Goose is a large domestic palmiped animal descended from a wild variety called "cinerina". There are two main breeds of geese: the large ones, which can reach 10-12 kilos in weight and are bred mainly in France (famous are those of Toulouse and Alsace, from them the so-called "foie gras" is produced), and those of medium weight, which are around 4-6 kilos (such as those of Romagna).
Outside the autumnal and Christmas period, the goose is difficult to find because in Italy there are few farms, mainly in the North ,so in Lombardy (in the Pavese region, where cured meats are also made), Veneto and Emilia Romagna.That is why it is best to go directly to the farms or to the butchers. The goose has red meat, lighter than that of the duck and its most requested cuts are the breast (photo), the thigh but even the whole animal, especially during the holidays.
It can be prepared roasted, dipped in wine, on the spit or stuffed with chestnuts, potatoes and citrus fruits. The breast is excellent browned in a pan, stuffed or even sliced, then cooked in the oven for 5 minutes. The goose can be found also in the cassoeula and ragù.
Generally every part of this animal is used: from its feathers (for stuffing) to its meat and fat. The latter is particularly abundant, so the goose is usually roasted without adding any seasoning; by repeatedly pricking the skin in fact, it is possible to release the goose's fat, which can be then cooled and stored in jars in order to use it as a seasoning to cook other foods.
Goose meat is rather delicate but, unlike duck, it should not be cooked rare, and if still young, it has a moderate percentage of fat.