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Very early one cold rainy December morning, I set out to a special duck market to buy a foie in order to make my first foie gras for Christmas dinner. We were in Pau visiting my beaux-parents, in the Southwest part of France on the border of the Pyrénées Mountains, when I asked if I might help make the Christmas foie gras this year. “If you want the real experience,” said my mother-in-law, “you have to start at the beginning.”

When I walked into the duck market, the first image that caught my attention though my sleepy, water-stained eyes were carts of the ducks piled high, purchased by restaurant suppliers, chefs and marketers.

This video captures our trip to this Foie Market at 6am (by 8am they are sold out), watching the vender/farmer cut open the duck with gardening shears and remove the giant (900 gram!) liver, as well as our conversations with him about his life as a duck farmer, his ideas on foie gras, and his free-range practices.

If you have a weak stomach, please beware that some parts of this video (between 2:05-3:40 minutes) you may find difficult to watch, particularly vegetarians.

I was delighted to be invited to this farmer’s land for a visit later that same week. Stay tuned for Part Three, the conclusion of the mini-doc, which highlights our afternoon on the duck farm, the raising, feeding and eventual cleaning of the animals.

Part One of the mini-doc we made on Foie Gras in France was the recipe and the making of this typically French delicacy.

My goal is to shed some light on the practices concerning ducks and foie gras in France so that when we debate the right or wrongness of the products, we know what we are talking about. I’m all for the power of candid, dependable information.

Bonne continuation!