Go on, indulge yourself.
July 19, 2009 5:21 AM   Subscribe

 
hehe -"I love the little crunchy things" - "What, the feet?" *shudders*
posted by dabitch at 5:27 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is there anyone here who hasn't had the experience of, halfway through a meal at an expensive or trendy restaurant, thinking to themselves "I can't believe rich people eat this shit"?
posted by Ritchie at 5:36 AM on July 19, 2009 [23 favorites]


Reading the FPP, I could have sworn this was going to be about large portion sizes (I've panicked during multi-course prix fixe dinners)...but then, I don't think I've ever been served 1800 calories as an appetizer.
posted by availablelight at 5:39 AM on July 19, 2009


To quote Point Break (which I often do): It ain't tragic dying doing what you love.

I would love to try a foie gras jelly donut. Much like the author, had I witnessed that on a menu I would've ordered it. Price, health and inclination at the time be damned. That is one of the things I love about food: after a good 27 years of eating the stuff (mostly recreationally), there are still suprises to be had. Some people have to jump out of a plane to feel like there is something new to experience. I just need a foie gras jelly donut.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:40 AM on July 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wait - so this post isn't about last nights meetups?
posted by item at 5:42 AM on July 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, look around. It's not like many people pride themselves in their dietary restraint anymore, right?
posted by belvidere at 5:50 AM on July 19, 2009


I witnessed it on the menu. I ordered it. It was good.

Although I prefer other, previously-eaten preparations of foie gras appetizers to this one. The rasbberry jelly was a nice contrast to the rich liver, but the doughnut itself didn't do that much for me.

The foie gras ice cream (yes, that's ice cream made of foie gras) profiteroles on the dessert menu, on the other hand...
posted by Muttoneer at 5:57 AM on July 19, 2009


Ritchie, I know what you're saying, but generally my experiences have been the polar opposite. On several occasions I have spent hundreds of pounds/dollars/euros on a single meal and only regretted not having that kind of disposable income to blow on a single meal more than every few years. (Caviar being the exceptional luxury item that I will never understand. It's good, but fresh whitefish or salmon roe is tastier.)

An excellent meal, well prepared and professionally served is something I remember for years after the fact. Like a great movie or book, it stays with me. Some people will spend the same amount of money on a holiday as I will going to a nice restaurant. Though most people don't understand it, I feel the two experiences are comparable.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:58 AM on July 19, 2009 [12 favorites]


slimepuppy: Some people have to jump out of a plane to feel like there is something new to experience. I just need a foie gras jelly donut.

There's no reason you can't do both. At the same time.
posted by vernondalhart at 6:08 AM on July 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


slimepuppy: Some people have to jump out of a plane to feel like there is something new to experience. I just need a foie gras jelly donut.

vernondalhart: There's no reason you can't do both. At the same time.

Naked.
posted by localroger at 6:29 AM on July 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


First you force feed the duck, and then you force feed the duck to a human. Where does it end?
posted by albrecht at 6:31 AM on July 19, 2009 [15 favorites]



There's no reason you can't do both. At the same time.


Well, besides the difficulty of administering the Heimlich maneuver to yourself while at terminal velocity.
posted by Comrade_robot at 6:33 AM on July 19, 2009


I wasn’t really even in the mood for it, but when confronted with something so outrageous, all will power is lost. It’s as though the menu had performed the Jedi mind-trick on me: “You will have the foie gras jelly donut.” ”

I've experienced this, something so outrageous on the menu that you quietly explain to yourself if you don't order X you will regret it for the rest of your life. What can I say? I'm a fool for the bizarre, over-the-top, party-in-my-mouth, food experience. Good thing I'm not rich because I would be twice the size.

And by the way, no matter how long the snack food chemists toil in their labs whipping up "Eatertainment," I'm still can't be bothered to eat the latest Dorito/ Pringle/Ritz creation BECAUSE IT IS NOT REAL FOOD.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:36 AM on July 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


I like food. But not this food.
posted by tommasz at 6:47 AM on July 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


needs more bacon
posted by pyramid termite at 6:54 AM on July 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Huh, foie gras jelly donut doesn't really surprise me -- foie gras plus fruit preserve plus bread-like item is a traditional combination.

But yeah, there should only be about 1 1/2 bites of it on the plate.
posted by palliser at 7:06 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


palliser has got this exactly right. I am no connoisseur of anything at all, but i've experienced the enlightenment that comes from realizing that I'm responsible for my own pleasure. The way to handle a dish like this: eat a bite, savor it, talk about it, enjoy it, the put a napkin over the remainder and move on. No upset stomach, no sweating, just a great taste and a fun memory.
posted by facetious at 7:22 AM on July 19, 2009


i don't feel so good
posted by The Deej at 7:24 AM on July 19, 2009


Someone tell Cortex.
posted by Artw at 7:27 AM on July 19, 2009


I can understand this completely. The author says he's in a town that's new to him, and he and his family want to seek out the best food the place has to offer. I don't know if he eats like this every day, but this is, to me, an essential part of travel. While there are, sadly, more than enough westerners visiting, say, McDonald's in Thailand, or Japanese people (like my wife's folks) who bring instant miso soup and cup noodles on vacation, part of the joy of travel is eating something you just don't have back home.

I loved, with my whole being, the styrofoam takeout box of roast suckling pig from Ibu Oka in Bali. It's not something I would eat every day, but it's a memory to treasure. Much like, say, a jelly donut covered in foie gras. I do agree with palliser, though. That portion looks violently absurd. Delicious, yet absurd.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:31 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


After being ranted at by a vegetarian commenter, the author responds,

"Scott Gold says:

@cpm: I'm sorry this piece didn't please you. It sounds like you're really hungry. That's okay - I get cranky and emotional when I'm hungry, too. Also, I have to credit you for the inadvertent blast of creative genius. "Your Soul Needs Tortured Animal Renderings" might not make a whole lot of sense from a culinary standpoint, but seriously: BEST. METAL ALUM TITLE. EVER."
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:33 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can I have one with bacon?
posted by sfts2 at 7:52 AM on July 19, 2009


Huh. Not what I was expecting either (foie on top of donut).

It's a guilty pleasure. I love ducks. I love duck.

Which reminds me, I need to hunt up some good magret in the market.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:08 AM on July 19, 2009


I'm just delighted to learn Portland has a new restaurant so sophisticated. Le Pigeon, on inner east Burnside. Portland's always had good restaurants but has always been too small to sustain an excellent place of this caliber for very long. Frankly, most chefs willing to work this hard get poached and move on to larger places.

The fried dough seems like it'd be a bit heavy with foie gras. Flavours sound lovely though.
posted by Nelson at 8:16 AM on July 19, 2009


Go on, indulge yourself.

My older son was 15 the last summer he spent with me. Already 6' 2", the boy possessed a ravenous appetite, and a renowned sweet tooth. Not far from my house was a New England ice cream parlor that advertised a monster banana split they called "The Belly Buster," which was free, if you could eat the whole thing in an hour, or $17 if you couldn't. It had become something of an annual tradition for the boy to order one, but he didn't finish it at 12, or at 13, or at 14. That year, he vowed, it would be different.

He fasted a full day, before going to the place, which was a feat in and of itself so remarkable, I could only compare it to Christ's 40 days of deprivation in the wilderness. At the appointed time, we went to the ice cream parlor, and ordered the conconcotion, again, with all the attendant ceremony, including bell ringing and the ritual of 2 servers bringing the Belly Buster out on a tray held between them (the implication being, for all the crowd to see, that it was just too big for one person to carry!).

He began, in somber and measured fashion, spoonful by spoonful, to attack the mountain of ice cream. After 20 minutes, he paused for a couple of minutes to burp, and take a sip of water. At 30 minutes, much of the remaining ice cream was turning to mush. At 40 minutes, he burped again, and again, and rubbed his stomach. As in past years, it had ceased being fun. But there was a quiet look of determination in his eye, and he resolutely picked up his spoon again, and started slurping up the remaining melted ice cream "soup" in the big stainless steel bowl.

At 58:37 of the measured hour, he put down his spoon a final time, and it clanked on a visible bottom in the bowl. He looked glassy eyed, but otherwise hale, and he was burping constantly, to the slowly rising applause of the crowd that had gathered around the table in the last 5 minutes to see him finish, if he could.

The waitress finally approached for the ceremonial ripping up of the check, and asked "How was it?"

Too which my son quietly replied, as if he were Lindbergh addressing the Parisian press, for the edification of all gathered 'round "Pretty good. What there was of it." And he then he grinned like Henny Youngman, and burped some more, to the applause and admiration of everyone in the place.

This country loves a glutton.
posted by paulsc at 8:26 AM on July 19, 2009 [88 favorites]


I'm thinking about trying this at home.
posted by longsleeves at 8:26 AM on July 19, 2009


I have a reservation at Au Pied de Cochon in two weeks. If I die, I'll die happy.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:34 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's no reason you can't do both. At the same time.

Dangerous. If the wind tore the jelly donut from your hands before it reached your mouth, 1. imagin the disappointment you'd feel and 2. something that heavily-laden with calories could have a pretty high terminal velocity. It could kill someone on the ground.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:38 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes. On the other hand, no.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:39 AM on July 19, 2009


I dunno goodnewsforthesane, that tube sounds like it would have helped paulsc's son.
posted by Nelson at 8:55 AM on July 19, 2009


Is there anyone here who hasn't had the experience of, halfway through a meal at an expensive or trendy restaurant...

I've never had any experiences at expensive or trendy restaurants. But I've seen stupid rich stuff on TV and in magazines, so I know what you are talking about.
posted by DU at 9:20 AM on July 19, 2009




First you force feed the duck, and then you force feed the duck to a human. Where does it end?


Soylent Green is fatty people?
posted by juv3nal at 9:23 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there anyone here who hasn't had the experience of, halfway through a meal at an expensive or trendy restaurant, thinking to themselves "I can't believe rich people eat this shit"?

*Raises Cracker-Barrel-pancake-full-fork in agreement*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:29 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


First you force feed the duck, and then you force feed the duck to a human. Where does it end?

Robots!
posted by troll on a pony at 9:45 AM on July 19, 2009


When I see this, I just get the feeling that some restaurants just like to cram certain ingredients into things purely with the attitude of "It's expensive, that oughtta impress them!", rather than out of consideration for what might actually be good food.

I noticed this from my many years studying Iron Chef, too. Just somehow make a dish involving fois gras, truffles, caviar and swallows nest and you're sure to win... so luxurious!.
posted by Jimbob at 9:50 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


A vile idea, negligently executed. As for the pigeon - does it have to look as if a slop bucket has been upturned on the plate?
posted by Phanx at 10:02 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


While there are, sadly, more than enough westerners visiting, say, McDonald's in Thailand, or Japanese people (like my wife's folks) who bring instant miso soup and cup noodles on vacation.
See, when I go to a new place, I like to experience it at least a little with a sympathy towards the day-to-day experience of the people who live there. Coming to Portland for the $16 fois gras donut is a little like going to rural India for the $80 steak.

That someone called him out on it and all he had was ironic hipster sarcasm to back it up just makes the author all the more pretentious. Yeah, it was poor moralising, but veg friendliness is a big piece of the local culture. Respect the local culture, even when you don't agree with it, asshat. More reasonable commentary followed, and, yup, still an asshat.

Also, this is my home, born and raised. Super nichey restaurants and businesses that enter neighborhoods with prices that the locals can't afford are the worst type of gentrification.
posted by Skwirl at 10:04 AM on July 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is there anyone here who hasn't had the experience of, halfway through a meal at an expensive or trendy restaurant, thinking to themselves "I can't believe rich people eat this shit"?

Seriously. A snooty friend of mine threw me a going away party in SF last year and was raving and raving about the food at the restaurant she chose for it. I was at the table enjoying my overpriced wine when she offered me a slice of her pizza. The main topping was BONE MARROW. WTF!!???? No. Maybe for my dog, but who even THINKS of something like bone marrow pizza?
posted by miss lynnster at 10:05 AM on July 19, 2009


the first time I had bone marrow, at St. John's in London back in 2000, when the whole movement to revive offal and weird food was beginning to surge in the US, I was also a little perplexed with the appeal.

I then had it again a couple of years later at a dinner party where the marrow had been the byproduct of nicely roasted piece of shank that my host scraped out with a knife and slathered on some toast like it was butter. It was like butter but hyperbutter squared. So tasty, but only when piping hot.

Bone marrow itself, isn't expensive. You can get a good beef rib for a few bucks and just roast it at high heat for a while. It's only that expensive restaurants sell it as an appetizer.

With that said, this article reads like an entry in ThisIsWhyYou'reFat except with more disposable income.
posted by bl1nk at 10:14 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


How about foie gras wrapped in cotton candy? I've had that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:16 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


miss lynnster, i don't know about bone marrow pizza, but bone marrow can be quite a delicacy. Like, with a pot-au-feu, extract the bone marrow, put it on a slice of baguette, add some grey salt(?), enjoy the divine treat.
posted by vivelame at 10:17 AM on July 19, 2009


Ah, bone marrow. One of my husband's favorites, but I just can't go there. Those dark, gelatinous globs are way too reminiscent of the results of nasal irrigation following sinus surgery.
posted by timeo danaos at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2009


Bone marrow strikes me as a little different to 1800-calorie foie gras jelly doughnut appetizers.

Americans are extremely snotty eaters and throw out a lot of nutritious animal parts (like organ meats) because, ew! when their disgust is strictly a matter of how they've been raised and not a matter of the taste of the food when well prepared. I recently went back to my hometown and ate at a nice, but not out of price range of the locals, restaurant that features organ meats and other exotic meats as menu specials. We tried some of the black pudding, and it was delicious. I have friends who eat there regularly, and if I lived there, I'd put it on my list.

Just because it's being sold as upmarket food snobbery doesn't mean it's not also responsible animal consumption (as opposed to, say, foie gras).
posted by immlass at 10:25 AM on July 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


I know the feeling, timeo danaos. I passed on that disgusting blob when my parents had some. I finally tried when i was, what, 15, and i understood why they didn't insist at all: more for them.
posted by vivelame at 10:27 AM on July 19, 2009


When I see this, I just get the feeling that some restaurants just like to cram certain ingredients into things purely with the attitude of "It's expensive, that oughtta impress them!", rather than out of consideration for what might actually be good food.

Oh, so agreed. It seems that in many cases (though not necessarily the fpp case) "innovation" seeks to trump technique. Especially when innovation is throwing rare and/or expensive ingredients at each other.

That said, Le Pigeon is a favorite restaurant of mine, but not a once a week place. It's daring and fun (but perhaps a bit to faux-lowbrow at times.) Generally I like good, clean food that is expressive of its ingredients.

I did eat the doughnut-burger at The Original, though, not bad.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:46 AM on July 19, 2009


Raw lining of bearded seal intestines, coarsely chopped, served on a pilotbread cracker.

If that's too much, settle for the fermented whale blubber.

Follow with tea and cake.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:51 AM on July 19, 2009


Also, this is my home, born and raised. Super nichey restaurants and businesses that enter neighborhoods with prices that the locals can't afford are the worst type of gentrification.

Portland has gotten to be a different sort of weird over the last 10 years or so. A lot of money has moved here, but they didn't bring a whole lot of jobs. The city core has this playground feeling, like its a place for the rich to go and slum it up.

I still love it here, but I've become increasingly aware that the best way to be able to afford living in Portland is to be from NY or CA.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:51 AM on July 19, 2009


Organ meats are on the list of foods I will occasionally try to eat in the hopes that I would like them. As usual, I fail. I have idly considered starving myself for a few days and seeing if I would like, say, liver then. Then I realize, "So, you'd be very very hungry, then you'd try to gag down some liver, then you'd waste time brushing your teeth three times before you could go get real food; I dunno man."
posted by adipocere at 10:56 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait what? One of you thinks bone marrow is gross? Bone Marrow tastes like the friggin' shroud of Turin. It is the most delicious part of anything, ever. Spread that stuff on some toast with an extra coarse salt, maybe a tiny bit of a savory jam or marmalade. Holy moly, that's the reason we got tounges, yo.
posted by GilloD at 11:05 AM on July 19, 2009 [8 favorites]


This trend is obviously a backlash, a thumbing of collective noses against years of picky eaters, sauce-on-siders, vegans and other dietary malcontents so frequently bemoaned by fine-dining chefs, as well as a celebration of that delightful category of ingredients that will likely send you — both literally and figuratively — to heaven. Moderation and good common dietary sense have no place here.

That's the heart of it right there. (yum, heart)

i had the distinct pleasure of an orgy of pasta last night. Met with a friend at her house. Made several kinds of stuffed pasta - ravioli, tortellini. First course was grilled new york strip, cubed, rolled in butter, rolled in cashew butter, dusted with paremesano, stuffed inside white flour pasta; served with a sauce of butter, cream, and nutmeg. Second course was sausage, tarragon, ricotta, pine nuts, stuffed in whole weat pasta, served with a rustic tomato-onion-garlic sauce. Third course was shrimp, scallops, crab, ricotta, dill, lemon zest, stuffed in white flour pasta, served with a sun-dried tomato/alfredo sauce.

Thing is, we had only 4, maybe 5 pieces of each. The rest got stashed in her freezer for later (which might be 4:00 today, who knows). We didn't go overboard on quantity, but we didn't scrimp on quality.

Give me real ingredients. Full on butter, rich heavy cream, etc. It's not like we eat this way every day. But we will do it again, with lots of pleasure and zero guilt.
posted by yesster at 11:20 AM on July 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh, and we did this all over the course of about five hours, like it should be done.
posted by yesster at 11:21 AM on July 19, 2009


I have idly considered starving myself for a few days and seeing if I would like, say, liver then.

You should try foie et gésier de poulet, in a l'oeuf et la farine batter, fried, dusted with sel de table, served hot and accompanied by a very cold American lager. Simply miraculous and very la de da!
posted by Science! at 11:21 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Usually I am a crappy cook, but I managed to prepare a private unforgettable culinary experience by skipping lunch, then donating blood and then roasting 500 grams of liver with fresh boiled potatoes and lingonberry jelly. Mm, iron replacement.
posted by Free word order! at 11:45 AM on July 19, 2009


Last night at the metafilter meetup there was something called the "Captain's Poutine" on the menu, which we ended up tackling. It was apparently a poutine topped with fish and chips and then slathered with chowder.

Burp.
posted by mek at 12:10 PM on July 19, 2009


I don't grudge this guy his foie gras, but his attitude towards vegetarians is very much like the attitude of Christians towards atheists.

"And for stopping being snarky with vegetarians, we'll do when vegetarians stop being selfrightoues cultural kamikaze." is his comment, which I read to be equivalent to "Your very existence insults my faith, completely unlike mine does to yours, obviously, duh."

Non-spelling grammar-challenged foodie douchebag.
posted by Aquaman at 12:42 PM on July 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Uh, he's snarking at vegetarians because vegetarians are comment-bombing him. Seems like fair game to me.
posted by mek at 12:46 PM on July 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


"And for stopping being snarky with vegetarians, we'll do when vegetarians stop being selfrightoues cultural kamikaze." is his comment

It isn't his comment, actually.

I'm puzzled by several comments in the blue here. The article is about food, specifically meat. It says "meat" above the headline. The article is clearly going to be about eating meat.

The vegetarians are shitting in the comments over there. The author isn't being a douche.

Seriously, folks. Start at the beginning and read through to the end, and if you still think it's the author who's being a dick and not the naysayers, I guess there's nothing we can do. Ignorance can be fixed; stupidity can't.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:07 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


GilloD: Bone marrow tastes like the friggin' shroud of turin

If I want to eat some cloth corpse wrappings, I sure as fuck won't spread it on toast.
posted by idiopath at 1:18 PM on July 19, 2009


mmm, bone marrow through a straw.

I'm a very flexible vegetarian. I happily eat whatever the local cuisine is when I travel, whether it has meat in it or not. I don't begrudge a single person their burger or prime rib or salmon tart or whatever. And as a lover of good food, I appreciate the craft that goes into gourmet meat-bearing dishes, and happily beg a bite or two when out with friends if they get something that looks especially unique or delicious.

All that said: I fucking draw the line at foie gras. It's produced via the worst kind of torture that's still currently legal in the meat industry, and people who happily scarf it down are either ignorant of how it's made or guilty of the worst kind of monstrous gluttony (Anthony Bourdain, I'm looking at you, you smug dissolute hedonist asshole).
posted by xthlc at 1:24 PM on July 19, 2009 [11 favorites]


The treatment of foie gras ducks is absolutely not torture - and claiming it is shows exactly how shrill you are. Those ducks have it pretty damn good... it doesn't even compare to the conditions that the vast majority of factory-farmed animals are raised in. If you want cruelty, do some research into how supermarket chickens are raised. Or take a look at a cattle feed pen.
posted by mek at 1:41 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've always been a sucker for interesting and unusual foodstuffs, especially when they combine tastes that the normal eater would find upsetting. Unfortunately, as a vegetarian now, there's very little of culinary adventuring I will do.
That said, fois gras jelly donut sounds fantastic. Fois gras: the marzipan of the liver-tastic savory world. My ethics do draw the line at fois gras, but I have to admit it's tasty. Torture-tasty.

Indulging in foods one wouldn't normally eat, whether it be because of dietary restraint or ethical concerns, is a high mark of character in my book. Our culture is happy with pushing the boundaries of what men and women can do, but oddly draw the line at eating weird food combinations?
posted by neewom at 1:43 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish Osama Bin Laden was reading this and the texting/driving thread. He'd retire to one of the caves by the sea and just let nature take its course making the world a safer place for the rest of us.
posted by i_cola at 1:53 PM on July 19, 2009


If you want cruelty, do some research into how supermarket chickens are raised. Or take a look at a cattle feed pen.

Food, Inc.
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM on July 19, 2009


A question for xthlc and all the other anti-foie folks: are you against it when produced as such?
posted by cloax at 2:08 PM on July 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: I'm looking at you, you smug dissolute hedonist asshole
posted by lumpenprole at 2:09 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish Osama Bin Laden was reading this and the texting/driving thread. He'd retire to one of the caves by the sea and just let nature take its course making the world a safer place for the rest of us.

What? Is eating foie gras dooming Western civilization or something? I'm genuinely curious as to what you're getting at.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:10 PM on July 19, 2009


The treatment of foie gras ducks is absolutely not torture - and claiming it is shows exactly how shrill you are

You sound like Bush. Of course it's torture, you don't give any real counterargument other than "some other animals have it worse", which is basically the same as "well, waterboarding isn't as bad as having your testicles cut off and fed to you!".

Much like with the waterboarding folks, I'd love to see a video of you undergoing what the ducks do. I'm sure being force-fed to the point that you have trouble breathing is a fun family experience.

I love ducks

No, you love eating ducks...
posted by wildcrdj at 2:12 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Spotted Pig (West Village, NYC): From Snout to Tail.

St. John (London) and chef Fergus Henderson's "The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating" cookbook.
posted by ericb at 2:14 PM on July 19, 2009


Indulging in foods one wouldn't normally eat, whether it be because of dietary restraint or ethical concerns, is a high mark of character in my book

WTF? Indulging in things that are ethically unsound is a mark of high character? So prisons are full of people of the highest character? This is a bizarre comment. It only makes sense if you don't think those ethical concerns are valid, in which case in your mind there's no ethical concern and thus the remark still doesn't make sense.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:15 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh god, this is so not where I wanted this to go when I posted this. It was supposed to light and fluffy, with a hint of "wow, really?!"

We can still keep in that way, come on people, PUSH!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:18 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


WTF? Indulging in things that are ethically unsound is a mark of high character?

Er, no, heh. I suppose I didn't phrase that well. You do have a good point, and I'll concede that I should've left "ethical concerns" out as I consider that a separate subject, so I'll just let that go. I still find that the willingness to eat foods you wouldn't normally consider (for me, something like live octopus, where I have a high aversion to eating living animals, not necessarily because of ethics) is a high mark of character, as I put it.
posted by neewom at 2:23 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]




I still find that the willingness to eat foods you wouldn't normally consider ... is a high mark of character, as I put it.

Ah, that I can understand. :)
posted by wildcrdj at 2:28 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I picked up a silver marrow spoon at a hospice thrift shop a few years ago. As the gnarled, ancient volunteer at the cash register carefully wrapped it up for me, she looked me dead in the eye and raved "you know, sometimes there's nothing I like more than a nice, juicy BONE!"

Old ladies like to do these things to young men, because they know they can get away with it.
posted by Graygorey at 2:36 PM on July 19, 2009 [16 favorites]


Lumpenprole, I could have sworn I found that link here on the blue, but searches are coming up empty. I might give it a shot, but don't have high hopes for the ensuing discussion if this thread is any indication.
posted by cloax at 2:38 PM on July 19, 2009


Give me real ingredients. Full on butter, rich heavy cream, etc.

Julia Child: "If you're afraid of butter, as many people are nowadays, just put in cream!"
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on July 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anthony Bourdain, I'm looking at you, you smug dissolute hedonist asshole

xthlc, I would give you a hundred favorites if I could.
posted by belvidere at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2009


a celebration of that delightful category of ingredients that will likely send you — both literally and figuratively — to heaven.
No heaven for you! Third circle of Hell, glutton: vile slush and freezing rain.

Moderation and good common dietary sense have no place here.
Which really is why you are fat.

There's a strong trend for vegetarians not to be gluttonous, and for gluttons not to be vegetarian, but "vegetarian" is not the opposite of "glutton". Sugar is a plant product. It is possible to create grotesquely unhealthy vegetarian meals to shove down one's neck: I'm pretty sure this peanut butter, marshmallow fluff and Nutella sandwich would be technically vegan, if made with margarine.

facetious put a napkin over the remainder and move on.
That would be wasteful, which is just as bad as being gluttonous.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


What? Is eating foie gras dooming Western civilization or something? I'm genuinely curious as to what you're getting at.

More over eating in general. Meant as a wisecrack rather than an actual opinion.
posted by i_cola at 2:50 PM on July 19, 2009


Cloax, that TED talk is fantastic. I live about a 3 hour drive from the Extremadura region. Might make the trip down there for some of that transcendental foie gras that is 'too good for chefs'.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:52 PM on July 19, 2009


My answer to cloax's question is a definite yes. If it's produced without cruelty, I'll eat it. Bring on the meat vat! (Benefits including but not limited to: smaller area required for production; arbitrarily tailorable nutritional content and taste; less pollution from methane; net pollution reduction if the vat nutrients are themselves a byproduct of another process; eventually, cheaper.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:55 PM on July 19, 2009


I love ducks

No, you love eating ducks...


Both, actually. If you have trouble holding both of those thoughts in your mind, I won't trouble you with anything more difficult.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:57 PM on July 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


I would definitely try a foie gras jelly donut. I don't know if it makes me a cheapskate, but I would have really hard time justifying to myself spending 16 freakin' dollars on a foie gras jelly donut.
posted by zardoz at 3:30 PM on July 19, 2009


Anthony Bourdain...you smug dissolute hedonist asshole.

I assure you, he would take that as a compliment of the highest order.
posted by youarenothere at 3:55 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, I would hungrily devour an orgy of foie gras jelly donuts until my bloated corpse had to be winched out of my sawed-apart house.*

As for other organ meats, I don't discard them because of their perceived ickyness, I discard them because their texture is predominantly vile and grotendous; either too crunchily cartilaginous (hearts), or too limp and spongy (braaainz, kidneys, &c). Regular, nontortured liver is not particularly tasty either, alas.

*Unless they were filled with grape jelly, as all right-thinking people know that grape is a foul goo, unworthy of the name jelly.
posted by elizardbits at 4:06 PM on July 19, 2009


That TED talk is excellent, thanks. It's unfortunate that foie gras is an easy target because it creates a facile debate which totally obscures the underlying issues with industrial food production, which is what we should really be concerned with.
posted by mek at 4:26 PM on July 19, 2009


I bought some wagyu beef at a japanese market today for $70/pound ($17 worth) and made some Shabu Shabu with it... it was insanely good. Yes, I can believe rich people eat this shit.
posted by Huck500 at 5:05 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did not read the whole thread. It is too much. I've had a taste, and it is enough.

Bone Marrow is delicious! I will kill 4 cute puppies or 9 ugly ones for a plate of nice grilled marrow in the bone.
posted by dirty lies at 5:08 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Never had foie gras. But man, when I was a kid (and got them more often than I do now, which still wasn't very often), I looooved me some chicken livers.

If I have chicken at someone's house, where I can get a back, or a quarter (I suppose they sell quartered chickens at the store, but I never look), and there's still a liver in there, it's like a prize.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:38 PM on July 19, 2009


cloax:
are you against it when produced as such?

Not in the least. I still personally wouldn't eat it, but if you remove the gavage and add free-range, healthy, happy geese, you've removed my objections to foie gras.
posted by xthlc at 5:43 PM on July 19, 2009


I've eaten foie gras once. It was at Daniel, Daniel Boulud's flagship restaurant in NYC. I took my mother there for Christmas, and brought along the rest of my family and my best friend. We had a fantastic time and spent $750. It was definitely a "wow, this is how rich people eat" moment.

Back to the foie gras: it was good. Really good. I'd gladly eat it again if given the opportunity. Yes, I know how it's made. If this makes me a smug dissolute hedonist asshole, so be it.
posted by spitefulcrow at 7:19 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


It was supposed to light and fluffy

Foie Gras is a touchy subject, what did you expect? The city of Chicago even banned it back in 2006. (Unfortunately, this ban was subsequently lifted). There's just no way an article involving animal torture can be regarded as "light and fluffy".
posted by crazy_yeti at 8:27 PM on July 19, 2009


I never liked liver, and foie gras is better than ordinary liver but is still liver, like pate. I can eat it if it's pate or fois gras but never understood the love for it. As far as eating the whole animal, I agree, but if you live anywhere near farm country and/or where traditional cultures are strong, you'll find a lot of people who eat many foods from the whole animal, organs and unusual cuts like tongue. Where I live the traditional Latin culture is very strong and family farming is still done on a small scale (in many cases on the same land for the last four centuries), and a lot of local food is made with organs and weird meats. It's good to get exposure to it and to eat what the locals eat from local sources, but some of it is not exactly an acquired taste.

I tried and tried since I was a teenager at least, but menudo made the traditional way with tripe is not really my thing, though my brother-in-law's family makes it that way, and it's excellent, just can't get over the flavor. I can eat a little tripe if it's in posole (something like this, but we usually keep the chile sauce separate), but the menudo tends to enhance its odor and flavor, while our posole is very spicy and the tripe/spice combination with the carbs and protein actually makes it a favorite for hangovers. If there's a lot of tripe in it I still can't take it. Tripe is a traditional food here and is still well loved, but it never tasted any better the more I tried to get used to it. I think it helps if you grow up eating it from a very young age.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:33 PM on July 19, 2009


Back to the foie gras: it was good. Really good. I'd gladly eat it again if given the opportunity. Yes, I know how it's made. If this makes me a smug dissolute hedonist asshole, so be it.

It does sort of baffle me, I have to say. You stick a tube down a duck's throat three times a day and pump it full of food. A month later "[t]he result of this practice is a severely enlarged and fatty liver which results in the liver disease hepatic lipidosis. The liver may swell up to 12 times its normal size (up to three pounds)."

Doesn't this gross you out? I don't actually eat meat myself (though I did actually have a burger for the first time in seven years the other day - made on someone's farm who uses organic, humane techniques. It was overdone, unfortunately...) mainly because of the horrors of industrial meat harvesting, but I can see why people are willing to let their minds skitter past what goes on to make their nice little beef patties.

But making paté de fois gras is such a deliberately nasty process (I mean, what sort of psychopath thought this up in the first place?) that I simply can't see how your mind could stop thinking about it while eating it.

I'm curious, semi-eponysterical spitefulcrow - have you ever seen videos of gavage? Would you be willing to force feed a goose for a couple of days?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:48 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, I hadn't seen videos or even pictures before. Those kind of changed my mind. Weird how something's only okay in the abstract. (Human psychology is a bizarre thing that could probably have at least ten full discussions on here barely scratching the surface.)

Having done a bit of reading on the matter and looked at videos, I don't know that I'll eat foie gras prepared by gavage now. However, Wikipedia mentioned the existence of a few companies producing fattened goose livers by timing the slaughter to coincide with the peak of the goose's natural instinct to gorge in preparation for winter. It'd be awesome if the product is similar to (or even close to) the traditional product, because I'd have way less of a guilty conscience.

lupus_yonderboy, you get a gold star for getting me to look at things a different way.
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:03 PM on July 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Calling Anthony Bourdain a smug, dissolute, hedonist asshole? More a badge of honour.

But more importantly, he's a junkie and anyone with any experience of this knows that junkies are not to be trusted no matter how convincing they may be. At all.
posted by i_cola at 2:17 AM on July 20, 2009


Here's a link to a Ruhlman.com writeup about Dan Barber's TED talk that cloax linked to above.

I certainly hope they use the rest of the goose too, though. You know, in other eating sorts of ways.
posted by kalessin at 9:15 AM on July 20, 2009


Bone Marrow is delicious! I will kill 4 cute puppies or 9 ugly ones for a plate of nice grilled marrow in the bone.

You're going to need more than 9 of 'em if you want a full plate of marrow. Mmmm puppy marrow.
posted by juv3nal at 11:34 AM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maître-D': Uh, today we ’ave for appetizers — excuse me. Uh, moules marinières, pâté de foie gras, Beluga caviar, eggs Benedictine, tart de poireau — that’s leek tart — frogs’ legs amandine, or oeufs de caille Richard Shepherd — c’est-à-dire, little quails’ eggs on a bed of puréed mushroom; it’s very delicate, very subtle.

Mr Creosote: I’ll have the lot.

Maître-D': [Pause] A wise choice, monsieur! And now, ’ow would you like it served? All, uh, mixed up togezher in a bucket?

Mr Creosote: Yeah... with the eggs on top.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:07 PM on July 20, 2009


Mr. Creosote [07:38].
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on July 20, 2009


...and don't skip on the pâté!
posted by ericb at 12:29 PM on July 20, 2009


*skimp*
posted by ericb at 12:32 PM on July 20, 2009


Foie Gras is a touchy subject, what did you expect?

Reasonable people who weren't set on pushing an agenda at every opportunity they can. My bad.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:47 PM on July 20, 2009


Reasonable people who weren't set on pushing an agenda at every opportunity they can. My bad.

You realize that restaurants, like Lark right here in Seattle, are protested—literally people marching and yelling in the street outside the restaurant, a couple of times a month.

The fois gras controversy is the perfect storm for the self righteous with more time than sense. It's got class issues (mistakenly - working class people ate fois gras in France — organ meat in general used to be poor people food), cute widdle easily anthropomorphized duckies (and geese) supposedly being tortured, and gross organ meat.

I don't like fois gras that much. But I go to Lark and I eat it out of spite. As much as I can force down my gullet. I will my liver to PETA.
posted by tkchrist at 1:39 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Reasonable people who weren't set on pushing an agenda at every opportunity they can. My bad

I can understand your wanting to have a fun conversation about something totally ridiculous. But it's hard to do that when there are so many things that are kind of offensive about a foie gras jelly donut. There are many of us in this world who simply cannot look past the fact that ducks are unreasonably hurt from foie gras production. And there are many of us who cannot look past spending SO MUCH money on food when there are a billion people in this world who have to make choices everyday about who in the family gets to even eat that day.

When one spends the time to connect their actions to the effect they have on other people and animals in this world, 16 dollar foie gras jelly donuts becomes really hard to laugh at.
posted by anthropoid at 1:47 PM on July 20, 2009


If I have chicken at someone's house, where I can get a back, or a quarter (I suppose they sell quartered chickens at the store, but I never look), and there's still a liver in there, it's like a prize.

The not at all exotic grocery store near me sells tubs of chicken liver. Pretty cheap too.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:58 PM on July 20, 2009


I usually take an over-concern about foie gras as a sign that I will enjoy no further conversations with a person, and ignore them after that. I mean, you could ask them if they are some kind of vegan, because they better fucking be, but even if the answer is yes that itself is a further sign.

Go protest a McDonalds, weirdos.
posted by Artw at 2:02 PM on July 20, 2009


Honestly, I was unaware of the existence of foie gras until this thread. I've been a vegetarian a long time, and somehow, it never crossed my radar. I must say the existence of it (or something similar) doesn't surprise me much though; the depths of human depravity and decadence do run deep. Humanity can be (and mostly is) a disheartening species--ashamed as I am sometimes to be a part of it.

And by all means, don't converse and ignore me if you disagree. Surely, I would find the silence more enjoyable.
posted by belvidere at 2:54 PM on July 20, 2009


I've been a vegetarian a long time, and somehow, it never crossed my radar.

I don not understand this sentence. It wouldn't "cross your radar" if you were a vegetarian.

And in case it skipped your radar the suffering of a few thousand fois gras ducks (the highest quality of which are not penned and get to live some what idyllically) pales in comparison to the grotesque torture suffered by tens of billions of factory farmed chickens. Not to mention the horrific environmental impact of factory farmed chickens.

So this faux foie gras outrage is seriously misplaced.
posted by tkchrist at 3:58 PM on July 20, 2009


tkchrist, let me clarify: I wasn't aware of fois gras (and its production)--probably because of my vegetarianism, and you will get no argument from me concerning factory farming. I'm from the Midwest. I visited a slaughterhouse when I was young. I saw the whole process from start to finish. It's the primary reason I became a vegetarian.
posted by belvidere at 4:34 PM on July 20, 2009


you will get no argument from me concerning factory farming

At least you are consistent. Most people vocal about foie gras still eat chicken.

Like I said foie gras is like a perfect storm for outrage. But it really is a tempest in a tea pot considering all the other more massive ethical and environmental problems in food production out there.

What really bugs me is that many of the restaurants being protested over foie gras, like one of my favorites Lark in Seattle, are champions of locally and organically produced food. They literally are the good guys going waaaaay out of their way to support struggling small local organic farms and producers. Farms that treat their animals right.

And the thanks they get are a group of PETA protesters with signs calling them George Bush for supporting the "torture" of animals. Which is simply a ridiculous over exaggeration and minimizing our true problems in food production.
posted by tkchrist at 4:47 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


The not at all exotic grocery store near me sells tubs of chicken liver. Pretty cheap too.

I'm sure most do. I think the reason I don't buy 'em is because I like the rarity. If I had them all the time, they'd be less special. (<--tautology?)
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:07 PM on July 20, 2009


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