Force-fattened ducks ruffle feathers

A foie gras starter. Photo / Natalie Slade
A foie gras starter. Photo / Natalie Slade

A simmering row between animal rights campaigners and some top chefs is coming to the boil, ahead of a looming ban on foie gras in California.

Protesters took their message to the streets this week as a series of high-end restaurants staged events to celebrate the gastronomic delicacy, made from the livers of force-fed ducks.

"Helpless ducks are force-fed, eat somewhere else instead," chanted some 30 protesters outside the Michelin two-starred Melisse restaurant

California's foie gras ban comes into force on July 1.

Inside Melisse, owner and chef Josiah Citrin offered guests at the ticket-only event a six-course menu that included foie gras (French for "fatty liver") in every dish, from entrees to desserts.

The meal, which cost US$200 ($260) a head, included pressed foie gras terrine, lobster with foie gras and salsify and, for dessert, foie gras ice-cream.


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