There are few things more quintessentially French than a sublime sliver of silky smooth foie gras perched atop a slice of crisp baguette. This luxurious “fat liver” is one of our key ingredients at Topaz, and for very good reason… .
At Topaz, we’ll soon be launching an exciting new menu where you’ll find some completely new dishes, some lively twists on old favourites, and some of your most-loved dishes just as you’ve always enjoyed them. As always, the menu is unmistakably French, as are the ingredients, one of which holds pride of place in all our hearts: Foie Gras.
As smooth as pure satin, Foie Gras combines rich umami tones with a sweetish minerally flavour. Yet for all the richness and depth, its smooth, buttery texture gives it a melting, delicate quality. Foie Gras (“fat liver”) has long been a staple of the Gascon larder. Gascony, in the Southwestern corner of France, that borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Pyrenees mountains to the south, is one of the engine rooms of French cuisine, renowned not just for the quality and variety of the ingredients produced there, but also for the the methods of preparing, preserving and cooking them. It’s also breathtakingly beautiful in case you should be thinking of passing by.
It is commonly, and most likely incorrectly, thought that the method of feeding ducks or geese in order to produce Foie Gras originated in Egypt. However, it is very likely true that the practice was brought to France by the Jews for whom it afforded a source of fat as dietary rules, kashrut, prohibited the consumption of lard, and often butter. In France, Foie Gras was first produced in Strasbourg but eventually made its way to Gascony, which has made an art, and today an industry, out of its production.
At Topaz, we’ve integrated Foie Gras into a range of our dishes in order to add richness, depth of flavour, and a deliciously luxurious flourish. You’ll find it wrapped up in puff pastry with mushroom duxelles, truffles and fillet of beef for an iconic Beef Wellington—a feast for kings—or prepared with its very own tart and a deliciously tangy Périgueux sauce as a glorious opening starter for your meal, or once more wrapped up in a puff-pastry crust (the ultimate comfort food) together with black winter truffles, another Gascon speciality, and meltingly delicate veal sweetbreads.
Alternatively, you could let the Foie Gras really take centre stage with two time-honoured ways of enjoying it. There is the simplest, with everything taken down to their its elements, Foie Gras à la Truffe en Terrine, a generous slice of umami-packed silk to be enjoyed with toasts, and perhaps shared with those you love most (if they’ve been good).
Or you could heat things up a little with a Pan-seared Foie Gras with Caramelised Apples, a classic of French cuisine that marries the sublime richness of Foie Gras with the sweet-tart sauce. There’s a very good reason the French love this so much: it’s a sensational dish. And also a good one to remember the next time a French person tells you they can’t eat sweet & sour pork because they’re not used to mixing sweet and savoury in French cooking.
Whatever you do, don’t miss out on trying it.