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France: 'We do a lot of research to find the best early potatoes'

Eric Delimbeuf en MedFEL 2018 (Cortesía; FreshPlaza)

Eric Delimbeuf at MedFEL 2018 (Courtesy: FreshPlaza)

May 22, 2019
The company La Rebelle specializes in the early potato of the island of Ré, which is harvested from April to August.

"La Rebelle" brings together ten producers spread all over the island. Together, they farm about 35 hectares. After harvesting, the potatoes are graded with an optical air sorter from the Swiss brand Visar.

The selectivity of the sorter perfectly meets Eric's expectations, who favors quality over quantity.

Eric Delimbeuf, founder of the company:

“Apparently others are having trouble getting the early potatoes through, but for us the campaign is going relatively well. Our products are known for their quality and we are sure to get very good results this year.”

“It is the only optical air sorter in all of France, It allows us to be very selective.”

“We do a lot of research. Last year we had 46 varieties in trial. We only kept two of them. Before, we were in PDO but we later refused, because the varieties imposed were not suitable for the local terroir.”
High-quality early potatoes are marketed under the "La Rebelle" brand. The company also introduced the "La Rigolote" brand for the second category.

In general, Eric's clients work on all available calibers. "La Rebelle" is aimed at a high-end customers. For Eric, it's the taste that counts.

Eric Delimbeuf:

“Since our machine selects very carefully, we have created this brand, which is commonly referred to as 'second category', because it is still a first choice product for a number of consumers. These potatoes retain their organoleptic qualities but are less visually attractive."

"There are a lot of applications for the trademark 'scrap metal', a 17/28 mm diameter shot. We also offer shot blasting in 28/35 mm. Locally, everyone is looking for this caliber. This year we are well positioned in terms of calibers."

"We work mainly with wholesalers and, through them, with the best restaurants. I like working with wholesalers who have 40 years of experience and who know how to manage the product. But it must be said that in supermarkets, there are more and more real professionals who also understand how to take care of the product."

"You should never prepare the potatoes in water, because all the flavors are lost in the water. The best way to cook a small early potato is to brown it. For larger sizes, it is better to steam them so as not to lose flavor.”
Companies in this Article
La Rebelle a été créée en 2011 par Eric DELIMBEUF, elle regroupe dix producteurs répartis sur toute l'île, principalement localisés sur le canton nord, une terre propice à la culture par son microclimat.