Saturday, May 16, 2009

The French and their food

There are all kinds of fairs and festivals in Paris this weekend from art open galleries in Bercy Village as well as the free museum night across the city) to sustainable luxury (at the Palais de Tokyo). Of course, this being France, there are also festivals about food. I went to two.

When I went to the Prefecture to collect my Carte de Sejour (my resident’s permit. My god, I am officially a resident of Paris.), I took the opportunity to stop by the Fete du Pain, which is a four-day festival outside Notre Dame.

Maybe they have fairs like this in the Midwest, where farmers share their trade and try to generate enthusiasm with younger generations and I just never saw it because I lived on the coast. But here, hordes of schoolchildren are bused in to see how bread is made. The French are so proud of their culture and traditions.

Those big industrial ovens are almost exciting as tractors if you ask me.

I also went to the Salon Saveurs des Plaisirs Gourmands, which is basically a fancy food fair that takes place twice a year. There was tons of olive oil and jam, wine and champagne, ham and cheese, foie gras and chocolate. It was a dazzling exhibition of good food.

Although I don’t eat red meat, I can appreciate the sight of a roasted pig being sliced up.

The spices smelled amazing. So did the stands with tea and whole vanilla pods.

I enjoyed a fair amount of cheese samples, but am kicking myself for not buying some of this luscious looking marzipan.

I did bring some a little cheese and some fleur de sel, and I got ripped off by the dried fruit vendor. When I saw the gorgeous dried pineapple and apple, I couldn't resist an evening snack. I asked for two slices of pineapple and a handful of apple pieces. At my local shop, this would cost about 2 euros. There, it cost 6. I hate getting ripped off.

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