Not just chickens, but also pigeoneau (squab), Guinea fowl, Barbary ducks and more. I am invited by Loué, one of my two favourite French poultry businesses along with AOC Poulet de Bresse, to visit their ‘manoir’.
As the man who spent nearly three years tracking down the magnificent Poulet du Gournay – the near extinct gastronomic chicken from Haute-Normandie (north of Rouen); now I go searching in Bas-Normandie guided by Loué. Loué has taken the brave, applaudable and exciting high ground of guaranteeing all its birds are fed on a non-GMO regime.
Have people have gone to sleep about Genetic Modification in the UK – or is it just me? Why do they allow themselves to be bullied into submission by Brazilian and American imports of GM soya to feed chickens and pigs, as well as popping up in most ready meals?
I will come home to www.garethjonesfood.com with news of this and top end poultry that’s on price parity with hybrids on sale here – and more. Backing British farming is a great intention – but only if the farmers and producers back us too. Beware of tokenism – it’s rife.
All I am doing has access to breeding stock and hatching eggs, so these high class birds can reared in the UK where there is excellence of husbandry. A plate of courgettes, fried off in good EVOO with a squeeze of fresh lemon, would be my dish of choice over an Egg-on-Legs anyday. I know nobody who’d disagree. Good chicken is an affordable Blue Collar Gastronomy treat. Never forget that thought.
I’ll also pick up farm made Cider Vinegar to ward off stiff joints as well as for the kitchen, Confiture du Lait made by friends and, most excitingly for us all, a breakthrough to bring about huge improvements to the chicken and other poultry sold and reared in the UK.
Attacking words – yes they are. I ate the toughest, worst, most slaughter-stressed Guinea fowl of my life last weekend (worse – it was 2nd chance for the same retailer who should know better- and I spare their name weven though I shouldn’t). I also couldn’t find a genuine pure breed ‘Fermier’ chicken in any south London retailer. As for eggs, well they’re another story of pale yellow mediocrity. None of this is about price and the smokescreen of Euro versus the £GB – it’s about the course of least resistance and for those reasons we / you are being denied affordable, fine tasting, Blue Collar Gastronomy poultry, mostly in place of flabby Eggs-on-Legs.
Wish me luck. I’ll be back with enlightenment on this page next week and maybe with a price on my head by the time this is read. This is about passion for the best tasting food at prices we can all afford – that’s the crux of Blue Collar Gastronomy.