Foie gras, an indispensable portion of the French cuisine, can be safely placed under the list of luxury groceries. Having said that, there is a high chance for a consumer to get tricked under buying false or low-quality products where the manufacturers deceive their customers by providing a fine outer casing and sealing the label with an undeniable price. But these two factors are not the sole determinants of the best quality foie gras, there is a whole catalog of characteristics that must be duly considered to decide whether or not, the price is worth paying.
Taste and origin
The true texture of authentic foie gras is like that of air melting inside your mouth. They resemble a block of butter or cheese mainly because of the high-fat content but have a very soft and smooth feel and taste that distinguishes it from the French contemporaries. Additionally, the foie gras that is incepted from a goose is of the higher quality when compared to the duck and thus rarely available. The tastes too, are quite distinct based on their origin as the one from the duck has a very strong and lingering smell and works best with hot food preparations. The quality of foie gras is further categorized under three groups namely
- French– The family of foie gras of the highest quality
- American– A bit lower in the quality scale than the French origin
- Canadian– Nearly similar to the one produced in France, the foie gras from Canada too has the finesse of the French inheritance.
Coming to the different versions of preparation and preservation, the catalog contains the predominant five groups leaving aside the innovations that are being brought about in fusion cuisine.
- Pate de foie gras– Here the foie grass content is lesser than the company that it is served along with which mostly includes other meats like pork duck or veal.
- Mousse of Foie Gras– The texture is that of a mousse, smooth, soft and creamy, prepared by grounding the foie gras or mixing its puree.
- Semi-cooked pasteurized Foie gras– Partially cooked and mostly preserved to keep intact the flavor, smell, and taste until putting to extensive use.
- Fully cooked foie gras– The only difference of the fully cooked version from its semi-cooked version is that the foie gras is preserved in its fat after being thoroughly cooked.
- Foie Gras Entier– The entire liver of the duck is cooked at a time and preserving it only by cutting the piece into small blocks without added preservatives.
The most crucial component that must be taken care of while looking for the highest quality foie gras is its ingredients. A good foie gras will only have the liver, salt, and pepper present in it, while the others that include alcohol, artificial flavors, antioxidants, alcohol or ascorbic acid often deceive the consumer with its claims of adding flavor to the fat. However, when the foie gras is used in reality mixed with these components, the classic taste is completely lost and you are left with a strange aftertaste.
Methods of consumption
- Fruit and jams– when combined with fruits and jams that have a slightly sour taste; the foie gras works the best.
- Loaves of bread– spreading the foie gras over your bread like a sheet of butter or cream will change the game altogether!
- Truffles– Another all-time favorite is combining the foie gras with truffles by simply sprinkling them over the disc to ensure that all the flavors are fully absorbed.
- Cooked– Last, but not the least cook your foie gras by lightly searing it on the pan or serve it chilled to experience the best of French food.