The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Paté de Foie Gras

The American Cyclopædia
Paté de Foie Gras

Edition of 1879. See also Foie gras on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

PATÉ DE FOIE GRAS (Fr.), literally, a pie of fat liver, made generally of the liver of the goose, and in Nérac, France, of the liver of the musk duck. Strasburg and Toulouse are famous for goose-liver pasty tureens. The method of producing the abnormally large liver is to take a young bird in autumn, confine it in a close cage which permits but little movement, generally in a dark place, and feed the bird with beans, or more commonly with maize. During the last three or four weeks the bird is “crammed” twice or three times a day with parboiled maize seasoned with salt, the crammer forcing the food down its throat. Under this unnatural treatment the liver swells and attains a weight of from one to two pounds, and in exceptional cases even three pounds. The bird's throat is cut, and after being drawn the body is hung in a cold, airy place till the liver acquires sufficient firmness to be taken out. The pastry cook seasons and spices it, adds truffles and other ingredients, bakes the contents of the tureen, and pours over the mass a layer of fresh hog's lard to keep it from contact with the air. It is estimated that the trade of the Strasburg pastry cooks alone in these tureens amounts to $500,000 a year.