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.
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.