Behind the French Menu gives a tasty background to French cuisine, French dishes, how they are made and how they should be served.
Where there is a story behind a dish's creation and
that story may aid the diner's enjoyment then that will also be included. Bon appétit!
Sanglier – A wild boar; the sow is a laie. A young boar is a marcassin.
In the USA, wild boar are also called razorbacks, Russian boar, and wild hogs.
A wild boar.
Photograph courtesy ofHatem Riahi.
Frenchdiners love wild boar, and restaurants want to satisfy their customers. With great ingenuity, the French have produced a solution and for nine or ten months a year, all the wild boar meat comes from farmed wild boar. Wild boars are enclosed in very large forested areas where they are fed fattened, and produce the next generations. These wild boars are being farmed even though they do not know it.The farm-raised wild boar is far better fed, far healthier and the meat is tenderer than the really wild wild boars; the herds are also inspected. The wild boar on many French menus, outside of the hunting season, will not have been very wild but they will be very tasty!
Onrestaurant menus and in butchers’ shops and supermarkets you will findwild boar chops, steaks, sausages and more on sale 12 months of the year.
A herd of wild boar.
Photograph courtesy of Philippe Morant
Wild Boar on French menus:
Daube de Sanglier – Wild boar stew.
Filet Mignon de Sanglier Sauce aux Airelles, Purée de Céleri et Chou rouge. A cut from a wild boar fillet served with a European cranberry sauce and accompanied by celery pureeand red cabbage.
Les Côtes de Sanglier Grillées – Grilledwild boar chops.
A grilled chop.
Photograph courtesy ofPremshree Pillai
Le Dos de Sanglier de Chasse Française- A thick cut from the back of a truly wild boar from a French hunt; for game this cut is considered the choicest cut. The words sanglier de chasse meanfrom wild boar from a hunt.
Pavé de Sanglier Grand Veneur- A thick cut from a wild boar; the hunter's cut. The sauce Grand Veneur is a traditional red wine and berry sauce served with wild game.
Saucisse de Sanglier – Wild boar sausage.
Terrine de Sanglier aux Châtaignes. – Wild boar and chestnut pate.
Outside of large towns are some specialized restaurants that are only open during the hunting seasons.In French cities and towns, there are also restaurants where the whole menu or part of the menu will be dedicated to real wild game in season.
The health of wild animals reaching the public.
The health of wild animals caught by hunters, in France, is tightly controlled and all really wild boars must, by law, have part of each animal’s meat sent for examination before being sold.Hunting season menus will note menu de chasse, the menu from the chase, the hunt, or the animal's name followed by the word sauvage. A menu offering sanglier, wild boar or faisan, pheasant, or other game without a caveat the restaurant will be serving farm-raised animals and birds.
Watch out when you are driving in the French countryside.
Photograph courtesy of Nadine.
Hunting is a popular French hobby and it is well supervised; each French department is responsible for setting the dates. Endangered species may not be hunted at all. Wild boars are far from an endangered species in France and, in fact, that they are a fast growing and very serious pest in many of the farming communities of France and so the hunting season for wild boars has been extended.
Wild boar are tasty but.............
Outside of the hunting season, French farmers are forbidden to cull wild boar populations. The farmers’ fields of corn, maize, and other field crops have assisted the wild boar population to increase exponentially. The growth of the wild boar population in France is truly a serious agricultural problem.Wild boar are also coming into towns and villages and are involved in over 20,000 car accidents a year.