The cultivated pâté should be indistinguishable from the original
While delicious, foie gras isn’t the most ethical of delicacies. The buttery duck or goose liver typically comes to the plate courtesy of a controversial process known as gavage, which sees birds force-fed multiple times a day to increase the richness of the pâté. That could soon be a thing of the past, however, thanks to a certain Parisian start-up.
Gourmey has unveiled a new type of cultivated foie gras that doesn’t require gavage and is also slaughter-free. The lab-grown liver is made from duck stem cells that are harvested from a single fertilised egg and then grown in vitro in large stainless-steel tanks known as bioreactors, according to Bloomberg Pursuits.
As the cells are fed nutrients, they multiply and eventually form whatever tissue is desired (fat, muscle or sinew). Since foie gras is famously smooth and has fewer fibres than, say, chicken or steak, it’s much easier and quicker to re-create the texture in the lab. This means pricing can be more on par with farmed foie gras.
At the moment, high-quality foie gras retails for around US$80 (S$109) per pound (0.45kg). Gourmey’s co-founder Nicolas Morin-Forest told Bloomberg the lab-grown equivalent is currently in the three-figure range and needs to drop to two figures.