and him both being beamed and not being beamed. It wasn't the transporter itself which created the clone, it was the splitting of the beam.

  • juris imprudent||

    Schrodingers Transporter.

  • Hugh Akston||

    They disapprove of genetic engineering and cloning in the Federation. Riker even put the spank down on some budding Riker clones in season two.

    The only reason they let Thomas Riker live is that he proved he was the genuine article by nailing Troi.

  • ||

    Oh so they'll let Data have human rights, but God forbid they let clones exist.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hey, they have good reasons for the double standard. Data (and Voyager's Doctor) are mostly asexual. An army of cloned Rikers running around would make it impossible for any other male in the galaxy to score.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Oh so they'll let Data have human rights, but God forbid they let clones exist.

    They had the Eugenics Wars, not the Bulterian Jihad, silly.

  • T||

    That's the geekiest thing I've read all day. Congrats.

  • JW||

    Oh so they'll let Data have human rights, but God forbid they let clones exist.

    They= Federation learned their lesson from the Clone Wars.

  • JW||

    My keyboard needs a bigger backspace key. Stupid defective peripheral!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But now that the activists have the power of the state on their side, standing up to them might prove more tricky.

    Maybe restaurants should have thought of that before they came up with the idea of using animal parts for food.

  • Dweebston||

    What you wrote is redundant.

  • Belgian||

    Maybe restaurants should have thought of that before they came up with the idea of using animal partsfood for food.

    To illustrate Dweeston's point, although I assume FoE was being sarcastic.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    It is important to mention (not that I have feelings one way or the other) that there is a non-gavage way to make Fois Gras. This guy does it in this TED talk. He also notes that the live is gray and not yellow which turns off some buyers...all i give a damn about is flavor.

  • ||

    PETA calling someone childish is rich!

  • Dweebston||

    Seriously. I wonder what pull this group would have if they forewent the absurd schticks like banning marketable commodities and demanding the president not make light of pardoning turkeys. More like Audubon and less like SPLC for the aminals. Then again, without that patented nitpicking nitwitishness they might not bring in the anticapitalist misanthropes like they do.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    This on the other hand is completely mature and advances rational discourse concerning cruelty to animals.

  • entropy||

    Only 8 bucks for a burger and fois gras? Damn I wish they were down the corner.

    What are the chances PETA is in on it, maybe not the nude nitwits hurling buckets at people but maybe the honchos are smoking cigars with duck farmers or french ambassadors in some poorly lit back room? I mean, could they really be this friggin stupid and hilariously self defeating? Nobody can even spell foie gras but they damn well know where to buy it now.

  • Rick Santorum||

    I'd like to hear Temple Grandin's position on foie gras.

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