NEWS: The state of beef in France

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NEWS: The state of beef in France

Postby Jenise » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:55 pm

Interesting article in today's NYT. Apparently, France is now importing quite a bit of foreign beef. Have to admit that I was never impressed with beef in France, especially once when ordering specifically a steak from Charolais, which I thought was such an ooh-la-la thing there. I expected to be wowed, and wasn't.

I also laughed out loud at the comment one restaurauteur made about people ordering medium rare.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/05/dining/your-imported-beef-is-served.html?_r=0
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Re: NEWS: The state of beef in France

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:30 pm

Great article. Sometimes, the local terroir may not be the best, eh?
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Re: NEWS: The state of beef in France

Postby Joy Lindholm » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:04 am

Jenise wrote: Have to admit that I was never impressed with beef in France, especially once when ordering specifically a steak from Charolais, which I thought was such an ooh-la-la thing there. I expected to be wowed, and wasn't.


Too bad you didn't have a good experience with Charolais. My grandparents raised Charolais cattle (in Missouri) and growing up, I had a lot of their beef when I would visit them. I remember it being so tender and delicious, and I am from Nebraska - we know our beef! If you ever get a chance to try it again, please do. My grandparents took great pride in their cattle, even raising a world champion bull back in the 1970s. I know it can be very good; it's a shame when the preparation doesn't do it justice.
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Re: NEWS: The state of beef in France

Postby Jenise » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:24 am

Joy Lindholm wrote:
Jenise wrote: Have to admit that I was never impressed with beef in France, especially once when ordering specifically a steak from Charolais, which I thought was such an ooh-la-la thing there. I expected to be wowed, and wasn't.


Too bad you didn't have a good experience with Charolais. My grandparents raised Charolais cattle (in Missouri) and growing up, I had a lot of their beef when I would visit them. I remember it being so tender and delicious, and I am from Nebraska - we know our beef! If you ever get a chance to try it again, please do. My grandparents took great pride in their cattle, even raising a world champion bull back in the 1970s. I know it can be very good; it's a shame when the preparation doesn't do it justice.


Maybe charolais as your grandparents raised it and charolais by whoever raised what I ate in Brussels aren't identical? I don't know a thing about raising animals for food, but I know that here in the U.S. there can be quite a difference in flavor and tenderness as one travels around.
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Re: NEWS: The state of beef in France

Postby GeoCWeyer » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:40 pm

Jenise wrote: Have to admit that I was never impressed with beef in France, especially once when ordering specifically a steak from Charolais, which I thought was such an ooh-la-la thing there. I expected to be wowed, and wasn't. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/05/dining/your-imported-beef-is-served.html?_r=0



Many years ago after seeing them in Uruguay I talked my father into purchasing some Charolais. We found a winning combination when we cross bred them with Angus. Our
"fat" cattle never failed to top the market at the local sale barn. The buyers for the various meat processors loved them! The cattle had the all tall ranginess of the Charolais but a little larger muscled along with the marbling of the Angus. Also since the Angus bulls were smaller they weren't as hard on the cows and we were able to breed the cattle longer.
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Re: NEWS: The state of beef in France

Postby Joy Lindholm » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:32 am

Jenise wrote:Maybe charolais as your grandparents raised it and charolais by whoever raised what I ate in Brussels aren't identical? I don't know a thing about raising animals for food, but I know that here in the U.S. there can be quite a difference in flavor and tenderness as one travels around.


I'm sure there is a terroir of beef, just as much as anything else. My grandparents raised them pastured, about 100-200 head at a time on 300 acres, with a grain supplement to help with marbling. Who knows what they were doing over there...Was it Belgian-raised beef, or imported from France?
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Re: NEWS: The state of beef in France

Postby Jenise » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:07 pm

Joy, I was at a bistro in Brussels, and that's all I can tell you. The menu was specific about it being Charolais and that's really why I ordered it. I knew the reputation of this particular cow and expected to be blissed out by it, and wasn't.

The cut, btw, was 'entrecote'. I've never actually figured out where they cut that. If it were directly equivalent to rib eye or NY I could recognize that on sight, but it's not, and in fact it seems to change somewhat from place to place. It's more like it's just generic for 'steak' and could be from pretty much anywhere but cut slightly different than we would so not exactly recognizable.
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Re: NEWS: The state of beef in France

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:16 pm

France has an AOC Charolais, with regulations not only on the breed but on how and where the cattle can be raised. I don't know what the EU regulations are regarding the term "Charloais" on a menu. Certainly if the Belgian menu said "AOC Charolais" I'd expect it to be from Charolais cattle raised in that specific region of France under the appellation rules.

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