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Foie Gras Sales Surge in New York City, as the Pending Ban Looms

They're getting fatty duck liver while they still can.

foie gras le coucou nyc Photo: Jeremy Repanich

In New York City, despite the fact one side has appeared to have conclusively won the war, the foie gras battles continue to rage on.

Back at the end of the October, New York’s City Council voted to ban the sale of the fatty goose and duck liver by a vote of 42-6; outlawing the delicacy starting in 2022. While animal rights activists rejoiced, gourmands and duck farmers in the Hudson Valley cried foul (Or did they cry fowl? Sorry, that’s terrible, we’ll stop).

It was the latest defeat for fans of foie gras, after California’s longtime on-again, off-again prohibition finally went into effect for good this past January, 15 years after the state legislature originally passed it. But New Yorkers are not going out quietly.

Since the Council vote, foie gras sales in the Big Apple are up 20 to 30 percent, reports the New York Post. Some attribute the rise to defiance in the face of the ban. “Once people read about it, those who love foie gras or have it occasionally say, ‘Let’s go have some foie gras.’ It’s almost a political statement to politicians—stay off of my dinner table,” said Georgette Farkas, owner of Rotisserie Georgette told the Post.

Ariane Daguin of specialty food purveyor D’Artagnan also told the newspaper that her company saw a 30 percent uptick in sales of foie gras in the past couple months, as people enjoy the delicacy while they still can.

Despite the bill’s overwhelming passage, there were chefs speaking out against it before the vote. “We’re opposed to the ban,” Arjuna Bull of Luthun told Robb Report when the council first debated the bill in the summer. “It’s quite an exquisite ingredient. We love to eat it, we love to work with it. It’s so versatile. All the chefs we know are opposed to [the ban].”

Some New Yorkers are hopeful that the war isn’t actually over. Unlike California’s ban, which the Supreme Court decided to not hear an appeal that could repeal it, New York City’s law may not withstand a challenge in court because the city may not have oversight in this area. However, it appears people aren’t taking any risks and they’re making sure to enjoy foie in the city while they still can.

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