Sunday, February 28, 2016

Salon de l'Agriculture 2016

Yesterday I attended opening day of this year's Salon de l'Agriculture. Here's some of what I ate, not counting the chickens.
I think this is my favorite event in Paris. Everyone says I should have visited a country fair as a kid. I'm making up for it at the Salon. Its held at convention center Porte de Versailles. Metro Line 12
I love all the educational aspects of the Salon like how wheat is grown.
I came home exhausted and was revived watching Michael Pollan's 4-part series, 'Cooked' on Netflix.The perfect accompaniment to understanding long traditions of using Fire, Water, Air and Earth for  cooking. The process of fermenting foods like chocolate was fascinating. Don't miss this beautifully produced series.
Playing with piglets or porcelette looks like fun.
I was surprised last week to find I have a pig for a neighbor. It was cold and rainy. The Seine had overrun the quai. A man came out from one of the houseboats with what I thought were 2 dogs, one an Australian sheepdog. The other much bigger with grey fur and a few black spots like this piggie. My jaw fell when I realized it was a huge pig. The man looked up and smiled.  He held a metal bowl of greens. The pig pretended disinterest at first, then started to drool and made a lunge for the bowl. Why didn't I have my camera.
Hard not to feel 5-years old again with all the animals. I petted a sheep.
Farm scene photographs everywhere at the Salon
Natch I bought this years prize cow carryall (3€). Barb gave me hers last year. I'm building a serious collection.
So much food preparation. Food from every region of France.
Why is crepe-making so much fun to watch?
A top MOF chef made an elegant dish for tasting with such simple ingredients (for the most part) - lentils, red onion, cream, a little ham. Added white asparagus and Champagne made the lentils celestial.
Chef Philippe Mille is from the divine chateaux Les Crayeres in the Champagne area. 
Trés celestial!
Oysters from Noirmoutier, Normandy were yum. I could eat oysters everyday anytime.
This French child mistook a mini sausage display for a sample. Her mom promptly put it back. Easy to put myself in that kiddie's shoes instantly.
Somehow, as tired as I get wandering the regional food halls, I can't bring myself to sit down and relax.
I'd much rather munch and walk with this heated Alsacien cheesy pretzel.
Miracles do happen. I resisted eating a Kouign Amann from the Brittany stand. They had just been heated up too...
Endless French wines to taste from every region in case you were wondering.
On the ride home I was reminded you don't see big cow-like dogs on the London Tube. No dogs at all ;((
And you don't see cows in the London/New York metro stations.
Two more reasons to love living in Paris, along with the annual Salon de l'Agriculture.

24 comments:

  1. Your pig encounter reminds me that I was at a children's farmstead last summer and I saw a woman walking toward me with a puppy on a leash. When I said, "What a cute puppy", I suddenly saw the truth and she replied, "This is a baby goat! You're not much on a farm, are you?" guilty as charged!

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    1. Hahaha the two of us at the Salon would have a ball Jeanette!

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  2. Is it worth a trip to France in February?

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    1. France is worth a trip in any season. I fact, Winter is even better because of the severe lack of tourists. I was there in early December and had one of the best times ever (and I've been to France 25+ times).

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    2. My friend and I were there in early December. Paris is super beautiful anytime of the year. However, when you add all of the Christmas lights, Windows , and markets, it is way over the top. Every sense is engaged. LOVED IT.

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    3. YES visiting the Agriculture Salon is worth the trip over in Feb.
      You can taste products from every region in France + pick up travel info, even farmhouse gites to stay in since many producteurs let rooms.

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    4. Yes, absolutely! For multiple visits, depending on your level of interest--you cannot possibly do the entire Salon in one day. It really gives you a deep and broad perspective on France's dependency on the land. (e.g. there's an entire floor of one pavilion devoted to hunting. At one end there are musical instrument makers displaying valveless hunting horns, with demonstrations that echo throughout the hall)

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    5. I have yet to discover the hunting floor Chanterelle.
      The emphasis is on France's PRIDE in it's home-grown products.You see the word 'fier' everywhere

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    6. How do the French resolve the contradictions? Last time I took a photo of a farmer affectionately scratching the ears of an enormous hog standing on its rear legs, its front legs hooked over the wall of its pen. Behind the folks watching, who all look like they want to take the cute piggy home, there's a stand selling ham and sausage sandwiches.

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  3. OMG, there's a PIG living on a HOUSEBOAT in PARIS?! Sound like the best children's book ever. Sigh. I can not eat pig because they are smart and cute, ditto chicken and goat and cow etc. But I am a bit of a wino so I would have loved to taste all the varietals on offer!

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  4. That cheese pretzel and your jam jar are calling my name..
    Vivian..I am having my glass of rouge ..now.
    I think I would love Paris in winter.

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  5. The lambs, so adorable! That green Eiffel Tower! And wait, is that Tuscan kale sitting atop your sketch?

    One small correction: Noirmoutier is not in Normandy but in La Vendée, just off the Atlantic Coast southwest of Nantes, so more Brittany (La Guérande, really--it's famous for hand-harvested salt). The most famous French oysters come from the Île d'Oleron, which is less than 100 miles south of there, so pretty much the same waters.

    I would love to see you sketch the salt harvest. Consider it for your next beach escape...

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  6. cyndifromsd10:25 AM

    Just wonderful.Would love to attend this event.
    As far as all of the fabulous food and such conventions,none of them seem to occur in March and April when I am in Paris. I am sure it is because the focus is on Easter.Though,I adore being there for Easter service at Notre Dame,and the arrival of Printemps.

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    1. The Agriculture salon runs into early March.
      also the Salon du livre and Hermes Hunt event at the Grand Palais in mid-March.
      March is a busy month in Paris
      Plus all the Easter chocolate!!

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    2. cyndifromsd10:53 PM

      Thank you Carol.
      Yes,I am looking forward to chocolate,and always wonderful window displays.

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    3. cyndifromsd10:58 PM

      Thank you Carol.
      Yes,I am looking forward to chocolate,and always wonderful window displays.

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  7. We love waking up to your posts. All the expositions you attend are a veritable travelogue. We'll certainly consult your archives for leads next trip to France. We were actually to have been in the middle of a 4-week visit just now. Health matters intervened, but we'll soon be up and running again. Thank you, and thanks to Janice Macleod for introducing us to your blog.

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  8. Margaux10:57 AM

    U r awesome; what a way to begin the week….drooling over your food adventures!

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  9. Carol,
    I'm with you re: oysters but I could never resist a warm Kouign Amann....

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    1. It takes daily exercises at home to resist.
      I will not succumb
      I will not succumb etc.
      and looking at large bags of sugar and bars of butter occasionally helps.

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  10. I have GOT to try to make a veggie Eiffel Tower. That is fabulous! (And so are the lambs!)

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  11. WineWalker1:12 AM

    Hurrah for our daily oysters!

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  12. Barbara L1:36 AM

    This event is always my favorite post each year.
    Maybe some day I'll be able to attend..
    In the meantime THANKS!

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  13. Bev K2:04 AM

    Love the cow bag!!I adore all cow and bull paintings/pictures

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