When it comes to food, everyone knows that the French are a discerning lot. The finest champagnes, wines that drew Presidents like Thomas Jefferson back again and again, and bread that just doesn’t taste as good anywhere outside of that little cafe in Paris. You don’t have to look further than America’s own Julia Childs to see that when it comes to food, the French have it figured out. What you may not know is that the same discernment that the French give their wines is also applied to their poultry.
Label Rouge (or Red Label) is a French certification that goes back to 1960, recognizing the value of traditional raising methods dedicated to animal and environmental welfare. Label Rouge methods cover the raising of chickens, capons, pullets and eggs. These methods specify space standards, requiring that each chicken be allowed to free range, with a minimum of 2 square meters per bird. For their “total freedom” certification, they must have unlimited range. Additionally, the governing body specifies the size and number of poultry houses allowed per farm, as well as the feed, processing ages, and breeds of chicken. All of these “requirements” come together to produce birds (and eggs) of “superior quality,” both in taste and nutrition. Like their wines, the French are committed to ensuring their quality standards.
At Sunbird Farms, we seek to emulate these conditions with our dual-purpose, heirloom breeds. Consider the French Barbezieux, reputed to be a better roasting bird than even the famous Bresse. You will find them roaming about our orchards, foraging on pasture and fresh grubs. These methods, combined with outstanding heirloom breeds, result in an amazing culinary experience.
(You can read about the Label Rouge here.)
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