A British supermarket that stopped selling the French delicacy fois gras six years ago because of animal welfare concerns has developed an alternative, "faux gras", for sale this Christmas, it announced Saturday.
Fois gras, an expensive, rich pate, is made from the livers of geese and ducks that have been force fed over a period of months, a process that makes their livers swell to up to 10 times the normal size.
The animal rights-friendly alternative from Waitrose, a high-end supermarket chain, is made from goose and duck livers from free-range birds reared in Britain without force-feeding.
"We think this is as near to authentic foie gras as we can get without the cruelty," said a buyer for the chain, David Stone.
"Waitrose does not sell traditional foie gras because it just isn't consistent with our high standards of animal welfare.
"But now we are confident we have come up with the holy grail of the gastronomic world - a pate with the richness of traditional foie gras, but without any of the guilt."
The new product has even been endorsed by Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
Fois gras producers have been targets for animal welfare campaigners the world over.
France is the world's leading producer of foie gras, turning out some 18,450 tonnes a year, or some 75 percent of the world total estimated at 23,500 tonnes.
In France, it is a traditional dish for festive occasions, particularly around Christmas and the New Year.