Foie gras (French for "fat liver") is "the liver of a duck or a goose that has been specially fattened by gavage" (as defined by French law).
Foie gras is one of the most popular and well-known delicacies in French cuisine and its flavour is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of a regular duck or goose liver. Foie gras can be sold whole, or prepared into mousse, parfait, or pâté (the lowest quality), and is typically served as an accompaniment to another food item, such as toast or steak.
The technique of gavage dates as far back as 2500 BCE, when the ancient Egyptians began keeping birds for food and deliberately fattened the birds through force-feeding. Fattened liver can be produced by alternative methods without gavage, and this is referred to either as "fatty goose liver" or as foie gras (outside France), though it does not conform to the French legal definition. This has only recently been produced commercially, and is a very small fraction of the market.
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