As you've heard, this month will be the last for foie gras in California. On July 1, the state will ban the sale of the delicacy. Chefs continue to fight the ban — or think up ways to circumvent it — but as the Times points out this week, next month there "will likely be very little, if any, foie anywhere in California." But before foie gras became so politicized, it was about nothing more than glorious excess — excess of riches, of caloric intake. That's something Grub Street knows a thing or two about, so in solidarity with our food-loving friends in California, we want to give the ingredient a proper send-off. That's why we're celebrating the classic French delicacy in New York with a roundup of some of the city's very best translations.
A similar ban in Chicago only lasted two years before the city council overturned it, so it's impossible to know if California's ban really will last forever, or whether it will set a tone for similar bans in other states. But opponents of foie gras — more specifically, opponents of the liver-engorging process required to make foie gras — are certainly vocal. (So vocal, in fact, that several foie-serving restaurants and at least one photographer didn't want to take part in this story.) And foie producers are a far smaller, easier target for animal-rights activists than the large-scale, factory farms that feed millions more Americans.
Our advice is, don't take any chances: Who knows when a politician that's sympathetic to the anti-foie movement will take office in your neck of the woods? If you love the stuff — we love the stuff — now is as good a time as any to grab some and remind yourself how good you have it.
And when you're done devouring the slideshow here in New York, head to Grub's San Francisco and Los Angeles editions to see which dishes they'll soon be without. And when you're done with all that (remember: foie is about excess), make sure to check out the foie offerings in Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, too.