November 24, 2009

Le Salon de la Gastronomie

Last week was pretty hectic. I had some new English students, I went to lunch at Rosie's beautiful house which is also a Bed & Breakfast in Sologne, and Mme. T, her husband and I went to the annual Salon de la Gastronomie at Orléans on Saturday.

The Salon is held every year at about this time so that people can stock up on yummy holiday foods and beverages for Christmas and the New Year's. I hadn't been there for many years, so it was time to go back and see what had changed.

An artisan specializing in foods made with honey. He's cutting an enormous nougat!

The sign for the pain d'épices (look how big they are).

We arrived at about 3:30 p.m. and hit the stands. What's really fun is that you can taste the products at almost every stand. One goes from spice bread to duck pâté to chocolate to champagne within a half-hour. Granted the taste is not that much, but it's an interesting mixture of tastes nonetheless.

I couldn't help but stock up on some of my favorite goodies. Surprisingly, I bought no sweets, but lots of other good things. I bought a white wine vinegar with Acacia in it from La Haie Gourmande. Mme. T and Joe bought a few jars of organic confiture (jam) and  some vinegar too.

Mme. T and husband having a hard time deciding which jams to buy.

The artisan explaining the flavors of his organic jams.

The Acacia in France is in fact a false Acacia. Here's a picture of the beautiful flowers.

For Monsieur Titi, I got him a lovely bottle of Chinon red wine. It's called L'Arcestral 2004. We'll save that for us two at Christmas.

Degusting the Chinon red wine.

The haul from the Salon -- Cassoulet, tomates sechées, vinaigre, vin rouge de Chinon.

At this site Marc Peyrey, you can buy all kinds of condiments. I bought two packages of dried tomatoes in basil oil. Yummmm!

And for the essential goody for Christmas I bought a tiny jar of real foie gras entier. I love foie gras and I rarely get to eat quality liver. At this same stand, I bought two large jars of Cassoulet (white beans stewed with duck confit and sausages) for quick meals at home. Check out la Ferme de la Faubonnière here. I also bought a jar of Terrine de Sanglier (wild boar pâté) which Monsieur Titi and I ate on Sunday.

We stayed to eat dinner at the Salon. We chose the stand sponsored by the Châmbre des Métiers in Orléans. The métier (profession) represented here was Boucher (butcher). We had a lovely piece of meat and toddled off home because we were all very tired.

Mme T. eating steak

Here are some more random photos from our day at the Salon.

Champagne anyone?

The head of the Confrérie de Tarte Tatin who made us laugh with his jokes.

Delicious pastries from the Chambre de Métiers for pâtissiers


Oh My Goddess said...

My God! Even a food shopping trip in France is so much classier than here!

I really must be living in the wrong country.

ladybird said...

Wow, that 'salon' is like a gastronomic orgy! How did you manage to buy as little as you did? All those goodies look so tempting and irresistable!

K said...

Sounds like a fun way to get stocked for the holidays.

Erin P said...

Oh, that looks so wonderful!! Is "Salon" used in the same sense as the "Salon" in which Monet showed his work (or was rejected)? I would just love to go there someday!

Erin P said...

My husband loved reading it too! (He said he's been to Orleans, also). Thanks so much for sharing!

claude said...

Hello Dedene !
Voilà une promenade très intéressante ! J'en ai l'eau à la bouche. La France est bien le pays de la gastronomie.
Un bon cassoulet, c'est bon !
Un bon foie gras de canard, too !
Une bonne tarte Tatin, also !
et les vins, et les vins et les vins !
Moi, je fais de la confiture de bananes. J'en ai acheté quelques unes lundi, mais c'est pour me faire un gratin. Miam ! Miam !

Frankofile said...

What an event! I'll be trying hard to resist chocolate and patisserie this Christmas. There are some wonderful artisans around, aren't there?

the fly in the web said...

We have local producers' markets up here, during the autumn, but they're damned expensive.

Phil Lowe said...

To quote Claude, miam, miam indeedy. I loved reading about your visit to the salon and was deeply jealous that got cassoulet. French Living in Nottingham stocks bottles of cassoulet but the price is stupid. I must spend some time catching up on your blog posts. Wonderful stuff.

Nadege said...

Oh my goodness Dedene! I hope that new seat for your spinning bike is installed (lol). Enjoy good food, good wine and your wonderful new friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

Dominica said...

I love fairs and markets like these ....very inspiring too, don't you think ?

Barbara said...

Bonjour Dedene,

This is all really too yummy ! What a fun photo display also :)Well done.
I don't do enough of what is gastronomy ( do to the price) but I agree that at least once a year we all need our "repas amélioré ".

Happy Thanksgiving ! We have just a tiny spread, as usual.