April 10, 2014

Pig Farm

At the Ferme des Levées, about 15 minutes west of Beaune, you can get an up-close look at how to raise organic pigs. It is a great place to bring children as they can get right up close and personal with the pigs in an unthreatening, largely unsupervised environment. (As is frequently the case in France, you are on your own to survey your kids. Farm staff are happy to let you roam the "pig parks" without a guide.) 

The pigs roam around vast expanses, chewing all the while, looking for treats in the mud and grass under their feet. They look simultaneously cute, happy, and healthy. They eat organic cereals with no genetically modified ingredients. The run, cavort, and snort with great regularity. They stay on the farm for about a year before, well, before it ends.

When you have sated your curiosity about porcine life, you can go to the small store to check out the porcine “afterlife.” Fresh boudins noirs, rillettes (perfectly-spiced minced and shredded pork, wonderful on morning baguette or tartine), roasts, chops, terrines, pâtés, saucisson sec, pig feet, even little plastic tubs holding a single brain (about 2 euros each). 

The female employee says they ship 2 to 4 pigs a week to the Beaune facility, and then do all the butchering themselves on site. Very on site, as the man in the kitchen behind her saws through a bone. With genuine pride, she discusses the quality of the meat. It is tasty, with a luxurious texture, so different from industrial stuff. She goes on that many customers are now planning ahead, ordering a roast or some chops several days in advance and then coming to pick up the cuts later in the week. A wise strategy.

Buying or not, this is a fun producer to visit and a great way to get in touch with the roots of the food you eat.

What: Organic pig farm
Where: Lusigny-sur-Ouche, Côte d’Or, Burgundy
When: Open Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:00pm-7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 10-12 and 3-7.

How Much: Up to you

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