Sunday, February 23, 2014

Salon de l'Agriculture 2014

Saturday was opening day for the 10-day annual Salon de l'Agriculture fair. It's my all-time favorite event in Paris bar none.
Photo by le DL/J.L.
Great beauty, Bella and queen of this year's salon has been flirting with us for weeks in the Metro.
Meeting her in person(?) couldn't have been nicer. What a darling Tarentaise from the Alpes.
The Agriculture salon takes over all of huge convention center Porte de Versailles (near the end of the #12 Metro line but not at the actual Chateau Versailles by the way).
Isn't it nice how they try to make some animals feel at home at the show? I went late yesterday and only hit building 7 (where all the French regional food and wines are on floors 7.2 and 7.3).
Do sheep bite? They looked so benign, but when I went to give a pat, he/she leaped back and looked at me with horror. Evidently some farm animals skipped their pre-show training classes I guess.
I am a huge fan of any kind of bleu cheese. Maybe it's the color factor. I hope to share the Roquefort-nut bread they were demoing here.
And look!
Gustave Doré at the agriculture salon! Or did the D'Orsay co-ordinate their exhibition with the salon? Qui sait?
This time last year I was a vegan in process of becoming a meat-eater post-agriculture salon.
Now all of this looks so yummy.
Demi jambon sec is now a big favorite thing especially cut up small and added to a salad...
Have you had Alsacienne 'pizza'? Called tarte flambée or Flammkuchen it's  creme fraiche + fromage blanc + les oignons + les lardons/bacon bits and delicious.
I got some Luques olives this time from the Sud de Provence venders.
But not these tempting vats of olive oil from specific olives.
No tarteflette either yet...
Duck everything in every form is at the salon.
The Basques are out in force. Well every region of France is represented selling their specialties. Could you ask for anything better?
Wines from Burgundy were begging me to taste.
While the cask-making demo was going on.
I discovered flasks identifying the different aromas in Burgundy wines; floral, citrusy, dried fruits, spicy, woody, red fruits.
Simply inhale...wonderful.
As always the Bretons are singing and slurping beer or cider.
And the Breton kouign amann was beckoning. I resisted this time.
Beautiful leeks for your soup from the Loire.
And you could throw in a dash of liqueur from cepes/mushrooms for fun if you like. Intensely flavorful.
Maybe I'll get a dozen escargot today or the oysters. I only hit one floor of the two French regional food floors and only a corner of it. I could not pass by freshly cranked-out coconut sorbet from Reunion without tasting. I don't even like anything coconut but this was heaven. The Salon de l'Agriculture is on through 2 March everyday 9 - 7 pm. If you're in Paris it's a DON'T MISS. More reports to come. Stay tuned.


  1. Carolyn1:44 AM

    OK, I love mushrooms, but I cannot even imagine a liqueur made from them though. Maybe a little splash of it in the leek-mushroom soup??

    1. It was trés DELISH!
      I was surprised too..that's what I love about this show - you get to taste lots of strange stuff.
      It's why the French have such elevated taste buds. They start the training early.
      The French could make a liqueur out of grass...

  2. The Alsacienne pizza looks super.

    Do they deliver?

    1. You can easily find them in every supermarket in Paris in all sizes.

    2. Trader JOe's carries a frozen one that's not too bad.

  3. Emilie in Minneapolis11:18 AM

    Non! Bella is "a terine" and possibly from Savoy. Holsteins are black and white cows that are primarily raised for lower fat milk -- the quintessent Wisconsin milk cow. FFI: Vid.

  4. What a wonderful exhibit! I particularly like the carafes filled with the aromas in wines. Such a helpful vis-aid! I can never isolate the "flavors" in many wines. x Katie

    1. Wish you were coming earlier to Paris.
      I didn't buy a single kitchen gadget this time.
      I didn't even see any being demoed

  5. I love Bella and I don't think she is a Holstein. The Tarentaise or Tarine cows probably came from two bloodlines Bos taurus Jurassicus and Bos taurus Alpinus, both descendants of tawny or brown populations which had come from the Indo-Asiatic continent via Central Europe. Holsteins are large and produce lots of milk and I don't think they share much ancestry with the Tarines. By the way, the Tarines captured the attention of Pliny the Elder - what an insatiable curiosity he had and he kept a blog - much like yours. :-)
    Thank you for taking me to Paris via "Paris Breakfast." Keep up the great work.

    1. Yes I indeed misread the information wrong in the English translation handbook they gave press.
      Bella is a Tarines (Tarentaises) from a national herd of 13,500 cows.
      The Holsteins (in France) make up over 2 MILLION cows.
      I must change the text.
      Thank you Dolly !

    2. The Tarines are the cows I see, in my mind's eye, eating the alpine grasses and giving their milk for the wonderful Beaufort cheese - yum!

    3. Oh I love Beaufort!
      Who doesn't.I didn't know she was responsible.
      No wonder she was wearing an Alpine decorative collar...

  6. Bonnie L5:48 PM

    This Salon looks SO fabulous! I can't even imagine the delight of finding delicacies from so many regions of France, all in one place! Our next vacation in Paris will have to be the end of February...

    1. A Huge Burgundy wine area to taste for you!!

  7. crazy4paris6:21 PM

    Love Gustave Dore! (and the last post)
    Has anyone made Trader Joe's Kouign Amann?!

  8. It all looks so good! I could do a lot of eating there :)
    Great photos as always, my favorite is the second one: the curved ceiling of the Metro, the people & the cow in the poster!

  9. I have a special favor to ask of you: Please do not ever tell me you skipped the kouign amann. Even if you do manage to skip it, please pretend you ate the whole thing. For my sake. I beg of you.

    1. If you wanna survive living in France you've got to learn to WALK ON BY a lot of stuff or you'll be toast in no time at all!

  10. great cow sketches. Love' em, and aggie fairs, too. I used to sell amusement ride tickets at the Essex County Fair near where we livedin Topsfield, Mass..My father was frequently called on to handle the difficult horses. It was the oldest agricultural fair in the state, and it still goes on.

  11. What resolve you have resisting the kouign amann. I definitely would have caved, and I would have had a cappuccino aux cepes too- it sounds astonishing. I love the flasks displaying the bouquets for the wine- clever indeed.


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