Foie frenzy is at an all-time high in California as chefs and foie-lovers prep for a life without the controversial delicacy, which begins July 1. [Check out Daniel Duane's thoughtful take on the foie flap in Sunset magazine.] But here’s what I’m left chewing on: Has the Golden State set the tone for similar bans elsewhere in the West?
I’ll bet it’ll be Portland that stirs the pot for Oregon. Animal welfare groups are pushing for a national ban, but deeply liberal, animal-loving PDX (land of the uber-local, paper-carrying chicken) seems like next likely hotbed of anti-foie activity.
Until then, California will remain the sole state under “foiehibition”. Foie-centric feasts are happening nightly, like the 7-course “Silence of the Ducks” dinner at Alexander’s Steakhouse (which kinda sounds like gavage-lite for the human set) and protestors continue to protest at the feasts (some of which disclose their locations only to diners, to avoid any confrontation), even going so far as to plant activists at dinners.
There’s already talk of ways restaurants can skirt the ban, like a foie gras corkage fee. Since it will only be illegal to sell or produce foie in California – not possess it – a restaurant could offer a heavily marked up glass of wine that comes with a “complimentary” torchon.
So maybe the only thing taking flight will be our bar tabs?