Does anybody have experience with the American Bresse from hatch to table?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cukooformarans, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. cukooformarans

    cukooformarans Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    I am wondering if there is really a noticeable difference in taste to your average person-like me- as opposed to a chef or culinary expert. What would the whole experience be like compared to something like my orpingtons? How much of the difference has to do with the breed and how much is related to how they are kept (the free ranging and then fattening with grain and milk)?

    Thanks everybody!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm curious too and after a lot of research I believe it is a little of both.
    I raise Black Penedesencas and are equally famous as Poulet de Bresse for meat flavor in its respective region of Europe.. It's claimed their meat is organoleptically unique. That said, I suspect it also has to do with the soil in the region they're grown. Otherwise why would people come from across Europe to buy the birds in Catalonia in the case of the Pene or to the Bresse region to get the Poulets when they could just raise the birds themselves.
    I haven't raised enough yet to be able to do a side by side blind taste test. I have a roo I'm butchering in the next week as well as a bunch of Freedom Rangers I'll be butchering in about 6 or 7 weeks so the pene roo will have to go into the freezer first but that may be my first chance to do a comparison.
    I just finished an incubator so by February I hope to start hatching lots of eggs and doing some more taste comparisons.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  3. cukooformarans

    cukooformarans Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    Thank you for responding . i would be very interested to hear your conclusion!
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    In doing a blind test I think you should cook with only salt and pepper - no other spices. The person tasting probably shouldn't be the one raising/butchering or you would know which was which.

    Referencing your first question, not to be a food snob but I really think lots of Americans taste buds aren't that well tuned.
    I found an interesting study of food traditions in Europe.
    "A traditional food product is … a product frequently consumed or
    associated to specific celebrations and/or seasons, normally
    transmitted from one generation to another, made with care in a
    specific way according to the gastronomic heritage, with little or no
    processing/manipulation, that is distinguished and known because
    of its sensory properties and associated to a certain local area,
    region or country."
    Most Americans will never experience the tastes that have evolved in these areas, cheeses, heirloom vegetables, real smoked ham. I don't mean to imply all Americans are gastronomic duds, we're merely the product of the corporate 'food' industry. In many areas of Europe, especially smaller towns and rural areas they cook with fresh foods or those they grew and preserved themselves. No artificial flavors or preservatives.
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I'm waiting to see whether the flavor is noticeably better, or whether it is the method that they are raised. I suspect that any chicken would be better tasting with the same raising methods.

    If they are genuinely better, it won't take the commercial hatcheries long to breed that out of them by selecting for nothing but high number of reproduction.
  6. Extra Java

    Extra Java Songster

    Sep 1, 2012
    Southern CA
    My Coop
    Do you think you could post a photo(s) of the birds plucked: Bresse & Freedom Rangers (side by side)?

    It sure would be an interesting comparison!
  7. DCchicken

    DCchicken Songster

    Aug 29, 2013
    Is there any update on this? I have 13 little Bresse in the brooder right now (1 week old). How did you feed and house them?

  8. EllyHood

    EllyHood In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2013
    Green Fire Farms seems to think method is as important as genetics.
    "The production methods for Bresse are as unique as the genetics of the birds themselves. Bresse are raised by small farmers in France according to an exacting protocol. When old enough to free range, the young birds are placed on pasture to forage. Male birds are caponized (castrated) to ensure their meat remains tender. Each bird is afforded at least ten square meters of pasture, and the size of a flock is limited to no more than five hundred birds. Pastures are allowed to lay fallow after two successive flocks of Bresse have foraged in the grass.
    At night Bresse are housed in small wooden coops to keep them safe from predators. During this period when they actively free-range Bresse are given a low-protein whole-grain supplement to encourage them to find insects to boost their protein intake. At four months for hens and at eight months for capons, the birds are placed in wooden cages in a shaded barn where they are fed a diet of grains and milk. Fresh from building lean muscle in the fields, in the barn the birds gorge on the milk and grain concoction; fat infiltrates the muscle and marbles the meat. After a few weeks of fattening they are ready for slaughter."

    The gal at To Sing With Goats is raising freedom rangers on sprouted grains and dairy. Sounds like a good jumping off point. :)
  9. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Songster

    Mar 27, 2013
    Bayocum is the resident expert on the American Bresse here on BYC. Here is a thread about Bresse that you can go through that might answer questions, and you could probably PM him directly if you questions are not answered in the forum.

    Oops, just noticed that this thread started in 2012. It has some good info, though.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013

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