A Burger Most Decadent…


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We made food predictions for 2015, and two of them that came back and stared us right in the eye this week were ‘duck’ and ‘fusion’.  But, not really in the way we expected.  What we discovered, as we snapped open our morning newspaper, is either totally awesome…. or totally cringe-worthy. We’re talking about burgers, and we’re talking about burgers topped with either foie gras or a fried duck egg.

So what, you may shrug – but this, dear reader is California.  Starting on July 1, 2012 foie gras was banned from being sold due to the inhumane way it’s produced (force feeding a duck to enlarge its’ liver).  But, the law has a way of getting skirted when someone really, really, wants a delicacy, and the head chef at San Francisco eatery Hog & Rocks did just that. {UPDATE. Okay, we started writing this on Monday. As of Wednesday January 7, the ban on foie gras has been overturned! So this isn’t nearly as much a brow raiser as it was in the beginning of the week.} It was said that they just ‘happened’ to have a bunch of foie gras laying about after New Years Eve, and to prevent this exquisiteness from going to waste they raised the price of their HR Burger and offered the foie gras as a ‘free’ topping. (source) Now that the ban is overturned, we have a feeling this will no longer be a ‘free’ topping.

Now, you won’t find the foie gras burger on the menu (at least not yet, but without a law holding it back, perhaps soon), however, at the regular $16 price you can get the same burger and pay $3 extra to have it topped with a fried duck egg.  That actually sounds pretty great, when you add in the caramelized onion on a warm bun (droooool!) But hey, we can see both sides of the coin:

EM-Burger-with-Foie-300x225Why foie gras on a burger is a good thing.  Foie gras is delicious when prepared correctly. It’s like velvety, fatty, buttery heaven that melts on your palate.  There’s little to nothing left to add to that – it’s liver but not liver.  It’s not game-y or weird; it’s just like velvet for your mouth that happens to taste amazing.  Couple that with a really prime piece of ground sirloin, rare for the best experience, and we really, honestly, can’t think of a more sublime eating experience.  Side note, foie gras goes best with tart and fruity, so we’d hold off on the onions.

Why foie gras on a burger is a bad thing.  Foie gras is terrible when prepared incorrectly.  What should be melt-in-your-mouth goes to rubbery, gamey, or tasteless in no time flat.  Also, if you love animals, you’ll have a hard time justifying eating it when you know where it comes from and how it’s made. If you’re health conscious, as most people in Northern California are, you’ll also be wary of the amount of fat…just pure FAT…you’re ingesting when eating this pâté on top of a big hunk of beef.

What we think.  We love a good burger.  Here in California, we’re a big fan of The Counter (just say YES to aioli!),and we dig a Double Double Animal-Style at In-N-Out…and we won’t say no to a fried duck egg on our burger if it comes down to it, especially with caramelized onion! But while we’re also not adverse to foie gras (not completely, anyways,) there’s something a bit…too much…about it being added to our favorite meat patty. It almost seems like it’s breaking a law to have two great tastes basically warring between the buns. It’s like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, both amazing in their own right, but together it’s a war of egos and one-upmanship. Because we’re totally averse to conflict, we’re passing on the two together, but we’re NOT passing up the fried duck egg!

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