When you're the main producer of something — geese, say — it's easy to notice a smuggling ring, which is how Jim Schiltz, who processes most of the geese in this country, knew that California was being flooded by someone else's waterfowl. Tonight, before we went to dinner at Gilt, he told the tale of how, through his informants in the goose world (if you're the main producer of something, you also apparently have to have informants), he basically uncovered a ring of smugglers who not only were sneaking in goose, but duck and squab, too, from China, along with undocumented workers and counterfeit consumer goods and, well, pretty much anything else you'd expect Chinese smugglers to be smuggling.
At dinner (which basically was a repeat of what I had on Monday — see the blog entry titled The Never-Ending Lunch) he wanted to pick my brain about how best to market goose.
I don't know anything about marketing, but I said that it seemed to me the best strategy would be to reinforce goose's image with the middle-Americans of Scandinavian and German descent who might be inclined to eat it during Christmas and Easter, and then let them know that it can be eaten at different times of year, too, and also to tie in goose's similarity to duck — they actually don't taste all that much alike, but they can work in similar preparations, and duck's popularity is growing.
If you happen to be a marketer and think I'm full of baloney, please let me know; I'll pass your comments on to Jim.
For more of Jim's goose adventure's, see the blog entry "How geese could cure West Nile."