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Is Reno The Next Hot Spot For Foie Gras Lovers?

Photo of a foie dish at Petrossian in 2010 by foodforfel via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Could Reno be the new safe haven for foie gras-loving gourmands? Laurel Pine is hoping so. Her business, Mirepoix USA, carries more than 40 foie-based products, and is seeing a steep increase in California tourists who are seeking out her wares.

Pine states that as much as a 25% of her client base are California tourists in search of the liver. Foie makes up about 40 percent of her sales, and about 70 percent of her sales occur during the holiday season. She moved it from Napa Valley to Reno in anticipation of the ban, which went into effect to much fanfare in July of last year.

Pine explained the logic behind moving her business to Nevada

“If I had stayed in California, not only would I not be able to sell to Californians, I wouldn’t be able to sell to the rest of the United States,” she said.
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She says that she gets a couple of California-based customers per week, and that last month had a customer come pick up a 25-pound box of foie gras for herself and her friends.

As Grub Street said, it's an old story out West: ban it and Nevada will get rich by providing it.

And Pine is not alone in her move. Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras, California's lone producer that closed following the ban, had plans that have yet to materialize in Nevada.

Owner Junny Gonzalez explained to RGJ, stating, "We wanted to have a ranch with a processing plant. For the moment, we have to wait a little bit more. We are in the wait-and-see mode."