The last supper: Foie gras before the ban

A California ban on foie gras will go into effect Sunday
The dish Foie Gras Torchon at Julienne Restaurant in Santa Barbara.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

For some Californian diners, this will be an emotional weekend as the statewide ban on foie gras made by force-feeding ducks and geese takes effect Sunday.

Animal activists are thrilled – they say the new law has been a long time coming. The most common tactics for producing the product – made from the engorged livers of fattened fowl – are cruel and unnecessary, according to advocacy groups.

The ban, however, will put Sonoma Foie Gras – the only foie gras producer in the state – out of business after 26 years. Its dozen workers will lose their jobs.

The farm pulled in $3.3 million in revenue last year and has been unable to keep up with demand for the fatty liver this year as the deadline looms.

The company’s owner, Guillermo Gonzalez, blamed “back-door tactics” from activists along with legislation, lawsuits, propaganda and a smear campaign for destroying his business.

Our stories Friday and Thursday go more in depth into the foie gras fight. But with days to go before the product becomes illegal in the state, Californians are providing plenty of context of their own.

Get our weekly Business newsletter

A look back, and ahead, at the latest California business news.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.