The most expensive meat in the world is offered by a Frenchman who goes so far as to speaking to his cattle daily so that they are calm and relaxed.
The Polmard boucherie in Paris’ St. Germain des Pres quarter is run by Alexandre Polmard, a sixth-generation butcher whose lineage is famous for their quality meat offerings since 1846, when the family business first opened. The business gained even more fame in the 1990s after Polmard’s grandfather and father developed and introduced a treatment that allowed meat to be kept for a purportedly indefinite amount of time.
Called “hibernation,” the treatment calls for cold air to be blown at 75 miles per hour over the meat while it is in a -43 C environment, reports CNN. According to Polmard, meat that undergoes hibernation never experiences any loss in quality and can thus be aged. Most of the beef he sells is aged between 28 and 56 days.
“I wanted to recreate the world of wine and shake up traditional butchery, seducing people once again to eat beef by offering them something exceptional,” Polmard told CNN.
One of Polmard’s finest meats is an aged rib steak, the 2000 vintage cote de boeuf, that can cost upwards of 3,000 euros ($3,200).
That steak comes from a popular breed of French-originated cattle called the Blonde Aquitaine, which are raised by Polmard and his family near the town of Saint Mihiel in the Meuse region of northeastern France.
To keep his beef world-class, Polmard keeps his animals as stress-free as possible. Stress in cows causes their bodies to produce glycogen, lactic acid and adrenaline, which produces tension and a change in acidity to their muscles. Those changes means less tender, flavorful beef.
“My family wouldn’t dream of raising animals in sheds where they have no space or room to roam,” Polmard said. “Here they are in the open air, living in forests and on parkland. There are shelters they can choose to visit in case it rains or snows. It’s really five-star accommodation!”
He also talks to his animals on a daily basis, even before they are slaughtered, to ensure they are comfortable and relaxed.
“All the love and attention we give our animals comes through on the plate when you taste it,” he said. “They really are unique.”
Polmard is so proud of his vintaged beefs that he only offers them to several chefs worldwide, all of whom he has personally talked to about what makes his beef special. One place where his vintaged beef shines is at the two-Michelin-starred Caprice in Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel, which serves “Polmard’s Rare Millesime Cote de Boeuf, Vintage 2000” as the main course in its fully booked HK$5,500 ($700) per person meal.