Chicago’s Duck Torture Speakeasies


I’m a fan, as you might have guessed from the existence of this blog, of meat that comes from a cow served organic food and taken from this world painlessly. I’m not so much a fan of meat that comes from tortured ducks. However I recognize that some of you don’t care that much about ducks; some of you may actively hate ducks. And you duck despisers could very well live in Chicago, a place that is becoming known for its duck torture underground.

Of course, the meat I’m talking about is foie gras, which was banned in Chicago circa 2006.

Now, according to my sources in the restaurant industry there, you can easily find it in the best restaurants in the Windy City. All you have to do is utter the code word, which is an ingredient that does not usually show up in U.S. restaurants. This ingredient will either be on the menu or available as a special you can ask for; apparently, some gourmet places even offer full (and fully confidential) foie gras tasting menus.

I won’t be telling you the secret word, because I don’t want to get anyone in trouble or see any more ducks end up in Gitmo. But it’s good to keep in mind that just because some crazed alderman bans something doesn’t mean people are going to stop eating it. Now I wonder how I can get my Papaya Dogs fried in transfatty oil? Maybe if I ask for them to be “Bloomberged”?

More about duck torture here.

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3 Responses to “Chicago’s Duck Torture Speakeasies”

  1. shocked & chagrinned in chicago Says:

    there are probably few that actually do (or would admit) that they actively hate ducks–i for one have several rubber duckies as decorative elements in my home. my love for their livers, like my love for oysters still twitching in their shells, is the most intimate expression of this non-hatred.

    moreover, apart from PETA-inspired rants against this “Delicacy of Despair”– rants largely based on the same sort of soft-toss science that popularizes Glycemic Indices and the South Beach Diet–the reaction of the scientific community to the issue of “duck torture” shows that this is first and foremost a political issue, not a moral one. ducks (actually all migratory fowl) gorge themselves before the cold season so as to maximize their ability to fly long distances without break. anthropomorphizing the ducks provides the false visual analogy that gavage–the French word for the feeding process–chokes the ducks, though they lack a gag reflex and are comfortable breathing even with the tube in their throats (they breathe through their tongues). finally, the best livers only come from the best treated ducks: the reason you don’t see wild duck liver being used as an ingredient is that the stress placed on the bird is greater and environmental effects–like contaminated water, poor feeding conditions and deteriorating habitats–do not make for the best treated duck.

    really, the issue is a classist attack on a traditionally elite ingredient that few in America have ever tried and that animal rights activists want to hold up as a victory. i’d rather coddle the ducky to produce a yummy liver than free him to live in a hostile, polluted and mostly indifferent world.

  2. [...] Duck Torture is Back on the Menu in Chicago Anatidae haters of the world, unite and converge upon Chicago! For the Windy City has repealed its ban on the serving of foie gras, which I wrote about previously in an article on rebellious Chicago restaurants that were blatantly ignoring the law. [...]

  3. [...] cows or caged, mutilated veal are not hard to find, and the typical carnivore now navigates bans on foie gras, veal and transfat along with crazed excesses like Hardy’s Thickburgers or the [...]

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