California's two-year ban on the production and sale of foie gras, the fattened duck or goose liver subject to heated animal welfare debates, ended this week as U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson ruled that the law contradicts existing federal poultry regulations. California voters originally approved the ban in 2004, but the law did not take effect until 2012. At the time of the ban, only one farm in California -- Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras, a family-run business for almost thirty years -- was producing foie gras. Owner Guillermo Gonzalez has been one of the leading voices in overturning the ban, along with a number of celebrity chefs, Chris Cosentino and Anthony Bourdain among them.
|A recent version of foie gras torchon at Old Major.|
Here in Colorado, there are no duck or goose farms set up for the production of the rich delicacy, which requires seasonal "gavage," where the fowl are force-fed additional grain for a short period of time to induce their livers to store additional fat. But since the sale of foie gras has always been legal here, many restaurants offer it on their menus. In fact, a recent walking tour of Lower Highland turned up three great examples of the dish within a few short blocks of each other.
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