In this Aug. 9, 2006, file photo, a serving of salt-cured fresh foie gras with herbs is displayed at chef Didier Durand's Cyrano's Bistrot & Wine Bar in Chicago
M. Spencer Green—AP
By Elizabeth Barber
January 8, 2015

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday overturned a state law banning the sale of foie gras in California, ending a two-year-long ban on the luxury food that had placated animal-rights groups but upset the state’s high-end restaurants and gourmands, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It feels a little like December of 1933,” said chef Michael Cimarusti on Twitter, comparing the end of the ban to the time when alcohol became legal again in the U.S. after the Prohibition era.

Animal-rights groups, who had supported a ban on a product made by force-feeding ducks and geese and harvesting their abnormally fattened livers, vowed on Wednesday to protest outside any restaurants who reinstate foie gras on their menus — and there are plenty planning to do just that. One chef told the New York Times: “I’m just very excited to have some culinary freedom back.”

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson ruled that the ban unconstitutionally interfered with federal law regulating poultry products. Animal-rights groups said Wednesday they would ask the California attorney general to seek an appeal.

[Los Angles Times]

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