Decoding the Delicious Language of Foie Gras
You will find that this international delicacy is of true French origin, and most terms referring to foie gras are usually in French. To overcome the language barrier, we've assembled the most common terms in foie gras jargon and their definitions.
Foie gras [fhaw GRAH]
In French, foie means “liver”, and gras means “fat”. So, foie gras is the “fat liver” or fattened liver of a force-fed (gavage) duck or goose.
A hybrid between the Muscovy duck male and the Pekin duck female used for foie gras production. Very resilient against disease.
Or Barbary duck. A wild duck used for foie gras by crossing it with the Pekin duck female, producing the Muscovy duck used to produce foie gras.
A classic French dish so called for the rectangular ceramic mold in which it is prepared.
Pâté or pate de foie gras [pah-TAY duh]
Term used to define a smooth goose or duck liver preparation, usually mixed with other meats (for example, pork). The pate is then molded into crocks or tubes and served at room temperature, usually as a spread.
In French, goose.
A species of duck that when crossed with the Muscovy duck produces the foie gras-producing Mulard duck.
A whipped foie gras preparation made by marinating the foie gras and gently cooking it, and whipping its own fat.
In French, “half-cooked”. This describes a foie gras product that has been partially cooked in order to give it a longer shelf life, which preserves most of the original flavor of the fresh liver.
A slice of foie gras.
The breast of a foie gras duck.
Entire goose or duck livers are divided into two lobes, a larger anterior lobe, and a smaller posterior lobe. They can be used whole or separated.
Categorization that defines the quality of commercial foie gras, based on color, size, and taste. Can be A, B, or C.
A region in southwest France that is the major foie gras producer in the world.
French term for the method of force-feeding geese or duck to produce foie gras.
Fresh Foie Gras
Non-processed, uncooked goose or duck liver.
In French, “whole”.
Removing the blood veins from an entire lobe of foie gras.
A culinary preparation that originated in Gascony, France, that preserves meat by curing it with salt and spices and cooking slowly in its own fat. Traditionally stored in crocks.
In French, “duck”.
A foie gras preparation that is produced by compressing large pieces of foie gras into a block, and traditionally includes gourmet truffles.