What's Maine got that California doesn't? No earthquakes, for one thing (but no Sonoma or Napa, either). Lower taxes. And oh yes—foie gras. Nearly two months into the Golden State's ban on the luxury liver, Colin Sargent of Portland Monthly magazine suggests that fans not just of foie, but of the innovative food scene that used to exist in California, should now flock to Maine.
(Chef Krista Kern Desjarlais of Bresca) likes comparing gastronomic 21st century Maine to old California: I grew up just outside of San Francisco, so I agree with that. It definitely has that kind of Marin County spirit: old, dirty-cool, not hip cool. Really nice people. Kind of like the spirit of the 1970s when I was there.In addition to Desjarlais, who uses foie in a decadent version of the ice cream sandwich—"foie gras ice-cream with a toasted almond chocolate torte and pan-seared apricots with warm caramel sauce," Sargent also interviewed chefs Jeffrey Savage of On the Marsh in Kennebunk, Steve Corry of five fifty-five and Petite Jacqueline in Portland, Pierre Gignac of 98 Provence in Ogunquit and Jonathan Cartwright of The White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, who has this to say about the foie gras controversy:
I think it's a shame. I don't want to sound barbaric about things, but you can take everything to an extreme. If someone has a conscience where they don't want foie gras, he or she doesn't have to order it, and as a result, demand will go down. Should we stop serving Maine lobster?