Foie gras is a made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been overfed with corn, and as of July 1, 2012, it is illegal in California (because the duck or goose is typically force fed to fatten it up).
So what is a foie gras lover to do? Well if you live in San Francisco, you can head on over to the Presidio Social Club. But wait, how can this be if it’s illegal in California? As it turns out, the Presidio Social Club is actually located on a small national park in northern San Francisco and is therefore outside of the juristiction of California law. The area was turned into a national park in 1994 and is now overseen by the Presidio Trust, created by Congress in 1996.
“We don’t even have a California liquor license,” says owner/chef Ray Tang.
The reaction has been mixed with some customers excited to try the French cuisine, and others upset because they believe the forced feeding of the ducks to fatten their livers is cruel. The Presidio Trust doesn’t like the idea of foie gras being served there. In a written statement, executive director Craig Middleton said, “We are concerned that this action is inconsistent with the values that we promote in the Presidio: sustainability, respect for our environment, responsible stewardship.”
The law is probably on the side of the Presidio Social Club, because typically local and state building codes do not apply to federal property in areas such as courts buildings and post offices, so therefore they are probably safe to contine to serve foie gras. Only time will tell if the State of California decides to pursue the matter in court.