Votre panier est vide !
At the luxury grocery we spend time looking at all the tins and jars as if we’re connoisseurs. Then, just as we do with wine, we select the item which has either the most attractive packaging or the most attractive price. As a result, when we taste the product we selected we are often a little disappointed. It’s alright but we’ve tasted better – on holiday in the South-West of France probably! So, how can we find those authentic foie gras flavours if we’re not lucky enough to live in France?
These are often based on the findings of a panel of experts who have tasted many products. Their reviews are helpful as the commentaries are generally considered and supported by facts. The problem is that there are hundreds of brands of foie gras and panels rarely review more than a dozen of them. Those that are tasted are all too often manufactured on an industrial scale for selling nationally, and not the foies gras produced by smaller operators who are only able to offer their products locally.
2. Read the ingredients
A good foie gras entire should include simply a whole liver, salt and pepper. For bloc foie gras, there should be added to this just a very small amount of water, nitrite salts and sugar. Avoid products which include artificial flavourings, alcohol such as port or Armagnac or antioxidants such as sodium ascorbate or ascorbic acid (E300). A good foie gras needs none of these ingredients which are often added simply to disguise a poor flavour.
Selecting products bearing the label “foie gras du Sud-Ouest”, “foie gras du Périgord”, “foie gras Label Rouge” or carrying the “oie du Périgord” appellation stamp is paramount. While this cannot guarantee that the product has an excellent flavour, it does provide reassurance that the foie gras has been manufactured to a high specification (exacting hygiene standards, the ducks and geese have been reared in freedom, locally and on a corn-rich diet etc).
Products made in South-West France often benefit from the local know-how which has been passed down through the generations.
Avoid choosing a foie gras which has “Product of France”, “Made in France” or “Country of Origin France” on its label. These are more often than not the bottom of the range products which are not made to a particular specification or they just meet the minimum criteria – or they are made from foies gras imported from Central Europe and packaged in France.
4. Medals and awards may provide a good indication
Again, we could debate how these are actually awarded at the various agricultural shows. The size of the company, whether the leaders belong to professional organisations (or even whether they are involved in organising the shows) could all affect who wins. Nevertheless, the judges are usually both passionate about the products and qualified to decide.
So, again no guarantee but if two products are identically priced, then the one with the medal is probably the better of the two. At Foie Gras Gourmet, we are very proud that Grolière goose foie gras and Le Pré aux Canards duck foie gras have been awarded with a Gold medal at Paris Agricultural Show this year.
If you trust your butcher or delicatessen, ask for their advice. Otherwise, at www.foiegrasgourmet.com, a panel of foie gras enthusiasts has tasted dozens of foies gras and selected the very best for you. That’s not to say that other very good foies gras don’t exist, simply that we are extremely proud of the foie gras we sell with their authentic, natural flavours which are miles apart from the standard, bland varieties that we find on the supermarket shelves.
We are also experts in distribution and can ship at no additional cost throughout Europe and will very soon be able to ship worldwide. When prepared traditionally foie gras is a delicious delicacy for tasting by yourself, with friends, with your family or at any social occasion.
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