Foie gras, which is duck or goose liver fattened by force-feeding, has been a delicacy since Roman times, when geese livers were doused in milk and honey. Today, geese and ducks are force-fed corn using feeding tubes, a practice that animal-rights activists decry for its cruelty.
The French are the biggest foie gras devotees, but chefs at American, Asian, and a number of “fusion” restaurants have embraced foie gras as a good way to make any entrée more indulgent. You will find it on top of burgers and steaks, stuffed inside game hens, and even made into delicious hot dogs. Traditionally, it is served as an appetizer, with toast and sometimes with fresh fruit or compote.