I developed a taste for foie gras in Madagascar. Yes, I just said Madagascar. And yes, I’m serious. I can explain this even though I don’t really like to think about it. If anyone ever asks, “Have you ever had a near death experience?” for some reason, my month-long quarter-life crisis trip to Madagascar comes to my mind. The summer after I spent a semester “studying” in Paris, I was invited by two French friends and another American student to spend most of the summer backpacking through the island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. For some reason, this seemed like a good idea at the time. And intoxicated by a sense of adventure (or maybe it was a nice Bordeaux), I said I’d go.
Not too far into the adventure that would include such things as canoeing in tree-trunk canoes for three days down the boa constrictor and alligator infested Manambolo River and bailing our French friends out of a prison in Antananarivo, we got lost hiking. We had stocked up on canned foods and baguettes in the capital city before we set off on our hike. And as Madagascar had been a French colony for over a century, one of these canned items was foie gras. We survived on these baguettes and fattened goose-liver for a few days until we found some locals to lead us to the next village.
This is not the ideal context in which to eat foie gras. I recommend it in a more relaxed situation. Anna was in Paris recently with her band. In a conversation I had with her while she was there I managed to explain that I was considering doing a cleanse and also asked that she please bring me back some foie gras. Clearly I’m never doing a cleanse, and clearly she’s an awesome friend because she brought me back a gold container of it. I intended to save the pretty can for a special occasion but proceeded to open it late one night after work and sampled it with a a toasted baguette and a glass of red wine. And as I savored the French specialty, I thought back to my adventure eight years ago and realized maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.