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California’s Foie Gras Ban Is Back On The Table And Chefs Are Pissed

California’s foie gras ban has been a topic of controversy for years. However, a recent decision from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has moved the ban one step closer to being given the green light.

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Photo: H. Alexander Talbot on Wikimedia Commons.

A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court overturned an earlier decision from a California district judge that found the state ban interfered with federal laws and was illegal. The Ninth Circuit judges, however, claim that the state ban did not interfere because “Congress did not intend to occupy the field of poultry products” and the federal laws in question consider state involvement.

While PETA was popping champagne corks in celebration, according to a statement, chefs were not happy with the ban. Michelin-starred chef Josiah Citrin told the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t like “being told what I can and can’t use” and that his foie gras dish would stay on the menu for the time being.

Citrin and other chefs who keep their foie gras on California menus are still acting within the law. That’s because the ban will not take effect until appeals processes are completed. That will happen with a larger appeal and hearing in front of a larger panel of Ninth Circuit Court judges. If the ban is upheld there, challengers can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Overall, that leaves a long winded legal battle to still follow, with the future of California foie gras in its hands. We’ll have to wait and see what the final decision ultimately turns out to be.

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Animals Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

5 Meaty Delicacies That Piss PETA Off

 

There’s no happy ending for any animal raised to be eaten. Yet, while meat processing is questionable in general — how much is government regulation vs. industry self-regulation — there are a few “upscale” meaty dishes considered that come prepared by tactics that are especially brutal at best and straight up unethical at worst. Here are five fancy meals that have a gross, terrifying history before reaching a human mouth.

 

Veal

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Photo: Beef Ambassador

In this process, calves are highly restricted in their ability to move in order to “soften” them up, sometimes by a controversially tiny crate. Most live indoors for their entire existence on this planet, experiencing sensory and exploratory deprivation. From birth to death, it’s a lonely, sad, harmful life.

 

Foie Gras

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Photo: Food Wishes

A duck or a goose is held down and force-fed a thick corn mix two or three times a day by way of shoving a long metal pipe down their esophagus until their “fatty liver” eventually grows to six times its normal size. Then they’re slaughtered. That’s their entire life.

 

Ortolan

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Photo: Geek And Sundry

The bird is kept in a covered cage or box, with the indefinite illusion of night-time tricking it into gorging itself until doubling in size. Somehow this process used to be worse. In ancient times, Roman emperors would just stab out their eyes to make them think it was nightfall. It doesn’t end there. The bird’s then chucked in a container of Armagnac until they drown (to supposedly marinate them).

 

Ikizukuri

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Photo: Compathy Magazine

It’s a fish (though could technically be lobster, shrimp, or octopus) that is basically is prepared alive (that’s actually the literal translation), so it’s still alive and freaking out on your plate with its skin more or less piled on top of them. You watch it die in front of you, gasping and filleted. Then you eat it.

 

Shark Fin Soup

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Photo: The Georgia Straight

Though the bans on shark finning are racking up, this practice is still one of the most cutthroat moves in the ocean. Sharks are caught, their fins are sliced off, and then they’re tossed back, where they either drown, bleed out, or get eaten by predators, since they’re entirely helpless at that point.

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#foodbeast Features FOODBEAST Video

Foie Gras Funnel Cake Is The Culinary Masterpiece You Need Right Now

When you let a culinary master and decorated chef like Timothy Hollingsworth’s imagination run wild, only good things can possibly happen. And considering the world class experience he has under his belt working with master chefs like Thomas Keller, Alain Ducasse, and Gordon Ramsay, one can expect nothing less than otherworldly cuisine to come out of his kitchen.

So when the public first got word of the foie gras funnel cake that Hollingsworth was serving up for brunch at his Downtown Los Angeles restaurant, Otium, the collective shudders that we’d expect from most folks were actually replaced with wonder and excitement from a city now used to gastric outliers such as phorittos and ramen burgers.

Though on paper, the sound of the dish should surely evoke images of the all-fried-everything caloric madness at the county fair. Yet in the hands of a chef as skilled as Hollingsworth, what is presented is a masterpiece wherein the funnel cake is a canvas for the vibrancy and decadence of foie gras mousse, strawberries, shaved fennel, and balsamic reduction.

It’s a bite that emphatically puts the lipstick on the pig and leaves one asking for a second date.

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Alcohol Drinks Restaurants What's New

This Restaurant Serves A Mean Foie Gras Old Fashioned

The infamous foie gras ban was lifted in California two years ago, and restaurants are having a blast incorporating the fatty duck liver into everyday foods and drinks.

Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse in Downtown Los Angeles just announced a brand-new cocktail that incorporates foie gras into a fat-based cocktail: The Foie Gras Old Fashioned.

The foie gras is rendered until there’s an excess of fat on the frying pan. The fat is then strained and filtered multiple times and stored for 24 hours before serving.

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Using Whistle Pig Whiskey, the rendered fat is mixed with the hard liquor. Sugars, bitters, and an orange peel are also added to the drink with garnished pieces of seared foie gras.

Evan Charest, corporate mixologist of the Pantina Restaurant Group, drew inspiration from the drink ‘Benton’s Old Fashioned’, which utilized bacon fat. Charest realized he hadn’t seen anyone do a take on foie gras, and wanted to create something a little more high-end for his regulars.

You can find it permanently on Nick & Stef’s cocktail menu starting December.

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Restaurants

The Foie Gras And Sea Urchin Espressos That Kept Me Up All Night

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While sitting at my desk yesterday contemplating changing my last name to “Burger,” I began to doze off. In my sleepy state, I heard a rumor that a restaurant in Pasadena, CA, served an espresso made with foie gras.

Holy shit, I couldn’t tell if that sounded disgusting or delicious, but I was more than ready to seek it out. I grabbed fellow writer Reach and hopped into my car ready for a foie gras adventure.

We arrived at Alexander’s Steakhouse in Downtown Pasadena where were were seated at the bar. It was right at the peak of Happy Hour and folks were ready to get their booze on after a long day of work.

I asked the bartender if she served an espresso made with foie gras. She confirmed it and, shortly after, brought us a cup they called Kuki to sip on.

Two hours in traffic we sat through, waiting for this beverage.

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You can definitely taste the foie gras right off the bat. While subtle at first, the flavor gets more and more intense as you get to the bottom of the cup. The top is filled with a smooth foam, while the middle is a tad oily. Finally, when you get to the bottom, you can easily find chunks of foie gras settling at the base.

The bartender was eager to hear our thoughts, as she had never tried the drink before. Not many customers had. As we happily gave her our review, she mentioned there were two other espressos on the menu we needed to try.

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One was made with Wagyu fat and the other with Uni (sea urchin).

I quickly looked at Reach who gave me a nod of approval. We ordered the drinks.

The Wagyu fat, called Tochi, didn’t taste too crazy. The sweetness from the chocolate and honey overpowered the fat, but it made for a pretty delicious dose of caffeine. Probably the most normal of the trio.

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While I was sipping on the Wagyu espresso, Reach had just done the same to the Uni. His eyes lit up like it was Christmas. The dude isn’t normally a coffee drinker, so when he says to try it, I don’t hesitate.

The foie gras was good, but the there was something about the uni beverage they named Umi that blended so well with the espresso. Hands down the best of the three. At the bottom, like the foie gras, you can clearly spot bits of sea urchin swimming about.

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The three drinks were definitely a cool take on espressos.

After a jittery car ride home, I spent the rest of the night watching New Girl episodes on Netflix. Can’t handle three espressos after 5pm any more. Not if I want to sleep at a decent hour.

You can get the espresso trio for $30, or $10 a piece.

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Features

14 Of The Craziest Donut Creations We’ve Ever Seen

National Donut Day is quickly approaching. While we’re all scrambling here to see how many free donuts we can grab, let’s take a second to appreciate some of the most creative donuts to ever emerge from the deep fryer.

The fried pastry has become one of the most iconic images associated with breakfast. However, in recent years, donuts have begun breaking away from the breakfast norm. Folks have been throwing them together with savory dishes to create something truly…magical.

We dug around the Internet and found some of the craziest donut creations around. In honor of National Donut Day, enjoy!

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Cheetos-Crusted Mac n’ Cheese Doughnuts

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The Vulgar Chef

Ramnut

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OC Night Market

Cap’n Crunch Donut Holes

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Taco Bell

Big Poppa Pop Tart Donut

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OC Donut Bar

Milky Bun

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Afters Ice Cream

Cannoli Donut

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Oh, Bite It!

Pizza Donut

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Dough Exchange

Foie Bomb

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Psycho Donuts

Krispy Kreme Bacon Hot Dog Donut

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Krispy Kreme

 

Psychobugs

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Psycho Donuts

Spaghetti Donuts

Spaghetti-Donuts

Primal Food Junkie

Fruity Pebbles Donuts

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Dough Exchange

Donut Pie

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Table Spoon

Taco Donut

Taco-Donut

BarryAbrams

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Video

Watch Nick Kroll Make A Steak Sandwich With Foie Gras Mayo, Cheetos And Syrup

In the latest episode of Andy Milonakis’ digital show Fat Prince, he teams up with Chef Robbie Wilson and Nick Kroll to make a ridiculous steak-ish sandwich.

Their hilarious little journey finds them topping the sandwich with a foie gras mayo, pulverized Cheetos, Aleppo pepper and a drizzle of that gooood syrup.

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Features

11 Little-Known Cheesecake Facts for National Cheesecake Day

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The thing about trivia is it’s, well, trivial. Unless they’re cake savants or dairy aficionados, most people aren’t going to care if the decor at Cheesecake Factory looks like the Eye of Sauron. They’ll never ponder the um, sweeter, applications of cheesecake-flavored lube.

Luckily, this list isn’t for other people. It’s for you, reading this website, on National Cheesecake Day, wondering why on earth there’s a National Cheesecake Day, asking who comes up with these food days anyhow, debating whether you should go get some cheesecake later on now that you know the occasion, deciding yeah okay maybe you will, and finally, realizing that even if it wasn’t National Cheesecake Day, you’d still be procrastinating online with something, so you might as well do it with something relevant. Like an article on random cheesecake facts, may haps.

So, without further adieu, may we present this year’s round-up of 11 Mildly Interesting Cheesecake Facts for National Cheesecake Day? (Plus a reminder to grab half off cheesecake slices from The Cheesecake Factory today and tomorrow, because you know it’s way too expensive otherwise.)

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1. Cheesecakes supposedly originated in ancient Greece and were even served to athletes at the first Olympic Games.

Evidence of early cheesecakes can be traced to the Greek island of Samos as far back as 2,000 B.C., though the oldest existing written recipe is credited to Roman politician Marcus Cato around the first century B.C. This version was also called “placenta” because of its resemblance to . . . you know.

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2. “American” cheesecake wasn’t invented ’til the late 1800s.

New York dairyman William Lawrence accidentally invented cream cheese in 1872 while trying to recreate a soft French cheese called Neufchatel. New York-style cheesecake, with its signature simple cream cheese and egg yolks make-up, was later created in the 1900s by German immigrant Arnold Reuben, because these guys say so.

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japanese-cheesecake

3. There are other styles of cheesecake besides “New York.”

There’s Pennsylvanian, Philadelphian, Farmer’s, country, Chicagoan, Asian, Australian, German, Italian, Dutch, Greek, Brazilian, Colombian, and probably dozens more, and they all sound pretty incredible. (Tried them before? Let us know in the comments!)

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4. You used to be able to buy cheesecake-flavored postage stamps.

Sure they were from the Austrian Postal service, but Haagen-Dazs still once made flavor-infused stamps which included Cookies & Cream, Macadamia Nut Brittle, and Strawberry Cheesecake. Best part? Zero calories.

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5. The price of ordering the whole Cheesecake Factory cheesecake line-up is almost $400.

Again, because these guys say so. That’s 33 different cakes and a whole lot of self-loathing.

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6. The “World’s Most Expensive” cheesecake isn’t even served at a restaurant.

It comes from Saks Fifth Avenue, and it looks like a pile of Christmas presents, literally. Made from a triple blend of mocha-flavored cheeses and encased in a filigreed chocolate shell, the Festive Two Stack runs $300 per cake. Though, considering how expensive shirts there cost, that’s actually kind of a steal.

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cheesecake-shot

7. A “Cheesecake Shot” consists of vanilla schnapps and cranberry juice.

Yassss Cheesecake Factory happy hour.

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8. Cheesecake Kit Kats exist, and you can actually by them on Amazon Prime.

Here’s the link. You’re welcome.

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blueberry-cheesecake-lube

9. Blueberry cheesecake lube also exists.

Along with “Natural,” “Passionfruit,” “Kiwi Strawberry,” and “Strawberry Cheesecake,” from sex toy company O’My. According to Cracked, the Blueberry Cheesecake flavor tastes like “sucking the life force from the gelatinous eyeball of an Oompa Loompa.” Not the look.

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10. Other questionable cheesecake “inventions” include garlic-flavored and foie gras-flavored cheesecakes.

We’re assuming these taste more like cream cheese dips than “cake,” which isn’t bad. Just, you know, weird. Here’s a recipe for the garlic version, if you’re so inclined.

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11. The Guy Fieri Cheesecake Challenge in Vegas is a quarter slice of chocolate swirl cheesecake topped with hard pretzels, potato chips, and chocolate syrup.

It costs $12 and honestly, everyone complaining about it in this article is a pansy. There’s also no reward for doing it, except maybe demolishing something that kind of looks like Guy Fieri’s head.

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H/T Cheesecake, Reddit, About, Adverlab, Longest List, Drinks Mixer, Cracked, Serious EatsFood Reference, Passionate About Food, Fox News, Wiki + PicThx Citrus and Candy, trp0, jpellgen, Billy Wilson, Eliza Adam, Cookin‘ Up Good Times, Julia Usher