I had an unexpected farewell to foie gras on Friday, and I shall miss it. Over tha last 9 months or so, I have been very taste challenged. I went through chemotherapy last year, which messed up my taste buds, then in December and January I wen through radiation treatment, which wiped them out entirely, along with my ability to produce saliva to break down foods. Since ending treatment, I have been slowly recovering my ability to taste foods, with certain things coming on fast, and other things coming on slow. Other things have just changed; as an example, I can no longer tolerate anything hotter than the mildest of salsas.
There have been a number of things I have had during recovery which were... OK. Ribs and medium rare steaks are generally juicy enough to be able to eat, and are tasty enough to make them regular meals, but not to the point where I would say they tasted good; they were just better than any other option.
So last Friday I was out in Old Town Orange and wandered into Haven Gastropub for a beer (brown ales, wheat beers, and Mexican lagers I like, the rest now taste from odd to bad) and a bite. I have known about the looming foie gras ban, but did not think about going out for a last bite. But what should be on the specials board at Haven? Foie gras, seared and served with pickled cherries and two types of mushrooms. I couldn't resist, and I am so glad I did not. I had only had it a few times previously, and only once was it something I considered remarkable. But Friday night's few bites were the first few bites I have had this year that were truly delicious. So there are a few ironies to this. The first is that I finally find something that tastes great, and it is now illegal. The second is that if it were not going to be banned, it might not have been a special in the first place, and if it were, I would probably not have ordered it.
So thank you to Haven for putting such a delightful morsel on the menu at the perfect time for me. And here is hoping that a legislature that allows factory raising of chicken and beef will end this silly ban on a lovingly produced artisanal farm product.