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Fois gras becomes local speciality in Madagascar

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GEORGES GOBET/AFP or licensors

Agriculture

With its 300 duck breeders and its fifteen or so foie gras producers, the small town of Behenjyin Madagascar, has developed a reputation for producing this French delicacy. But with 75% of the population living on less than two euros a day, it is difficult to find buyers

"We wanted to sell in Antananarivo in restaurants but nobody wanted our products. I managed to sell, but at very low prices, up to 2.50 euros per kilo of foie gras," Fara Hanitriniala Rasoa, breeder and small producer of foie gras said.

Foie gras is a specialty food product made of the liver of a duck or goose. Served with green pepper, vanilla or simply plain, foie gras is becoming a local speciality in this small town of Behenjyin, that is 50 km from the capital Antananarivo.

"Here the force-feeding of the duck is not a big industrial production, it's people who do the force-feeding in an artisanal way, by hand. We manage to produce 5 tonnes a year and export 240 kg to other countries such as Mayotte and China," Zoé Rarivo, Foie gras producer and restaurateur said.

Some prefer the Malagasy foie served with a little tomato sauce, shallot and served with rice.

But Sitraka Haingonirina, a chef from the capital, has decided to reinvent dish. His new technique has attracted lots of food lovers to his restaurant.

"With the Christmas log of foie gras here, we can have a taste, a melting texture, a slightly mellow taste with the gelatinous character, we also have a very sweet taste with the lychee, a little sour with the peaches," Sitraka Haingonirina, chef caterer said.

Fois gras remains popular not only in Madagascar but also in other countries like France.