The day before the foie gras ban went into effect in Chicago a number of the city's restaurants added it to their menus as a sort of silent culinary protest - some as one-time specials. Amongst them was a local family-style pizza chain - even they created a foie gras flatbread. A lot of people around town tasted foie gras for the first time - and lo and behold they discovered they didn't despise it.
The next day the fatted liver was whisked away.
Pre-ban, my sister Annie and I made a pilgrimage to Hot Doug's - Doug Sohn's already-legendary Sausage Superstore and Encased Meats Emporium. What you see above is the now illicit Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Mustard and Foie Gras "Butter". Doug's quietly been serving foie gras to the masses for years - along with constantly changing specials like rattlesnake, buffalo, and elk.
Post-ban, my brother William and I went to a beer and sausage pairing seminar where we had yet another taste of the contraband cuisine - amongst 11 more of Doug's creations - this time accompanied by six of Montreal's finest brews by Unibroue. That's uni-BREW, not uni-BROW.
What concerns me most about the ban is not that I can't have foie gras. I can. And not just in France. We can still have it in nearby suburban restaurants, buy it at their stores, order it online, and make it at home.
So what did this ban accomplish? Nothing. Worse than nothing. Because now some people think they've done something.