Friday, October 06, 2006

Ode to Duck -- and Bourdain on Foie Gras


Lord, thank you for the amazingly tasty duck that died to bring me the duck broth won-ton soup from Oakley's last night. Its rich marrow did not die in vain, nay, it glorified the natural world as I practically drank from my bowl after the first course of the three-course Asian Bistro menu. It's bones, carcass and skin were gladly and lovingly cooked for hours, for the broth was too rich for an ungodly man (or woman). Thank you also, for the cow, that provide the tender, lovingly cooked and sliced meat (that Chef Tom Smith seared perfectly and served with thinly sliced Asian veggies and greens with a rich lime and soy based sauce that worked effortlessly with the french fries!). And, the fig and tamarind rugelach?! Somewhere, a Jewish grandmother is nodding in approval.

In the meantime, we still have nuts like New Jersey assemblyman Michael Panter's who last week went on an insane tear about foie gras. In the next week or two, he plans to introduce a ban on sale in and out of New Jersey of the gourmet delicacy targeting artisanal food legend and NYC supplier D'Artagnan. Ruhlman reports from Meganut. In the meantime, Tony Bourdain speaks sanity from the pages of Salon. Bottom line? Do you think it's right that someone else gets to tell you what to eat? From Bourdain:

Look, if you don't want to patronize a business that serves foie gras, don't go there. Running full-page ads telling people how evil you think it is -- that's also a legitimate enterprise, in my view, and one that's been effective in the case of anti-fur activism. But particularly as I travel so much and have come to know so many other cultures older than ours -- to criminalize ways of eating, to suggest that we've all been wrong since Roman times, well, that kind of interference scares me. It's like an American tourist traveling around the world stopping over in different countries, and saying, "This is wrong and you should stop that -- because me and my privileged, well-fed, white friends in our comfortable shoes think so." I respect people's decisions. You don't want to eat foie gras? Don't eat it.

But the intended bill on foie gras in New Jersey is not a breath of fresh, sensible air, it's a whiff from the crypt.

4 comments:

Sam said...

I don't really believe in a god, but every time I go to France I have to thank some imgainary person up there for all of the ducks I eat. My estimate is that I personally consume at least half a dozen every time i am in Paris.

Erudite Redneck said...

ER tries his hand at wine pairing! Come weigh in! :-)

Erudite Redneck said...

Oh, and I join you in praise of all things bovine! Never had duck done right.

braingirl said...

Never had duck done right? Get thee to the Coach House, man. You go tell Chef Fleischfesser that you've never had good duck. He'll take very good care of you. (He'll make you a steak to die for, too.) The Coach House is not only a house of worship (of all things duck, cow and also pig) but a place of redemption. It will be great for the next time you're in trouble with the good Doctor.