Monday, March 8, 2010

Salon de l'Agriculture

We braved the crowds Saturday morning for the last weekend of the Salon de l'Agriculture. It's kind of like the state fair except that it's inside a huge convention center, there are no fried Twinkies, and there's a lot more wine. Otherwise, there was plenty of livestock, farm equipment, people clamoring for freebies, and yes, even a guy demonstrating a knife.

For the record, it was not a Ginsu knife but "Le Nicer Dicer." No joke. I would say that his sales pitch was rather understated compared to the guy who hawks those Ginsus at the Missouri State Fair.

At any rate, we had a lot of fun, at least, until we started to run out of steam about three plus hours in and the crowds started mounting and all those restless French folks started throwing in elbows, strollers, and whatever else they had to get through the crowd.

We tasted quite a few apples (The "Ariane", created and grown only in France, was our favorite); checked out the cows, sheep, goats, and pigs; and watched a horse show put on by students at an agricultural school in Champagne-Ardennes. We even beat the pants off a French dude in a quiz about growing grass. Plus we saw President Sarkozy on his official visit to the Salon. Correction: we saw a glimpse of the top of his head as his entourage passed by. Unfortunately, he was shaking hands on the other side of the aisle from where we were standing. But we still got a brief thrill from the proximity to celebrity. I'm sure he'll mention us when he visits Washington at the end of the month.

Yesterday was the closing day for this year but if you are around in 2011, I highly recommend it. I'll leave you with a few more momentos of our trip.

Olives for sale from an Italian vendor in the farmers of the world section.

Hunting horns.

Now that's a food pyramid. Regrettably, I failed to take a picture of the free cotton candy station sponsored by the sugar beet growers.

Gratuitous beef picture.


debbie in toronto said...

wow...amazing the one of Sarkozy's head..too funny...we have much the same fair here every fall ..Royal Winter Fair...but you are more likely to see the top of Princess Anne's head..those olives look so good.

Peter said...

So you made it! After 36 years in Paris I have still to do it! (Perhaps.)

Starman said...

I've never been to this exhibition and it's not very likely I ever will. Paris in March is not something I want to experience.

Cameron said...

This is a great post!

Doesn't look anything like the North Carolina State Fair. Of course, macaroons are better than fried Snickers Bars, right?


Sue said...

Just discovered your blog and boy am I jealous....You must be having the time of your the photo's of the food pyramid and the olives...even if they are Italian olives....But have you been to the Catacombs yet?....the coolest thing in all of Paris...

Colin said...

Ah, we were there on friday. It was smaller than two years ago, but we especialy liked the rabbits and chickens and the food building is the best. We boughts lots of olive and lavender products and some Tavel. Getting there at 9:00 on a weekday helps, but not by much.

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