The Secret Stash of Foie Gras
For the Christmas Day dinner we are going to be hosting for our multinational orphaned-for-the-holiday friends, we wanted some foie gras for one of our appetizer courses. I tried to go to the Made in France Warehouse Sale to buy some, but not only was there a ridiculous line, but they'd sold out of the kind we wanted. Where could I go instead?
Fred told me he thought he knew a place we might find some. He added, he thought it would be quality stuff, though, so I gave them a call. The gentleman on the phone was very helpful. He told me they had tins of truffled duck foie gras for $85. A vacuum-packed pound of fresh goose foie gras for $300 (oh how we laughed) or glass terrines of goose liver foie gras for $110. This seemed like the best bet. I don't see the point of having truffle in my foie gras. Two ingredients that are sublime in their own right do not need to be dumbed down to half their level of impact by being mixed together.
We arrived at the department store and made our way, on the escalators, to the top of the building, which was partly under construction. The tiny Epicurean section had several people handing out samples of cookies and candies (chocolate covered potato-chips, anyone?)
Most of the food on display was sweet. There was just one little glass display featuring smoked salmon and caviar. We saw a few tins of the truffle flavoured duck foie gras, but couldn't see anything that resembled what had been described to us on the telephone. We waited in the line for the cashier. It was long and slow. The gentlemen working there were old school. Smart, charming and offering a level of service that is rare these days. When we got to the front of the line we met Ben, who I'd spoken to earlier. He remembered our conversation and asked us to follow him. We waited whilst he entered a store room. Quite some time later he came back with the little glass crock of foie gras. It was French, it looked good, it was goose, it was made in Paris. We decided we to take a chance on the jar of Petrossian whole goose foie gras in aspic with port wine. I am not certain about this particular rendition will taste, only time will tell. I hope it is a good one. Well, if it's no good, at least we'll have a nice little terrine jar!
We waited another age whilst Ben disappeared again to pack it for us. It even came with it's own little ice pack. The care with which it was packed was something to see. I wonder how they manage to sell any at all, because there is nothing in the store to alert you the fact that they have a secret stash hidden out of sight!
If you can guess where we bought our Foie Gras I will enter you into a draw to win a copy of Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany Only one guess per person, email: foiegras at breach dot co dot uk. One of my dinner guests will draw one name from all those with the correct answers on Christmas Day and the result will be announced shortly thereafter. People with more than one guess will be disqualified, even if one of their guesses was correct.
An extra clue: This is a US major department store. They do not take Visa or Mastercard. Fred was going to pay, but seeing as muggins here is the only one with an American Express card, I got landed with the bill instead.
The draw will finish at 12.00 midday, December 25th PST. The Secret Stash of Foie Gras