ONE OF France’s most prestigious beauty contests is coming up – and it isn’t Miss France.
Les Glorieuses de Bresse is a competition for the most beautiful volailles de Bresse – plucked chickens of the prestigious appellation d’origine protégée poultry from the east of France.
The competition, which has run since 1862, takes place across four locations – this year in Louhans on December 13, Montrevel-en-Bresse on December 16, Bourg-en-Bresse on December 19 and Pont-de-Vaux on December 21.
Thousands of birds are judged in categories including poulardes (young, fattened hens with tender white meat), capons and turkeys – and there are awards both for the presentation of the birds and tastings of cooked meat including the Bresse d’Or, a tasting of poulet de Bresse by a jury of professionals.
Birds on display are presented tightly wrapped in a fine cloth and the prizes are awarded after close inspection by food professionals, vets and local notables, both on their general appearance and the skill with which they have been wrapped.
Some 200 poultry farmers take part and birds are sold for Christmas dinner tables, often to top restaurants or high-class butcher’s shops. A normal volaille de Bresse is worth around €25/kg, but a prize-winner is another €10 on top.
One winning breeder at a previous event, Raphael Lamberet, told France 3: “It’s a real pleasure – the reward for a whole year’s work, because we take delivery of the chicks in February.”
France’s more conventional beauty contest – Miss France – has its final on Saturday in Orléans.