Sunday, July 1, 2012

Foie Gras, California and American Ingenuity

They’re starving in the Bay Area and parts of La La land today. They don’t know what to eat. Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake,” but no, cake won’t do.

They want Foie Gras, but the California ban on Foie Gras went into effect at 12:01 AM today. It is now illegal to produce or sell Foie Gras in California. A $1,000 fine could be imposed for violations.

Several consumers pigged out on Foie Gras this past week.

Now, the Foie Gras has hit the fan. Hardly a peep was raised when new fast food restaurants were banned in South Central Los Angeles, but ban Foie Gras for the 1% and it’s a national catastrophe.

Personally, the idea of eating duck or goose liver fattened by force feeding of the bird leaves me with a sour taste. Indeed, the idea of eating any liver today is repugnant, since the liver is the repository of toxins in an animal’s body.

I also have no case to make for the eating habits of the 1%, whether it be Chateau Lafitte Rothschild, caviar or Foie Gras.

However, I don’t like the idea of PETA or the food nannies telling any of us what to eat or not eat.

Restauranteurs, in the true tradition of Yankee Ingenuity, are parsing the statutory language in a lawyerly way.

The ban is on the production or sale of Foie Gras in California, but not on the possession, cooking or consumption of Foie Gras. Therefore, as with wines in some restaurants, bring in your own duck or goose and the chef will cook it for you. The salad may cost $25 or $50, or a foiekage (corkage) fee imposed, but the Foie Gras will be free. Similarly, the restaurant might not charge you for the Foie Gras it purchased before the ban went into effect, but would again raise the price of a salad.

Or in the surest sign of American entrepreneurs, a whole new Prohibition will arise with bootleggers smuggling Foie Gras into California. Thus, California could give birth to a Foie Gras Mafia, most likely the Sinaloa Cartel.

A black market could develop in Foie Gras. Instead of going to Vegas to gamble, or for the shows, check out the Fois Gras Buffet. What goes in Vegas will not stay in Vegas.

Others may have private Foie Gras parties, with careful screening of the guests, with lookouts posted to warn of the Foie Gras Police.

California has major problems.  Fois Gras is not one of them.

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