Sunday, March 25, 2012

Round trip France (and the world) in a day

A couple weekends ago, I heard rumors of this Agriculture Expo, which to me just sounded like the hay and poop-smelling building at the State Fair.  No thanks, I'll pass.
And then I got a text on Sunday, the last day of the expo, from Maygan saying that it was amazing and there was an entire building dedicated different regions of France and the food and wine that each region offers.  Food & wine from every region of France?? It took about 20 seconds to make that decision.  Be right there!

When I arrived, I called and told Maygan I was in Corsica, and she told me to wait there.  And thus our tour of France began.

First, Maygan whipped up a batch of potatoes in this giant frying pan.
Then we headed over to the islands for a taste of Martinique.  We were offered some of this crazy fruit, cut open by the lady in the background who made me think for a slight second that we are actually in the French Caribbean.
Here Kyle examines the bizarre spikey fruit and demands that it explain itself.
Oh hello cute guy. I don't even care that this picture turned out blurry because you're churning sorbet by hand for me. In a bucket.
You know they have machines for this now, right?  Sticking with the wooden bucket and crank, method, huh?  Okay...

It all seemed so silly, this labor-intensive churning within a tiny wooden bucket filled with ice...until I got a cup of the coconut milk sorbet that was being made.  The creamiest, freshest, most delicious ice cream goodness one can imagine outside of an Italian gelato stand.

We turned right to exit the islands and headed for the Basque region of France...
where Maygan & Kyle had earlier spotted some delicious looking cones of cheese & dried sausage, but insisted they must wait for me to enjoy it with them.  What good friends have I!!

Here Maygan does the "I found them, there they are!" pointing dance.
 What we had long been seeking has been found.
Behold...wooden cones filled with saucisson and cheese!
Oh such delights were these.  And then...look out!!
This kid tried to run Kyle over with his car!

Okay it's time to get real...We're heading to southwest France for some foie gras! And not JUST foie gras...but a foie gras sandwich!
Merci, monsieur, indeed!

As we searched the map to make sure we had thoroughly traveled around all of France, I looked to another building on the map and realized there was a building dedicated to none other than...the world!!  Japans was there, Italy was there, we had to go!!

So we made a bee line for the door and headed to building E, where we were greeted by Chile to our right and Peru straight ahead, selling piles of roasted sugar-coated nuts of all kinds.
Italy showed up strong with basins of olives...
And the most creative marketing from the Italian truffle oil stand.
The man behind the sign pointed out the thousands Japan must have spent on their incredible professional signage across the way, and said that no one took pictures of their signs...but they used a permanent marker and have had nonstop pictures all day.  Well done truffle stand, well done.
Well, hello Morocco!!  Yes, I will have 5 pastries and a cup of mint tea.  I ran over to Maygan and Kyle, in line for a beer in Ireland, and let them know I had just spent 14 euros in Morocco.  We were like kids in a candy store, between the France building and the World building. Just running around yelling what delicious thing we just saw somewhere.

I then left to wander a bit, seeing what else was around the corner while they waited for their Irish pint, and ran back exclaiming, "They're handing out caviar and vodka in Russia!!"  And they were.
For 3 euros.  Ah, forget it.
Dancing in joy over the beer finally delivered.
Maygan and I had some difficulties with the Moroccan pastries.  They are quite coated in honey.  More than anything, we wanted to take a picture in front of the Groupama sign.

And if it wasn't was stringy!
Angel hair pasta-looking feathery hay-like mess of a pastry!
Yep, there's no other way to eat that thing.

And then, to wrap up the evening, we did actually go to the animal building, which was exactly what I thought it would be like...a massive stench-filled arena of animals and hay.
Ah, the rare faceless pig.

Awww babies!!!
What the...he is staring at me and SMILING!!
It's kind of a adorable...and kind of weird.

All in all, the two-story France building was incredible.  It far outshone the world, which is a good self-representation of how France feels about itself.  We will be going again next year.  This is an agriculture expo I will be happy to visit again!

1 comment:

  1. Alexa and I were here too! We were so disappointed when we walked though the first building: "6€ to see a bunch of cows?!". But that quickly changed once we entered the second hall. Managed to convince a least a dozen vendors that we were commercial buyers. Never been so full (or dunk) at 4pm. Love the blog!