Why foie gras pronunciation seems so much weird to us? What is torchon, rillettes, confit, magret? All these words are of French origin, that is why we can be not really familiar with their definitions, characteristics, history and so on. As a result, it becomes problematic to differentiate them and make the decision what to choose.
We can easily find foie gras products in all sorts and forms in the countries that produce them (for example, France, the USA, Hungary), as well as in other places around the world. On the market there is raw, wrapped in a linen cloth, vacuum-packed, frozen, canned and other types of foie gras. In addition, there are different types based on the percentage content of the precious delicacy in the whole dish. In order you to find out some useful information and be sure what you taste, we present to your attention a brief foie gras dictionary.
Foie Gras Cru – raw foie gras, which gives unlimited scope for culinary fantasies. In this form, the product comes to the most prestigious restaurants. Buying this raw delicacy, remember that it should be cooked as soon as possible.
Foie Gras Frais / Foie Gras Mi-Cuit – fresh / half-cooked foie gras. These two types of the product are subjected to mild heat treatment, but are not be sterilized or pasteurized. There is no need to store such food items for a long time, it is better to cook it immediately or in a few days after buying and enjoy the exquisite taste.
Foie Gras Cuit – fully-cooked foie gras. Its preparation involves prolonged heating.
Foie Gras Semi-Conserve – a pasteurized and ready-to-eat product, which can be stored in the refrigerator for several months.
Foie Gras en Conserve – canned foie gras. It is sterilized, that is why can be stored for a long time without refrigeration. Considered to be the most practical form of the delicacy.
Foie Gras Entier – the purest form of foie gras, as it consists of a whole foie gras, without any additives, that if formed from one or two lobes. It can be either whole liver or terrine, pate (in a glass jar or vacuum-packed) made of it. Having a dense and firm texture, foie entier is uniform in color after cutting. This is the most expensive and valuable form of the food item.
Bloc de Foie Gras – a pate-like mass made of small pieces of foie gras (using livers of dozen or even a few dozen ducks or geese); contains at least 90% of foie gras cooked with seasonings and water.
Bloc de Foie Gras avec Morceaux – more luxury way of preparing blocs de foie gras that is characterized by adding pieces of whole foie gras, which can be distinctly seen after cutting.
Moulard – a duck hybrid of Muscovy and Pekin ducks which has an ability to store fat in liver and used to produce most foie gras.
Gavage – the method of feeding geese and ducks by force to produce foie gras.
Lobe – one of two parts of the whole duck or goose liver; these two parts can also be presented separated.
Parfé de Foie Gras (parfait) – pate that contains about 75% of foie gras mixed with pig or calf’s liver.
Foie Gras Truffée – the delicacy with truffles (edible mushrooms known for their rich taste).
Foie Gras au Torchon – a cooking technique using a special cloth, which a product is wrapped in for cooking (the cloth gives the delicacy the form of a cylinder and prevents its fat from leaching out).
Foie Gras Terrine – a famous French dish made using a terrine (deep ceramic mold).
Pâté de Foie Gras – the king of pates made of the livers of fattened ducks or geese combined with other meats, molded into tubes.
Mousse de Foie Gras – a special mixture made by whipping marinated foie gras with its own fat.
Duck Rillettes – a preparation of meat similar to pate, characterized by fibrous texture (unlike smooth one of pate).
Duck Confit – a way to preserve duck meat (usually duck legs) by slowly roasting it in its own fat.
Duck Magret – the juicy breast of Moulard duck, which is considered to be a true delicacy.
Foie Gras Grades – categories of the product that are divided depending on general look, size, texture, shape, and color of the lobe. There are three main grades on the market (A, B, C).
Find out the difference in order to choose one kind that suits your receipt best after visiting our foie gras lobe selection.
Foie gras Grade A, which is considered to be the top quality liver, has no veins, blemishes, as well as flaws in color, smells sweet, smooth in texture and firm to touch (never spongy). The average weight is from one to three pounds, so it is quite large; its shape is round. Top restaurants choose this kind to serve to guests, as it is the most acclaimed of all other grades. Because it produces less fat, Grade A liver is often selected when using different low-heat cooking methods (to prepare terrines, for example); can be poached, grilled, or sautéed.
Foie gras Grade B is the second-best grade, as considered not that perfect as grade A: smaller in size (less than 1 pound), a bit softer in texture, less round in shape, darker in color; can have some minor defects (surface ones, some blemishes and veins that disappear after cooking the liver). However, this quality type can be as good as Grade A, but belongs to B group just because of its smaller size. This kind renders more fat, that is why best if pan-seared or sautéed. Used when the visual component is not that important but flavor is; can be made into foie gras pates, mousses, and even terrines (for last type Grade A is usually better).
Foie gras grade C is generally hard to buy on the retail market, as it is not often used (usually to flavor and thicken sauces); pates, mousses and emulsions can also use “C” liver, nevertheless, it is pretty rare to find such a product.