WHAT TO EAT IN FRANCE: HOW TO EAT FOIE GRAS

By Thursday, May 21, 2015 Permalink 0

WHAT TO EAT WITH FOIE GRAS

by Jonell Galloway

I tell you it will be more tolerable for the Fejee that salted down a lean missionary in his cellar against a coming famine; it will be more tolerable for that provident Fejee, I say, in the day of judgment, than for thee, civilized and enlightened gourmand, who nailest geese to the ground and feastest on their bloated livers in thy pate-de-foie-gras.”–Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851)

In What to Eat in France: Foie Gras, we talked about how foie gras is made and the different legal classifications, which determine both the quality and price. Let’s move on to the fun part now. We’ve bought our high-quality foie gras and we want to eat it in the best way possible. Here are some ideas, both traditional and inventive.

Cooked Foie Gras

So you’ve bought a foie gras entier, a foie gras, or a bloc de foie gras. You’ll be eating pure or fairly pure foie gras, but how do you eat it and with what?

There is no one way to eat it. The Romans soaked it in honey and milk to fatten it still more before cooking. The first recipe on record comes from Apicius in his fourth century De re culinaria: Thinly slice the foie gras with a reed. Soak in garum. Crush some pepper, lovage and two bay leaves. Wrap in a caul. Grill and serve.

Today we eat it differently. Cold foie gras is most often eaten with something acidic to help digest the fat. This traditionally includes cold, sweet garnishes such as apple, rhubarb, fresh or dried figs, grapes, or pears, and toast, but contemporary chefs venture outside these limits, serving it with dried fruit and nuts and toasted brioche or raisin-fruit bread. More contemporary garnitures are onion jam or caramelized onions, Balsamic vinegar, port or Sauternes jelly, chutney, cassis berries, raspberries, blueberries or coarse sea salt.

Some people simply eat it with green salad, although I find that salad dressing deadens the natural depth of flavor. It’s also possible to eat it with cornichons and pickled onions. like one does with regular pâté, but once again, the vinegar is likely to overpower the delicate flavor.

Cooked foie gras should never be reheated. It should be eaten just colder than room temperature, so take it out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before serving. Slice it with a knife while it is still cold. It is usually served with cold garnishes, most often as a starter.

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Swiss Food: Fribourg-style Saffron Bread

By Friday, January 24, 2014 Permalink 0

 

Swiss Food: Fribourg-style Cuchaule: Saffron Bread to Eat with Your Bénichon Mustard

by Jonell Galloway

From the archives

In my article, Bénichon Mustard, A Fribourg Specialty to Welcome the Cows Coming Home a few days ago, I talked about the brioche-like saffron bread cuchaule which is traditionally eaten with Bénichon mustard during the Bénichon fall fair in Fribourg, Switzerland.

I translated this recipe from the Delimoon site from the French and adapted it.

Photo courtesy of Moja Kuchnia with authorization.

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Switzerland: Rosa’s Musings: Butterzopf, The History Of A National Sunday Bread

By Saturday, October 1, 2011 Permalink 0

by Rosa Mayland

Switzerland (also known as “Confoederatio Helvetica” or “die Schweiz”, “la Suisse”, “Svizzera”, “Svizra”) is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons and 4 different linguistic and cultural areas (German, French, Italian and Romansch). It’s therefore not surprising if its cuisine reflects its rich heritage and highly diverse cultures. It is rather like an island in the middle of Europe, like a tiny kingdom.

Each region and canton has its very own traditional dishes and specialties as well as produce, and they defend and even protect it fiercely, because there are dishes, cheeses, wines, breads, and many more food items that are now protected by AOCs in Switzerland.

Even if this tiny piece of land stuck between Germany, Austria, France, Italy has its own highly diverse culinary identity, one cannot refute that each part of the Swiss Confederation has, to a certain extent, been influenced by its neighbors, and vice versa. For example, a sausage resembling the anise-flavored Geneva sausage called Longeole can also be found in Chablais (Haute-Savoie); a cheese similar to Valais raclette is made in Savoie too; the Swiss German spätzli seem to be of Swabian (German) origin. Then there is polenta or risotto which evoke the Apennine Penninsula, and are often found in Ticino, and, well, the list goes on. As it is the case with every place that is not in total isolation, the borders are quite permeable, so it is pretty understandable that ideas, information, arts and science cross back and forth across the borders.

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