Festive food and king of New Year's Eve, foie gras can also be enjoyed the rest of the year. And all the more Périgord, where it comes from a long culinary and gastronomic tradition. But do you know the difference between duck and goose foie gras? Semi-cooked, fresh or canned, how to choose? Follow the leader ! 

Plate of foie gras at the Auberge Médiévale d’Audrix restaurant

Foie gras: a little history!

Did you know that the history of foie gras dates back to Antiquity? In the Egypt of the pharaohs, breeders practiced force-feeding geese by feeding them grain. This technique continued in ancient Greece and the Romans, who used figs to feed waterflies and improve the taste qualities of their livers. 

La production of foie gras truly developed in the south-west of France from the 17th centurye and XVIIIe century, with the rise of corn cultivation. But also with the development of preservation methods by sterilization, in the 19the century. These new techniques, already exploited in Dordogne by truffle producers, have made it possible to discover other specialties and products from Périgord in France and throughout the world. 

Foie gras Catinel on a picnic in Les Eyzies, Dordogne

Périgord foie gras: what are its particularities?

Goose or duck foie gras is part of the protected cultural and gastronomic heritage in France » (article 654-27-1 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code). And it’s a good start to better understand the particularities of this Périgord specialty! 

Foie gras is at the heart of the culinary traditions of Périgord

Every year, on the occasion of the Truffle Festival in Sarlat (Dordogne), the Culinary Academy of Foie Gras rewards the most remarkable foie gras. The town of Sarlat also welcomes each Saturday morning, from the end of November until mid-March, the gras market; just like the towns of Périgueux and Thiviers, a little further north of the department. The opportunity for duck and geese lovers Black Périgord to stock up on livers, rillettes, confits and other gourmet products.

The know-how of producers is recognized

In Périgord, geese and ducks are rigorously selected and raised. The waterflies are fed local corn, as tradition dictates. Strict rules apply until the products are processed and marketed. Official labels guarantee this quality: IGP (Protected Geographical Indication), Label Rouge, etc. 

Le Bugue, the Bournat park

Exceptional recipes to better discover the flavors of foie gras

Foie gras can be enjoyed fresh, semi-cooked or canned. It goes particularly well with other specialties from Dordogne or Périgord Noir: truffles ou nutsEg.
Whole truffled foie gras is one of the essential local and regional recipes. Périgord gastronomy.
Walnut goes very well with foie gras in a gourmet salad accompanied by a glass of Bergerac or Monbazillac. But do you also know figs stuffed with foie gras?

The different types of foie gras from Périgord: how to choose them?

What is the difference between the goose and the duck? 

Between the two web-footed birds, it is mainly a difference in taste. Goose is renowned for its finer and more subtle taste. It is also a more luxurious product. Duck has a more frank and pronounced taste: that of the terroir! 

Dordogne foie gras: different names

There are several types of foie gras. Their name differs depending on how they were processed and prepared. Also expect varied flavors!

  • Raw foie gras is ideal for a recipe to make at home, to fry or to prepare your own preserves. These are the products that you can find at the fat market in Sarlat, Terrasson, etc. or at the producer on the farm.
  • Fresh foie gras is also often offered directly by the producer or on the farm: it is already cooked in a bain-marie.
  • Half-cooked, it is stored in a terrine or glass jar. It is tender and can be eaten after cooking, served fresh. 
  • Cooked or canned, it improves over time and can be kept for several years. 

Buying foie gras on our markets means being able to interact with producers and appreciate the particularity of each foie gras.

IGP Périgord: what is it? 

The IGP, or Protected Geographical Indication, is a label which guarantees you both the origin of goose or duck foie gras, as well as compliance with specifications for their manufacture. This European label has existed since 1992.

You can search for: 

  • The Périgord IGP, which certifies the origin and quality of the ducks. The Mulard duck and the Muscovy duck are the only ones to benefit from this label.
  • The IGP Oie du Périgord, which has existed since 2012 and which ensures the quality and origin of goose products (foie gras, breasts, thighs), as well as traditional breeding methods.

There is a foie gras route which lists certified producers but also restaurateurs who pride themselves on serving local produce.

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