This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Fat liver; especially designating the livers of fat geese; a comestible of great prominence on all sides of French cookery; but, as in the case of high-flavored cheese, herbs, spices, curry, etc., the taste for the preparations of foiesgras has to be acquired, and there is but a limited appreciation of it here. "The goose is a bird that, after it is dead, constantly thrusts itself on the stranger's attention in Austria. Its apparition is frequent on the tables and hotels at Vienna, and it reappears more frequently as you descend the Danube. It Is The Most Chosen Viand At Buda Pesth. Here it achieves its apotheosis. But it is not so much to the bird itself as to that important organ, its liver, that I desire to direct attention. The local commerce in this delicacy is considerable. On certain streets the attention of the pedestrian is attracted by the counterfeit presentment of a goose, dead and cooked, beside which is a painted object so nearly like that he is aware it is the liver of the deceased bird. This sign indicates a shop whose sole business is to sell roasted goose cut in pieces, goose livers and a sort of biscuit made of chopped goose and flour.
Here is a temptation to those who are fond of pate de foie-gras. On entering, the dealer is discovered standing behind a huge tray filled with livers arranged in rows, armed with a fork resembling Neptune's trident. He passes the trident mystically ever the livers and names the prices - 20 kreutzers, 25 kreutzers, 30, 40, 50 kreutzers, the latter being trom giant birds and weighing nearly a pound. You take one of the smallest as a starter, and a biscuit, and, adjourning to a neighboring wine-shop, properly adjust your digestive apparatus to the unctuous viand with a 'fourth' of white Hungarian wine. No bad result follows, as with the artificially fattened livers that cost their weight in gold in America. Your digestion continues excellent. What is the effect? The next day you come back and buy a liver twice the size, take two rations of biscuit and wash the repast down with a ' half' of the same wine, and so on. As this ratio of increase cannot go on forever, you find yourself obliged to leave the town a day or two sooner than you intended, to subdue a growing appetite, taking with you in your valise a few pounds of goose livers to satisfy the pangs of hunger and solace the regret of parting, for you know, when you have left the Danube you can see this luxury no more".
Pie of fat liver. "The individual who first discovered the real use to which Dame Nature had predestined the goose - that of having its liver abnormally fattened - reaped a fortune from his penetration and his ingenuity. His name was Close, and he was chef de cuisine to Marshal de Coutades, Governor of Strasburg; hence the association of that town with pate de foie-gras. The idea occurred to him one day that he would make a pie from the livers of some extremely fat geese which were hanging in the larder; and the pie being made, the Marshal was delighted, and at once gave an order that henceforth the dish was to be included in the daily dinner, and this was done so long as the Marshal was Governor. De Coutades, however, was displaced, and his successor was a Spartan, who believed in hard, black bread and coarse broth, and voted all luxuries as sinful. Under the altered circumstances the chef Close resigned. He then comforted himself by marrying a wealthy Strasburg widow, opened a pastry-cook's establishment, and made the pate de foie-gras his specialty. Everybody who tasted it was loud in its praise, and the lucky cook made a rapid fortune, and was, of course, the initiator of a big trade.
Paste of fat iivers. Such as comes from Strasburg in jars. It is made by cooking the fat goose or duck livers with bacon, wine and aromatics, pounding it through a seive, adding cut truffles to it, potting it like potted meats. It is used in cookery to line pies made of birds or any game, the boned birds being then placed upon it alone with mushrooms and other seasonings, and the intestices in some styles are filled in either with the same pate de fcie-gras, or, raw foies-gras, or goose livers, such as the pies are made of are put in as they are, without cutting or mincing.
"Foie-gras makes a very good sandwich for luncheon purposes, if the public could be gradually brought to like it. The principal difficulty in some of these innovations or novel business uses for well-known old culinary recipes, is to get the public to understand or have sufficient confidence to try them".
Same as scalloped dishes; made by placing half a lerrine (jar) of foie-gras in a saucepan with half as much cooked mushrooms or truffles; all cut in small dice; sauce added; put into silver or other scallop shells; bread crumbs on top; baked in a pan with little water under till top is browned.
Squares or cubes of foie-gras in aspic jelly.
Fried bread-shapes filled with dice-cut goose livers in rich wine gravy.
Gras . Small rolls baked for the purpose, quite round, hollowed out, and pate de foie-gras filled in; for ball suppers and lunches.