Recently I had the good fortune of taking my first trip to France. It was a dream of mine, for which I researched, researched and researched and prepared, prepared, prepared for over 1 year. As I’m sure it happens to almost everyone, even though I was there for a week and a half, I got to do half of what I had planned and, being a foodie, bring half of what I wanted to bring. Not only did I not have the sufficient budget, but I would have needed an extra pair or arms and legs to carry it all.
|The street where I stayed in|
The Fête des Vendanges is an event that commemorates the grape harvest, which in that area has taken place for centuries. History shows us that when Paris was Lutéce, the Romans planted vineyards that extended from Montmartre all the way into the area now occupied by the Eiffel Tower. The only vestige of these times is the Clos Montmartre, which is meticulously tendered by hand and has never been touched by any pesticides. The small square on Rue de Saules escaped the phylloxera devastation and still produces a medium quality rosé that is sold during the event for the astronomical sum of 50€ for a half bottle - reason why I didn’t bring any.
Clos Montmartre is easily accessible from the Musée Montmartre, which at the time I visited
was hosting a special exhibition on the 150th anniversary of Suzanne Valadon
I did however, found my way throughout the Parcours du Goût, a sort of food and wine festival situated all around Sacré Cœur, featuring vendors and producers from all the regions of France. It was a madhouse for the senses.
The typical Parisian quick fix for midday. Baguette with ham and cheese sandwhich. Just not any ham,not any cheese. Here we have 3 varities, 2 with prosciutto – with either Cantal or fromage de chêvre, and one
with salami and chêvre
Aligot is a specialty from the Auvergne, where the potato purée is loaded
with a regional tomé cheese until it forms strings that won’t break.They were making it in situ for degustation.
A world of sausages, with walnuts, figs, made with duck…
This was a type of tomé cheese with pesto and pimente d’espelette. Too bad I was leaving the nextday and couldn’t get any. The flavors mixed so well together and yet could distinguish them all.
A plate of sausages, brasserie-style
Cognac from the region of the same name, bottled into pretty Tour Eiffel bottles makes for an elegant souvenir.
Huge calissons de Provence, with flavors as audacious as raspberry-basil, pineapple and coconut.
Another exclusive cheese from the Savoie region, this time flavoured with lavender and rosemary.
Its colour was as seductive as its flavour.