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All about “Foie gras”, liver of a duck or goose

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If France is the world’s leading producer and consumer of foie gras, it was born in Egypt during Antiquity. It is generally considered to be a festive dish and is found on Christmas and New Year’s tables. It is simply eaten with toast but can also be cooked.

Characteristics of foie gras:

  • Caloric;
  • Rich in lipids;
  • Source of vitamin A;
  • Source of iron;
  • Source of cholesterol.

What is foie gras?

Food identity card

  • Type: Lampshade;
  • Origin: Egypt in Antiquity;
  • Season: December to April;
  • Beige ;
  • Flavor: Fine.

Characteristics of foie gras

Foie gras is the liver of duck or goose enlarged by overeating. Poultry is force-fed with a preparation mainly consisting of corn, lard, beans and salt. Considered a gastronomic dish, France is the largest producer but also the largest consumer. Its name is notably regulated in several countries. To be named foie gras, the product must contain at least 20% duck or goose foie gras. However, if the product contains liver or the flesh of other animals, the words pâté, terrine or galantine must accompany the term foie gras.

Word from the nutritionist

Due to its richness in total fats and its high content in saturated fats, it is advisable to keep the foie gras for special occasions.

Nutritional values

For 100g of foie gras:

Calories 462 kcal
Carbohydrates 4.67 g
Dietary fiber 0 g
Protein 11.4g




43.8 g


25.6 g


Cholesterol 150 mg
Iron 5.5 mg
Phosphorus 200 mg
Sodium 697 mg
Vitamin A (retinol equivalents) 1001 µg / 3333 IU
Selenium 44 µg
Vitamin B12 9.4 µg

8 benefits of foie gras: why eat it?

  1. Nearly 85% of the calories in fatty liver come from lipids. Almost 60% of these fats are monounsaturated and 33% saturated. There is therefore a predominance of monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fatty acids have been shown to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.
  2. Foie gras contains a significant amount of cholesterol. However, there is no substantial evidence showing a real association between consumption of dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels. Foie gras should therefore not be avoided for the simple reason that it contains cholesterol.
  3. Foie gras is a relatively salty product (29% of the daily value). Excessive sodium intake can cause side effects including high blood pressure and loss of bone mass (osteoporosis). High blood pressure is an important risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. It is therefore advisable to choose the basic and least transformed versions possible.
  4. Foie gras is an excellent source of vitamin A. Retinol is one of the active forms of vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is one of the most versatile vitamins, working together for several body functions. Among other things, it contributes to the growth of bones and teeth, keeps the skin healthy and protects against infections. In addition, it plays an antioxidant role and promotes good vision, especially in the dark. Some may be concerned about the very high amount of vitamin A in organ meats and the risk of hypervitaminosis. However, vitamin A is likely to be safe when taken through food in amounts less than 10,000 IU per day in adults.
  5. Foie gras is a good source of iron. The liver is an organ that contains iron. Every cell in the human body contains iron. This mineral is essential for the transport of oxygen and the formation of red blood cells in the blood. It also plays a role in the production of new cells, hormones and neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It should be noted that the iron present in meats (heme iron) is better absorbed in the body than the iron contained in plant foods.
  6. Foie gras also contains selenium. This mineral works with one of the main antioxidant enzymes, thus preventing the formation of free radicals in the body. It also helps to convert thyroid hormones to their active form.
  7. Phosphorus is also present in fatty liver. It is the second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium. It plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. In addition, it participates among other things in the growth and regeneration of tissues and helps to maintain normal blood pH. It is one of the constituents of cell membranes.
  8. Eating foie gras also provides vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is essential for growth, cell division, the proper functioning of all cells in the body and the balance of the nervous system. It is involved more precisely in the synthesis of DNA and RNA, proteins, myelin (substance which forms a sheath around certain nerve fibers), in the formation of red blood cells, as well as in the metabolism of carbohydrates. and lipids.

How to choose your foie gras

When choosing a foie gras, you should favor a whole foie gras which is the best quality on the market unlike the block of foie gras which is a blend of several livers and therefore of lower quality.

The different forms

Foie gras is found raw, canned or ready to eat in most grocery stores. It is also available in pâté, galantine or rillette.

Keep well

The foie gras is stored for a maximum of 3 to 4 days after opening the container and in an airtight container because it tends to dry out and absorb the taste of other foods.

Semi-cooked or semi-preserved foie gras can be stored for up to 6 months in the refrigerator. It can be frozen but this causes a loss of its organoleptic qualities.

Preparation of foie gras

How to cook it? How to match it?

Ready to eat, the container is opened 1 hour before consumption, keeping it cool and then slicing it with a knife passed under hot water. Eat it as is or mashed on toast. It can be accompanied by onion jam, fig or flavored jelly. It can be added in pieces on dishes: shellfish, seafood, soups, risotto, etc. It can also be eaten pan-fried. It is cooked for a maximum of 30 seconds in a knob of butter. It can then be deglazed with Madeira or cognac.

Foie gras can be used to add flavor to dishes.


Like all other organ meats, pregnant women are not advised to consume foie gras.

History of foie gras

This practice of force-feeding geese or ducks dates back to the time of the Egyptians who had noticed their ability to store energy in the form of fat in the liver during migration. The Greeks used a mixture of wheat and water while the Romans mainly used figs.

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