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Bresse Chickens - Page 2

post #31 of 58

French Fries, Thank you very much for the links.  Very detailed information. I appreciate it. 

post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhamid View Post

French Fries, Thank you very much for the links.  Very detailed information. I appreciate it. 


You're welcome! Now you can copy/paste it in Google translate. For your convenience, here's the translated bit about the geographic area - as you can see it is very strictly described. 

 

 

 

Quote:
The geographical area of ​​the appellation of origin Bresse chicken in which selection, multiplication, hatching, rearing, slaughtering, preparation of poultry and, where applicable, their freezing take place extends to the territories of municipalities or parts thereof the following:
Department of Ain
In part:
Abergement-Clémenciat (The), Ceyzériat, Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, Coligny, (etc etc...) Villegaudin, Vincelles.
For municipalities where only part of the territory is included in the geographical area, the limit thereof is transferred to graphic documents filed in the town hall of the municipalities concerned.

 

post #33 of 58

i just pressed 'translate now' when i accessed the link and it automatically translated the whole thing. i will read through it in more detail. thanks again!

post #34 of 58

Sadly, I doubt it would be possible to raise a chicken descended from Bresse in any comparable fashion in the United States. This simply comes down to "terroir" as the French call it. The feed, the grass, the sun, the weather; everything is specific to Bresse. That is not to say that any contraband that may have been descendant could not take on similar characteristics; not at all. Surely it can. However, nothing will match. Just as the Americans saved French grapes from extinction, the flavors still differ between here and there. Once again, the idea of "terroir." I've done blind tastings, and it is hands down the easiest to taste a true Poulet de Bresse.

 

Second point, here. Though the Poulet de Bresse is the best chicken I have tasted, this was in a simple, traditional roasting method of cooking. What I found beyond that is, if you select a farm raised chicken, and give it an amazing brine, be it a Bresse or a basic "Label Rouge" will have delicious, similar outcomes....especially when you look into cooking methods. Hope that helps!

 

Greenfire- I'll cook a soup and say it's your grandma's soup, exactly the same, I just made it in my outdoor kitchen in the jungle somewhere. That's a bit like the offense. Not to deliberately offend unnecessarily, but come on. People spend their lives dedicated to the proper raising and protection of these birds, so it isn't taken lightly or with such ignorance. These birds are a passion not a selling point, and they sell because it strictly remains as such.

post #35 of 58

You express an interesting opinion, but a different opinion is that "terroir" as it applies to chickens --as opposed to a plant rooted in the soil-- is a speculative concept at best.  Chickens are not grapevines, and the interplay of the environmental and genetic factors that affect their respective food products is very different.  Hearing the argument for chicken "terroir" as a barrier to trade reminds me of the time the Japanese government imposed high tariffs on American snow skis under the rationale that Japanese snow was somehow "different" than American snow.  At some point these notions can become protectionist myths that are no longer tied to reality.    

 

Since nobody has yet done a blind taste test between American and French Bresse, it is impossible at this point to say whether there is a consistently discernible difference in flavor when the birds are raised and processed under similar conditions in separate locations.  Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future that experiment can be run, and we'll know the answer.  But, whatever the outcome, it's hard to view it as a negative that a new type of meat chicken will be available to American chefs.  The poultry realm is full of examples of chicken breeds that were branded with the name of their local origin (Bresse, Sussex, Orpingtons, New Hampshires, Delawares, Hedemora, etc.) and are now consumed across the globe.  It seems to work out just fine.  

post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenfire View Post

You express an interesting opinion


Beyond opinions, we're communicating with words, and we give those words a meaning. We refer to various authorities who control the meaning of those words. In Europe there is this thing called "Appelation d'Origine Controllee". It means the name of certain food products like Champagne or Poulet de Bresse are controlled and have a very strict meaning described in the AOCs such as the one I linked to for Poulet de Bresse. 

 

Whether or not they taste the same is irrelevant to the naming discussion. If you imported some Champagne grapes and could grow them to have the exact same characteristics as the ones grown in the Champagne region, and turned them into a wine that tasted exactly like Champagne, you still wouldn't be allowed to call it "Champagne", just because it was not produced in the Champagne region. That's the whole point behind AOC: they don't control taste, they control the production methods AND geographical location. Same with Poulet de Bresse. 


Edited by French Fries - 2/8/12 at 4:22pm
post #37 of 58

The champagne analogy is thrown around quite a bit here, but what hasn't been mentioned is that the United States federal government doesn't acknowledge the protectionist effect of the AOC designation for all types of foods.  It is, after all, a French law and one that is not necessarily given effect in other countries. 

post #38 of 58

"Controlled origin" is hype and marketing, in reality a lot of it is the skill of the craftsman passed down through generations.

 

That being said it only took people in the Willamette Valley of Oregon about 40 years to figure out how to grow Pinot Noir as good as the French - And wine is a difficult, fickle thing to produce

 

So after reviewing the Poulet Bresse organization's video online, which shows exactly how they are raised*, I would make the bold prediction that in a relatively small number of years here in America we will be producing a superior product to what is coming out of France.

 

 

*Lot's of room, but still pretty industrial - not as good as the conditions the british guy raises his "label anglicia" or whatever they're called.

post #39 of 58

Hi,

 

I've never been to France but I'm guessing they have hamburgers, french fries and hot dogs!  Do they call them by their name or are they called something else?

 

So back to the Bresse/Champagne comparison.  In American we refer to Champagne as "Sparkling Wines".  They come from the Champagne grape but the end product is labeled "Sparkling Wine".  With that said, the Bresse chicken, after processing in this country, could be labeled "Blue Foot" chicken. 

 

If you start with an authentic Bresse/Champagne, Chick/Vine and the only difference is in the region of growth, the end product would then be labeled Blue Foot/Sparkling Wine as apposed to Bresse/Champagne.  The Sparkling Wines, Bordeaux, Pinor and other French based wines in our Northern California wine country regions are overtaking the French wines by leaps and bounds and I suspect that the Bresse/Blue Foot, if monitored stringently will be no exception. 

 

I agree that soon, very soon, there will be many Bresse/Blue Foot chickens available in this country.  I know of at least four breeders that are actively working on the Bresse/Blue Foot.

I also must say that a price tag of $399 a chick is just ridiculous.  IMHO
 

post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueFootFan View Post

I've never been to France but I'm guessing they have hamburgers, french fries and hot dogs!  Do they call them by their name or are they called something else?
"They call a Quarter Pounder with cheese a Royale with cheese."

BDL
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #41 of 58

That is what "McDonald's" calls them.  American ingenuity right there.  Great marketing on their part actually.  I think the French would much rather purchase a "Royale with Cheese" than anything called "A Big Mac"!  lol  Same "Bird" different name, goes to my point.

post #42 of 58

I so agree.  The Bresse will soon be available throughout America and equal in quality to the ones found in Bresse, France.  I don't believe it will take 40 years either. :-)  We aren't talking rocket science here.  Provided that a breeder raises them the same, finishes them the same and processes them the same they will be unrecognizable from what you would expect from France.  What I have noticed with most of the Bresse I've read and heard about in this country is that the breeders tend to try and short cut the process and also the finishing.  Using powdered milk is NOT the same as using whole milk and finishing is a week or two doesn't do it.

 

I live in an area close the a major river, so close in fact that my soil is some of the richest to be found in the country.  30 feet of dark, rich river loam, perfect for growing rich grasses and clovers.  Anyone want to give me some Bresse to raise?  :-)

 


Edited by BlueFootFan - 2/12/12 at 5:59pm
post #43 of 58

I have been to France. My mother and grandparents were from Paris. The French are passionate about food. I have raised the Freedom Rangers (French hybrids), which were excellent birds. I currently raise Marans (dual purpose French birds), and the extra cockerels very respectable table birds. Now we are discussing the premier meat bird, the Bresse. Let's face it, the French know what they are doing when it comes to food. I believe it is not just the conditions, it is also the genetics of the breed that makes it so special. BOTH NATURE AND NURTURE. The more we can learn about how the French raise these birds, the better the American product will be. I am not debating what they should or should not be called. Personally I have no problem respecting the AOC's. To me it is immaterial what they are called. The end product will speak for itself one way or the other.  It will never be identical to the French birds, but that doesn't mean it will be inferior either. As I recall, several years ago there was debate about the quality of California wines vs. French wines. In a blind test with French wine experts, the California wines actually won, much to the chagrin of the French. That doesn't diminish the French product, it merely shows that excellent wine/meat/whatever can be produced if you use the best ingredients and raise it and process it properly. 

post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhamid View Post

I have been to France. My mother and grandparents were from Paris. The French are passionate about food. I have raised the Freedom Rangers (French hybrids), which were excellent birds. I currently raise Marans (dual purpose French birds), and the extra cockerels very respectable table birds. Now we are discussing the premier meat bird, the Bresse. Let's face it, the French know what they are doing when it comes to food. I believe it is not just the conditions, it is also the genetics of the breed that makes it so special. BOTH NATURE AND NURTURE. The more we can learn about how the French raise these birds, the better the American product will be. I am not debating what they should or should not be called. Personally I have no problem respecting the AOC's. To me it is immaterial what they are called. The end product will speak for itself one way or the other.  It will never be identical to the French birds, but that doesn't mean it will be inferior either. As I recall, several years ago there was debate about the quality of California wines vs. French wines. In a blind test with French wine experts, the California wines actually won, much to the chagrin of the French. That doesn't diminish the French product, it merely shows that excellent wine/meat/whatever can be produced if you use the best ingredients and raise it and process it properly. 


Your post made SO MUCH sense, Ihamid. I would never purchase a "Bresse" chicken in the U.S., because before I purchase it, I know it's not what it says it is, and I know the vendor is lying to me. So when they tell me how they raised it, how do I know if they're not still lying? 

 

On the other hand, if you sell me a "Blue Foot" chicken, and you tell me how it was raised, I'll have more confidence! 

 

The same way that there are excellent "Sparkling Wines" in California, and I've bought many, but I would never, ever buy a California wine labeled "Champagne", because I know it's most probably just going to be a cheap imitation. Anyone who knows anything about wine knows that you cannot call a California sparkling wine 'Champagne', and anyone who's serious about raising birds should know that you cannot call a bird raised in the U.S. "Bresse" (which by the way is the name of the region where it is raised). I'd rather buy my food from people who know what they're talking about. 

 

 

post #45 of 58

Marans is also the REGION in France where Marans chickens originated. They are famous for their dark brown eggs.  

post #46 of 58
Yes, the Black Copper and other varieties of the Marans are from the Marans region. In this the country the breed retains it's authentic name "Marans"

A rose by any other name, still smells as sweet! I like the name "American Blue Foot"
post #47 of 58

I'm very excited that this breed is now avalible in the US, hats off to Greenfire for getting them started here. I noticed on Greenfire's site they list them as "American Bresse" - so much the better I say. Only time will tell which is truely the better end product, but isnt it great that someone has found a way to give us here an oppurtunity. Some will dilute the bloodlines,some wil go mad science and breed them in search of an even better chicken, some will do their best to mimic the French methods to the nth degree and some wont. As with all things time and quality will win out in the end.  I'm just excited to have the chance to try something like this that we havnt been able to try before. Thank You Greenfire!

post #48 of 58

Thanks for the supportive words!  The interest about our American Bresse has been amazing.  There are now a few dozen small farmers in the United States and Canada raising this breed.  I assume you'll see some served for dinner for the first time in 2013.  They've proven to be hardy, self-sufficient birds that put on lots of muscle as they free-range.  They have great personalities and take seriously their pastoral duties.  This week I took a picture of two young roosters cruising around our pasture (note the blue legs) intent on finding seeds and insects.

 

free range bresse 050.JPG

post #49 of 58

img_0862.jpgimg_0732.jpg

post #50 of 58

Now that I have had the opportunity to sample the meat from my Northern California Poulet Bleu (that is what we are calling them), I can give an opinion. Disclaimer: I have never had authentic Bresse.

 

I finished my birds with goat's milk and corn for the last 6 weeks.  We took them to a USDA inspected processor.  We had them air cooled, not water chilled. They hatched on January 31 and were processed on May 21 so they were 16 weeks old. 

 

The meat is amazing.  It is moist and tender, not soft, fatty, bland and flabby like store bought meat. The meat has a pinkish opalescent quality. It has a real flavor, not gamey, just flavorful. It's hard to describe. The skin is dark blue, almost black around the legs. The fat is bright yellow and succulent. The breasts are meaty and juicy (white meat can be dry). The dark meat is incredible (I like dark meat best). I am not a liver/heart/gizzard eater, but my husband pronounced them 'best he ever had'. I think the combination of genetics, how they were raised and how they were processed all contribute to the final product. I am not selling these birds, just raising them for my family. 

 

I kept 12 pullets and 2 cockerels. The pullets have started to lay.  The personality of this breed is delightful. They are friendly and curious; calm, not flighty; good foragers; seem quite hardy (survived 108 degree temps here recently).  

 

All in all, I love this breed. They are easy to raise, hardy, calm and superior table birds.  It remains to be seen if they go broody. I haven't seen any comments on this one way or the other

post #51 of 58

That's awesome!  Congratulations. 

 

They are not inclined to go broody.

post #52 of 58

That's good to know.  I have Marans and Buff Orps and they are broody fools!

post #53 of 58

We imported Bresse Chickens & breed them here in the UK we raise them as near to the french way as possible if you require any more info feel free to contact me :)

post #54 of 58

You imported from France?  i would be interested in adding to my flock. I am in the USA though. Not sure how I could get eggs from you?

post #55 of 58

How can I contact you?  <edit> Please PM me

post #56 of 58

So I personally am EXTREMELY excited that Greenfire have imported this breed. People may think that 400.00 a chick is ridiculous, but I'm not sure that they realize just how extensive as well as expensive it is to import any sort of animal let alone poultry. I can't afford $400 per chick but am glad that there are those that can. I'm currently in the process of obtaining a small flock by way of hatching eggs from a few breeder friends who did make the investment. I plan on having a small permanent flock of two roosters and about a dozen hens and hatching out about 50 chicks to process for meat.

 

We personally are going to raise them in an orchard that has about 30 different heritage fruit and nut trees. They'll have organic non gmo feed in their coop and will have and acre of pasture to free range on. We're still doing research on finishing methods as I'd rather not have to put them in a confined space or use corn. I feel like there are other natural resources more suited to our region that we can implement.

 

As far as terroir, yes it will make a difference, but to the extent some are implying, I doubt. We're in Oregon and in our area of the world, i.e. from Napa up to the Willamette Valley, we've managed to rival and at times outperform the French with particular varietals. At the end of the day it's the combination of terroir and attention or care for the product that really makes something really special. I feel like the living conditions and environment are EXTREMELY important when raising ANY animal, especially for food. I'm sure there are people in the Bresse region who raise chickens really well and those that don't and I assure you that when they're not raised properly, the terroir is of no concern. We currently raise small batches or Berkshire pigs which we let forage in forest where they've found white truffles and finish them on hazelnuts. They also have an acre of pasture that they access at anytime from their barn. I know that I'm biased, but as a chef taking a break to farm and raise children, I've had some prime quality pork in my time and our last pigs were of a higher quality than ANY pig I'd butchered in my fine dining experience. Will my Bresse be anything like those of the french region? I guess we'd have to have an international test of taste like that of the Judgement of Paris with chicken instead of wine! 

post #57 of 58

Hi  Nick, my name is Salvador and i am based in a beautiful lake resort 2 hours away from  Mexico City; Valle de Bravo.

2 years ago we formed Valle Organico; an Organic Minded food company. We started with the production of slow growth chickens and we imported Breeders from France.

 Today we are producing in Mexico Organic & Pastured Raised Free Range Chickens, this is what they call in France "Poulet Fermier".

I had some luck in our second importaion of breeders and was given as a gift 30 White feathers, blue legged breeders used in Bourg for Poulet de Bresee.

This coming saturday i am having my third flock of 10 thousand broilers and i am expecting around 500 Poulet de Bresse type briolers to be born in our hatchery.

Sincé my breeding hens are yellow leggs and the White breeders are blue legged, we will loose the blue legg gene, being blue legg a recesive gen. However i am importing blue legg hens so that we can produce the original Poulet de Bresse in Mexico. We will no be able to call them Poulet de Bresse, since it is a controlled production in France, but we will have the same breed and product made in France. I would love to send you some frozen chickens as a gift, but am not so shure if i can do so with the NAFTA agreement.

Anyway, just wanted to let you and your readers know that if someooen ever wants to breed Poulet de Brese chickens, they will have to import the breeders from France and make sure that the Males and Females are slow growth chickens (8 to 10 weeks of feeding) and that both breeders have blue leggs.

If you ever come to Mexico, please let me know and i will be happy to invite you to a top restauant in Mexico City named PUJOL from Chef Enrique Olvera and have you try our Mexican Poulet de Bresse,

Regards

Salvador

post #58 of 58
Salvador I am moving to San Jose del Cabo next month with and to breed bresse. I've been a breeder of many rare and endangered breeds in the past in Calufornia. My website is www.theomeletranch.com

I'm very interested in your progress and would be open to working together

Regards Cheryl
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