Friday, November 11, 2011

SALON DE LA GASTRONOMIE



Think travelling farmers' market. Where smaller producers show their goods and sell to consumers direct. Anything french. Or former colonies. Or neighbors.
We went to the one in La Rochelle, which had maybe around 100 exhibitors from Fleur du Sel to wines and Champagnes, Cognacs, cheeses, meats, Foie Gras and Chocolates.
The variety of locally produced food is staggering. 

The bad news was that too many of the vendors had no idea if their was gluten in their products or not. Most hedged their bets with simply stating "Peut d'etre", (maybe), Wow. Do I see a market. Even the Nougat producer was unsure if his starch is from corn or wheat. GF Bread? Forget about it. 
The only dedicated GF sign we saw was at a booth selling macarons, which unfortunately is an obvious. Plus these ones were a tad industrial....they used sirup for flavoring...

On the positive, it is great to see the pride of the individual farmers, bakers or producers who sell their own products.
A lady from Vendee makes nothing but Brioche and travels from Market to market. I tell you, it was excellent Brioche. Not GF, but excellent. She did mention that demand is there, she just does not have the time to make it, plus it is tricky. Victoria will fix that I think.

My favorite booth was a husband wife team from the Lourdes area, they travelled the world before returning back home and getting into the small farming business. Right now they have duck and pork related products, Confits, Foie Gras, Cassoulets and so on. Their twist is that not only it's all made in small, small batches (40 ducks at a time), but they also use some unusual ingredients. For example a Cinammon flavored Foie Gras. I bought a jar of a more subtle one, excellent quality.

They only sell to end users via mail order and markets, but their website is not yet ready. Ah, they are in Lourdes, a miracle may just fix that....

www.haginat.com

Overall, a great venue if one wants to get a taste of so many different products at one time. For me, it makes me want to traverse this country now and visit some of those farms and bakers and cheese makers.
Anyone have contacts at HGTV? That would be a perfect TV show....









CHEESE. A BIT MOLDY MAYBE


WILD MUSHROOMS & OMELETTES ON THE SPOT


PRUNES FROM AGEN. NOT JUST FOR SENIORS


SPICES 


BRIOCHE. NOTHING BUT BRIOCHES. EXCELLENT STUFF


NOUGAT

SUGAR ROASTED HAZEL NUTS


PAYS BASQUE SAUSAGES AND HAMS


THE FRENCH LOVE THEIR CHAMPAGNE. BUSY BOOTH


COGNAC


VANILLA. $1.00/STICK

BLOOD SAUSAGES


THIS LOCAL BUTCHER SERVED READY TO EAT FOOD AND WAS BUSY


MY FAVE BOOTH OF THE SALON. SMALL PRODUCER OF FOIE GRAS


COOK WARES


DOGS ARE WELCOME.....


CHOCOLATES


THE ONLY BOOTH WITH SANS GLUTEN SIGN....

2 comments:

Ken Broadhurst said...

Is that mold or herbs on the cheese. Ewe's milk cheese can be excellent. And then, cheese is moldy by definition. In French "mold" is "champignons" or "ferments"...

And yes, why is it that North Americans have such a hangup about prunes?

H.Peter said...

It was actually both. Personally I like them strong.

Marketing is everything it seems. Even for Prunes and they do have that stigma now in the US.....