French President Goes to Bat for Foie Gras

Francois Hollande says ban goes against free trade

While U.S. chefs and restaurateurs go back and forth with lawmakers over California's ban on foie gras, French President Francois Hollande has a plan that just might work.

"If necessary, I’ll bring as much as needed to authorities of the country," the notorious burger lover said in a speech on Saturday, adding that the taste of the foie gras might well be "the greatest pleasure" the authorities had experienced.

"We wish we could have more of it here in France, and sometimes cannot, due to lack of purchasing power — I wouldn’t want to deprive the Americans!" the president joked.

More seriously, he said that he would not allow foie gras exports to be jeopardized.

"Foie gras is a great French product that is an honor to those devoted to it," he said in his speech. "[The U.S.] can’t defend free trade and forbid a good product like foie gras."

According to The Telegraph, France produces more than 16 million tons of foie gras every year. Only about 3,000 of that is exported, but there is concern among that country's producers that the ban in California could start an anti-foie gras trend.