Foie gras is finally illegal in California. In response to the ban officially taking effect last week, this old scene from Anthony Bourdain's "A Cook's Tour" has been passed around again. The video shows Anthony and his brother visiting an award-winning foie gras farm in France, including the actual gavage process. Bourdain says in the video that he's "determined to follow through with this so-called quest that I've started, to really see where all my favorite foods come from."
A surprisingly low-key and mildly opinionated Bourdain (he was a little younger, after all) seems to be prepared for the worst as he arrives to the farm. "I've been ordering this stuff up for years," he says. "It's only fair that I see the process from beginning to end."
For 16 weeks, the ducks on this particular farm are pastured, running around freely, feeding on grass and grain. Then for around 15 days, they are force-fed to "pump up" their livers. As the farmer pets a surprisingly calm duck, Bourdain's brother Chris notes, "They're not miserable being fed this way, but it's not like they're lining up at the chow line."
The video has a surprisingly peaceful tone and ends with -- what else -- a total feast of foie gras.