What would you like to know about a producer of foie gras before buying this delicacy? Just enough to be sure of your choice, right? And if you still want to learn more, Hudson Valley welcomes you to take a tour to their foie gras farm and see for yourself.

Meet the Brand and Their Ducks

Hudson Valley Foie Gras, also known as HVFG, is the largest producer of fatty liver in the United States. The company was co-founded by Izzy Yanay and Michael Ginor, who tried to entwine French culinary classics and modernized technology of the food industry. 

Their experiment was a success.

Since the 1990s, they have advanced the approach to interaction between people and birds at the foie gras farm, as well as the technique of producing and distributing the delicacy. And it looks like Hudson Valley is only going to strengthen the position on the domestic market.

Their farm is located in the Catskill mountains, the picturesque area in Upstate New York. Almost every week we all are invited to enjoy the landscape and discover how foie gras is produced.

So, what will we see?

The Moulard ducks

Although traditionally foie gras is made of goose liver, Hudson Valley chose to grow ducks, not geese, for scientific and economic reasons.

Experts argue that geese are more intelligent birds, so they are not likely to take food from strangers. The other obstacle for feeding geese safely is their fragile necks. 

Goose liver ages more slowly and remains edible for a longer period of time than the other parts. So, the production would feature more waste and once become uneconomical. Besides, goose liver is fattier, so searing or sautéing it will leave you with an unflavored piece resting in melted fat.

The Hudson Valley farm grows the Moulard duck, the cross between the Pekin duck and the Muscovy duck. The Moulards do not fly, do not like open water, and can store fat in their liver. Besides these beneficial characteristics, the Moulard is also praised for unique piquant savor, which is the result of cross-breeding. 

The sophisticated production flow

Jack Mancino, the former West Cost Sales Representative for Hudson Valley, mentioned in one of his interviews that the reason why the brand was “at the top of the game” lay in its orientation to quality over quantity.

How does the company prove it?

Their farm is cage-free and comprises several large areas for keeping ducks at different stages. For example, ducklings are put to the climate-controlled nursery area, where they are provided with water and natural diet, can exercise and socialize.

Grown-up ducks are moved to the gavage area, where assigned farm workers feed them with soy, corn, and grains every eight hours. Such hand-feeding falls on the stage of the duck’s life in the wild when the bird prepares for migration and consumes more food to survive it.

Izzy Yanay, Vice President and General Manager, believes that such correlation between the natural life cycle of the ducks and the production flow contributes to the flavor, texture, and healthfulness of the Hudson Valley foie gras.

The dedicated team

The goal of Hudson Valley is to introduce foie gras as an artisanal product, making it integral to American cuisine.

To achieve this goal, the company cooperated with French producers and continues involving scientists, veterinarians, and other specialists to inspect the ducks and the farm environment.

The inner staff advocates care about and humane treatment of birds to prevent them from stressing and to provide them with as natural living conditions as possible.

A Few Concluding Words About Foie Gras

The first mention of foie gras can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, though the delicacy was widely popularized by the French around Europe and the rest of the world.

Hudson Valley claims they want to popularize foie gras around North America. Their products variety includes whole and sliced foie gras, duck breasts and legs made with care and tribute to the culinary tradition.

And if you still want to learn more, just take a tour to the farm. Yes, you may use your smartphone camera there.