Such was our enthusiasm for the eating and drinking portion of the expo, we actually almost missed the whole shebang. We entered through the "restaurant" portion and, since it was after 1pm, decided to get lunch first, a delicious feast of duck sausages and chips. We then wandered around the different stands in this area for aaages, becoming slightly perplexed by the fact that, although the website had promised dégustation, most of the stuff on offer you had to pay for. We did stop at a couple of wine stands that gave tastings, and a couple more where you could buy a glass for a euro or two, plus we tasted the odd bit of cheese and jam, but overall we were a bit confused and disappointed that we'd paid 7€ to get in and weren't getting our fair share of free stuff. Although, after buying one glass of wine from a vendor, Laura pointed out that she had the same large, plush erotic die (which she won at a fair) as he did, which seemingly prompted him to offer us another glass of bubbly on the house. I guess he thought it was a good move to liquor up the owner of a sexy die. There's no arguing with that logic.
Anyway, when we had finally exhausted the possibilities offered by the outside bit, we decided we'd take a quick look in the expo itself - only to find that here was where they were hiding all the free food (and the cute animals)! Slightly kicking ourselves for having spent so much time outside, we attacked the tastings with gusto. Amongst other things, I tasted saffron whipped cream and chocolate with truffles (the mushroom kind). On both occasions, Laura marvelled at the distinct saffrony/truffley taste, and I honestly couldn't taste anything out of the ordinary. I suppose that means that I don't have to worry about ever wanting to blow a lot of money buying saffron or truffles though! I also don't really like caviar or foie gras, so I'm a cheap date. Although, later on we had a lovely little broth with foie gras, capers and crème fraîche in it, and it was just divine. I'm guessing that was cooked foie gras, so maybe it's just the pâté version I don't like? Another highlight was finding a wine section, where you could buy a glass (to keep!) for one euro and then taste about a dozen wines. I was a little bit tipsy by the end of this...
Actually, one of the best things was that we got to chat to a lot of people, and they were all super nice. The French do have a certain reputation when it comes to customer service, which is often not undeserved, but whether it was because it was small producers trying to sell their own products, or that they were pleased to come across some French-speaking foreigners eager to learn about the regional cuisine, or that they were just nice people, everyone was really friendly. And almost every conversation consisted of them asking where we were from and then proceeding to talk to Laura about their friend/cousin/sister/daughter living in the United States, strangely enough. One old dude even told us at least three times that his son, a literature student in Indiana, had been quoted in the French press about the US election, bless. (Of course, he wasn't the only one.)
Finally, we had a quick look around at the animals - and yes, even managed to pat one or two. And I succeeding in staying entirely ignorant of developments in milking technology. All, in all, a good day.
|I had chicken for dinner tonight. Hope it wasn't this fancy lady|
|This sheep's a master of camouflage|
|These turned my teeth blue! (These were not on offer at the farm expo, this is out on the town with my ladies on Saturday night.)|