Cafe Mimosa Let Diners 'Foie' Themselves in Protest of Ban

California's foie gras ban went into effect Sunday. The law makes it illegal to serve or sell fattened duck or goose liver. Some local restaurants have other options for those who can't do without.

Au revoir, foie gras; bonjour alternatives.

As of July 1, it is illegal to serve or sell the French delicacy of fattened duck or goose liver in California. But finding something similar locally isn’t too difficult.

The ban stems from the idea that the process behind the dish is inhumane. 

Foie gras -- which means "fatty liver" in French -- is made by force-feeding corn to ducks and geese with a metal tube that's stuck down the animal's throat. The liver becomes enlarged over the course of many feedings, and when harvested, is praised in gourmet dishes for its buttery, silken texture and rich flavor.

But one San Clemente restaurateur practiced some civil disobedience this weekend in serving and all-foie gras-based, seven-course dinner to patrons of his Cafe Mimosa on Monday.

Mimosa Owner Antoine Price told the Orange County Register he wasn't scared of authorities cracking down. As part of the defiant move, he called the evening's menu "Foie You!"

At  on Dana Point, the gourmet grocery store has been selling mousse de foie de Canard au Porto, which translates to duck liver mousse with port wine, since June.

Representatives at Gelson’s say they can sell it because the duck liver is "not fattened inhumanely." It is manufactured by Three Little Pigs and is sold for $7.59 for a 5.5-ounce package.

 that specializes in French cuisine in Dana Point at the harbor, offers hungry diners a duck pate appetizer but no foie gras.

According to the restaurant, the $9.95 appetizer is “the size of an ice cream scoop and is like a spread served with toasted points. It also has gelatin around the edge of the dish and is covered with a brandy sauce.”

But one Laguna Niguel eatery isn’t sad to see the delicacy go.

"Foie gras is not something we use or will miss in the Greek cuisine," said Elizabeth Gaitanis, owner of Tastes of Greece. "In general, the concept of our preparation of meals is to maintain the use of fresh ingredients closest to their natural form."

 in Laguna Niguel, a place known for its organic products and other alternatives, has a variety of options for foie gras lovers: Fabrique Duck Mousse, 7 ounces., 8.99; Fabrique Pepper Pate, 7 ounces, 7.99; Fabrique Pork Rilletes, 7 ounces, 10.99; Fabrique Rillette Du Perigord, 7 ounces, 12.99; and Fabrique Truffle Mousse, 7 ounces, 7.99.

Whole Foods representatives say that the chain has not carried foie gras for about 10 years.

The official citation for serving foie gras is a $1,000 fine.


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