For the best foie gras…
Foie gras is a wonderful feature on any festive menu and can be used in a sumptuous salad or sliced thin as a carpaccio. It is highly versatile and can be used in any number of different dishes. Here are a few recommendations for ensuring you obtain the best possible flavour.
How to choose and conserve your foie gras
A good foie gras should have a firm yet creamy texture; it should definitely not be grainy. Duck foie gras is very popular for the authentic and strong flavour released in the mouth. Goose foie gras is milder and has a more delicate flavour and aroma.
If you are looking for an authentic flavour, you should choose a vacuum-packed fresh foie gras. Cooking it gently at 60°C pasteurises it a little bit, but is flavours and creamy texture will remain intact. Store in a cool place.
If you want to keep your foie gras for a longer period of time or you want to offer it in a gift hamper, you should go for a product in a jar or in a tin. These products have been sterilised and can be stored for longer at an ambient temperature.
The best way to serve foie gras
Foie gras is normally eaten at the start of a meal with an aperitif or as a starter. But it can also be added to a salad or it can be used to enhance the flavour of a main dish.
Remove the foie gras from the fridge 10 to 15 minutes before eating. Don’t open the packaging until you are ready to serve it. Cut slices of around 1 cm thick using a knife with a smooth blade that you run under hot water, or even better, a cutting wire, and arrange the slices on a chilled serving dish.
If you are serving foie gras with an aperitif, don’t spread it, but place a slice delicately on top of pieces of lightly toasted bread.
The best accompaniments
Sweet, fruity or semi-sweet wines such as – Sauternes, Alsace, Jurançon make the most marvellous accompaniments for foie gras as they bring out the creamy nature of the liver while leaving the aromas intact. The sparkling acidity of Champagne will bring out the robust flavour of foie gras.
A Grand Cru also makes a perfect accompaniment for foie gras, especially when sautéed or added to enhance the flavour of a dish.
Lightly toasted, sweetened breads, white bread or brioche, or fruit loaf also go perfectly with foie gras. If you want a more rustic preparation serve it with farmhouse bread or walnut bread. And if you are looking for a more original or festive presentation, you could not find anything more tempting than the delicate, spicy flavour of lightly toasted gingerbread.
Should one add spices to foie gras? If you are eating your foie gras as it comes without any special accompaniments a hint of spice will reveal its delicate flavours.
Fleur de sel or salt crystals from the Guérande will add a surprising contrast to the velvety nature of foie gras. Pepper, with its spiciness and hints of acidity also enhances this delicacy to perfection. In addition to black pepper, there are also a multitude of other peppers that go wonderfully well with foie gras: the lemony flavour of Sichuan Pepper, the delicate aromas of pink peppercorns, the almost sweet flavour of long Java, peppercorns from Madagascar… to name but a few.
Preserves and jellies
Preserves with their contrast of sweet and savoury add a mild hint of acidity to the refined flavour of foie gras: onion preserve with raisins, apples, pears. You can also achieve the same effect with fig jam or if you are looking for something more original you could try mango chutney.
Decorative and delicate jellies with Muscat, Sauternes or Port or other fruit jellies will add a touch of colour to the flavour as well as to the presentation.
And good for your health
Did you know that both duck and goose foie gras has some surprising nutritional properties. It contains large amounts of mono-unsaturated fatty acids that promote cardio-vascular health. In the same way as olive oil, it reduces levels of bad cholesterol. Moreover it is rich in vitamins B6 and B9 and has very high levels of iron. So, it is ideal for everyone including pregnant women.