Tuesday, July 19, 2011

French Exceptionalism...


A high-level diplomatic spat has broken out between France and Germany, but this time it is not about saving the euro or European integration. Instead, it is foie gras that is causing the fallout.

Angry missives have flown between Paris and Berlin after the decision by organisers of a leading German food fair to ban the French delicacy, which is made from the liver of fattened geese or ducks.

Foie gras producers are incensed after being told their liver pâté will be not welcome at the biennial Anuga food fair in Cologne in October.
About 37 million ducks and 700,000 geese are slaughtered each year to make French foie gras. The force-feeding practice is said to date to 2,500BC, though it is unlikely the ancient Egyptians took to fattening their fowl on the industrial scale found in France, where foie gras and its controversial production method is enshrined in law as part of the country's so-called cultural exception. Article L654 of the 2006 rural code states: "Foie gras is part of the protected cultural and gastronomic heritage of France. By 'foie gras' is meant the liver of a duck or a goose specifically fattened by force-feeding."

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