grades of foie gras
Grade ATop quality, this is the most acclaimed type of foie gras in the market. It should be firm and light-colored, almost white. The weight varies from 1 to 3 pounds, which is fairly large, and the shape should be very round and bulbous (sort of like a football), firm and pliable. It does not have any blemishes or veins. The best Grade A foie gras is produced in France, where government regulations (not in place in the US) require stricter quality controls in foie gras production, which creates a consistent high quality product.
- Use for: Generally found served in top restaurants, this is the gourmet foie gras you want to reserve for your most sophisticated affairs.
- Best if: Sautéed, grilled, or poached, always using low-heat cooking.
Grade BThe second-best grade; it is smaller and its weight ranges within the half to one-and-a-half pound range. You'll see a flatter, more compact shape, a much softer texture, and a darker color. The surface can show more veins and blemishes (which will generally disappear when cooked). Grade B foie gras can be quite exquisite, if you get it from a reputable source, although it will tend to produce more fat when cooked.
- Use for: Those occasions that call for flavor without as much importance to visual perfection of the dish (so do not use for terrines).
- Best if: Used for sautéing and searing which diminishes any visual imperfections and reduces the amount of fat and blood. Can also be made into mousses or pâtés.