A few years ago we were invited to join friends at the Salon Internationale d'Agricole. It was one of those rare gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky and it feels like spring days, and Abby and Seth were here and wanted to be in the sunshine, so instead we'd opted to go to the Chateau de Vincennes. After the castle, we'd wandered a little further afield and ended up at a wine and food fair in the Jardin des Fleurs (Flower gardens). It had been a delight to taste a few specialties from different regions and we'd even purchased a couple bottles of wine.
Well, today we finally made it to the huge International Agriculture Show--kind of the National State Fair--in 7 huge exposition buildings. We began the visit seeing bulls, cows, lambs, goats and sheep (and their cheeses). Another salon was filled with foods from around the world, wines from France, regional foods--and more people.
There was a pavilion of horses, cats, dogs, birds, asses and ponies--but mostly it was full of people (and it's vacation time in France, so everyone had kids along). For children there were lots of special exhibits and special activities--and the young chefs busy cutting up and cooking apples were certainly the most charming at the whole fair. The least populated pavilion was the business agricultural professions sector, but none of the businesses in Europe that Rob works with were represented. Of course there were vegetable and gardening exhibits along with more people. Mid-week and we could hardly move.
As we had been comped international professional admission cards upon presentation of Rob's business card, there was little guilt not covering every pavilion and every floor. It was no small task escaping, we were 'peopled' out. The crowds were so enormous that people were getting their feet caught, and should there have been an emergency, there would have been a stampede. I was surprised that the crowds weren't limited--they were certainly at unsafe numbers. The horse pavilion was particularly cramped--every child must have wanted ot see the horses, rabbits, cats and dogs. Other than the animals (which I could have missed), the show was just a much bigger representation of the delightful little food fair we'd accidentally found in the park a few years ago.
On the other hand, the trip was not wasted. The little tastes of cheeses, wines and other treats encouraged us to drop a bundle--we returned with several chevres from different regions, some gruyere, an incredible assortment of Italian cookies, and some olive oil and chocolate bon-bons.◀ Left Align◀ Right Align◀ Right Align