I was browsing the olive bar at Union Market in Carroll Gardens the other day and was thrilled to see they were selling Faux Gras, a “deliciously decadent, ridiculously healthy, mousse-like, creamy spread that makes toast, crackers and crudite proud,” which is produced by Brooklyn-based The Regal Vegan and offers a cruelty-free alternative to the spread made of the fattened livers of force-fed ducks.
I thought I’d check in with Ella Nemcova of The Regal Vegan for an update on her foray into this upscale gourmet grocery store chain. Ella said that while one Union Market location keeps Faux Gras by the hummus and tapenade spreads, another keeps it by the foie gras, which is disconcerting to her though she can’t decide whether she’d like them to move it or if it’s a good thing to be next to the offending product. She reports that some of the Union Market shoppers are turned off by her product at in-store tastings when she tells them it’s walnut lentil pate–as if their tongues will fall off if they taste it (or like they revert to age 5 when they pitched a fit to avoid eating the lentils mom served).
Rest assured, no one’s tongue will fall off from eating Faux Gras. It’s available at locations around NYC including obvious places like Perelandra and Lifethyme–a full list of stores is at The Regal Vegan. Ella is also donating a whole bunch of it to be served at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary‘s annual Thanksliving celebration on October 10th. If you don’t have tickets yet, get them pronto as this event always sells out.
And if you’re feeling motivated, please join the weekly demonstrations up at the Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market protesting Hudson Valley Foie Gras, one of the country’s top producers, which has been investigated in the past with reports citing egregious cruelty. There’s a Facebook group you can join for more details on the demos. For activities in NYC and elsewhere check out The Animal Protection & Rescue League and Farm Sanctuary for more info.
I also saw Sweet & Sara’s vegan marshmallows and rice crispy treats at Union Market. Not that I need any incentive to snap up the delectable treats but by helping to create a demand for these products, I’m hoping the store will continue to stock them. So, you know, it’s actually kind of an obligation. And I’m happy to oblige.