After beef and calf liver, the most common animal livers eaten are lamb, pork, poultry, and goose. Goose and duck livers are used mainly to produce the famous pâté de foie gras. Fresh American foie gras must come from ducks, but imported foie gras can come from either goose or duck. These birds are specifically bred with enlarged livers.

An important note is that the liver processes most substances that enter the body. This includes any chemicals that an animal might be fed or given as a medication. The older the animal, the more likely it is that there may be accumulations of unwanted residues in this organ. For this reason, liver from younger animals is generally preferred.

Fresh liver should have a bright color, a moist but not slick surface, and a clean smell. Loosely wrap it and refrigerate it immediately. Liver does not keep for more than a day.

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