Castelnaudary: lack of ducks, new recipes in the land of the Cassolete

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The shortage of ducks and the high cost of raw materials.. the situation is complicated in the land of Kasoleh. The cans compete in the imagination for management.

“The situation is complicated, yes,” admits Gérard Simat, president of Maison Escudier and Audary, producers of casseroles at Castelnaudary. Already, a few months ago, the canners from Chori were worried about the high prices of raw materials and the shortage of ducks, victims of bird flu that devastated farms, especially in Vendé, a large producing region.
“Since then, if the situation does not deteriorate, it does not improve,” the entrepreneur said, stressing that the crisis is affecting the entire industry. Foie gras, “expensive” was removed from the festive meals at the Cassoulet Festival, meanwhile, duck breast has disappeared from restaurant menus…we’re dispensing with it!
As for the preserves… “We are trying to go back. We highlight pork cassoulet. High quality lazola too, but with different cuts of meat.” As for knowing when the situation will return to normal … “It is difficult to say, but in my opinion, it will not be before 2023. Some are moving forward with the beginning of the school year … Last March, we were hoping for June!”

And if there was only the duck …

In fact, the entire poultry industry is affected by this damned flu. Even turkey is nowhere to be found! He wants to believe in a way out of the permanent crisis, notes Ji Simat, who refuses to resign and prefers to call himself a fighter: “They are testing vaccines and doing the analyzes.” “We find solutions, we adapt to recovery, and if we don’t have a cassoulet, we offer something else.”
The solution is not elsewhere in Europe because duck-producing countries such as Bulgaria or Poland are also affected by the epidemic. So the solution lies in other productions such as ready-made meals in which our canned excels, the scarcity of ducks is not the main concern here. Raw materials – cardboard, glass, steel and packaging quickly surfing at the top of the price wave are also a problem. It has been stabilizing for a while but at a high level.
There is still the pill that we pass our fingers on, in the capital of the world, Cassoulet. Maison Escudier, like other canners and restaurants, uses the famous IGP-crowned Castelnaudary bean. “We have to wait for the harvest.” As for the Cassoulet Festival, only a health crisis can play the spoiler because to feed all the “festivals,” “there will be a duck,” the business manager promised. Here at least assured.

“takes time”

In Escourrou, another Chaurien pioneer, Jean-Yves Pradier points out, “We have a few ducks but not everything.” As for terrines, when we don’t have duck, we make with Confit pork shank and warn the customer. the duck? Some weeks we get it, some don’t. We remain with our usual suppliers, the producers in Occitanie. When they have some, they send some to us. In short, we are fighting.
In terms of containers, it’s also complicated. We no longer have 2 part boxes but we have 3 or 4 parts. As for the tractor, we were out of business for a while and then delivered again, it’s very irregular,” he continues. “We make cassoulet with goose confit – there aren’t many of us. There, we have the box but the raw materials are missing. For two ducks, we have the duck but not the container. It’s so complicated, there’s always something missing.” “It takes time.”
At Belle chaurienne too, we adapt. The duck cassoulet is put on hold in favor of the pork cassoulet, here too. Even with a new recipe “rich in meat”. New recipes, it’s also Plan B out of the box and is part of the Arterris range that offers a range of ready-made meals in jars of nearly 600g, two portions. Hummus, vegetables, meatballs, even eggplant… We innovate and renew ourselves and offer new dishes and customers like that.
Waiting for the duck to come back…

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