St. Tammany Taste Quick Bites: Backwater Foie Gras

Fois gras – that’s French for fat liver. This celebrated luxury
food is found mostly in high end restaurants where even a
small amount is quite costly. Traditionally, fois gras
production has centered in the Aquitaine region of France
where for hundreds of years ducks and geese have been
carefully fattened in order to produce the large, ivory colored
lobes. Force feeding is usually mentioned in conjunction
with fois gras production, but the truth is wild birds in nature
annually gorge themselves before migration. Domestically,
that process is humanely mimicked by caretakers who gently
handfeed their birds a high calorie meal that aids in the
fattening, a process known as gavage. There has been
limited fois gras production attempted in the U.S. but today,
Ross McKnight is creating some of the most beautiful fois
gras seen this side of the Atlantic Ocean at his farmstead,
Backwater Fois Gras in Bush, Louisiana. I got to know Ross
visiting with him weekly at the Crescent City Farmers Market.
What a thrill it was to finally visit his farm to learn all about

the process. Gathered around the family dinner table were
Backwater’s fois gras muse, Mailys Dias who ignited his
interest with a taste of fois gras from her home country of
France, Ross’s wife, Dorothy and his parents Julie and Dan
McKnight, who all play a major role in the farmstead
operation. Big thanks to our sponsor, the St Tammany Parish
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This podcast was produced by Blake Longlanais
for Poppy Tooker Broadcasting.