Foie gras can be poached, melted, sauted, roasted or steamed, marinated in cognac or miso, made into terrine or stuffing, and served with almost any ingredient, sweet or savoury. At home in European, Asian - and increasingly American's kitchens, its calorie-laden richness and velvety, melt-in-the-mouth texture make it a guilty pleasure few gourmets can resist.
Geese and ducks are widely recognized as producing the finest of all animal fats. In their natural habitat, they gorge themselves in preparation for long migratory flights and their livers have evolved to store the excess fat.
But a goose liver – like that of any other animal – will also absorb impurities and harmful toxins. Therefore, in the case of foie gras production, which involves force-feeding birds with maize every day for two to three weeks, cleanliness of water and feed is paramount. Impurities in either could result in a dining experience to remember for all the wrong reasons.