Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Fracas over Fois Gras

Yesterday, someone mentioned to me the column in Wednesday's Indy Star on fois gras. I had missed it. Columnist Jolene Ketzenberger (is she local? I hate it when papers don't make that clear) does a quick hit on the issue using the Chicago controversy as cover. Her position is that she can't even stand to see the facts on her own, so she'll take Trotter's word for it that fois gras is horrible. She's not eating it. Great, honey, don't eat it. It's more for us!

While the debate on fois gras (I love how she has a little pronunciation guide in the column just in case you Indiana hicks thought is was "fwas gras") has been raging in California for a while, chef Charlie Trotter brought it to the Midwest in full force earlier this year. In a series of snarky quotes back and forth in newspaper articles, it's apparent that Trotter may just be using the fois gras issue to take punches at a couple of Chicagoland rivals. Either way, the whole conversation has become tired and old. Whether it's fois gras, factory raised chickens, or pork, it's still meat raised for food. Today's poultry and pigs are raised in conditions far worse -- and more disgusting -- than any I've seen on fois gras farms.

As far as fois gras goes? Eat it. Don't eat it. It's up to you. But make your own choices based on what you like and know -- and not what a couple of politically motivated, publicity seeking chefs in Chicago are manipulating you to think. It's food -- and we eat all kinds of food every day raised specifically for human consumption and manipulated to be juicier, sweeter, bigger, and more tender. Maybe it's time to embark on your own taste test of foods you aren't sure about. I'd recommend starting with the Chicken-Fried Fois Gras at the Chisholm Club in Ft. Worth, Texas. I know it sounds like a waste of good fois gras, but trust me, it's not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ketzenberger is local.