I like that word. Gastronomades. Aside from being a travelling food show here in France, the word to me implies a group of people who travel and eat. Eat local and eat well. I do know a family.........
Small producers here in France of all things food and drink are what makes the country for me. Hundreds of regions with hundreds of products, from wine, Champagne and Spirits, baked goods, cured meats, cheeses, small batch chocolates, oils, vinegars, spices, fresh sausages, really no matter what you use in your kitchen, you are bound to have access to an artisan in France who makes it. With pride and passion (Unlike plumbers).
Some of them go on the road throughout France once or twice a year to create a name for themselves and of course try selling some products outside their own region. Some of the bigger shows hand out "Best in show" and other accolades that may propel an artisan into the next Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, or getting access to some of the major retailers in Europe.
The show has grown since last year, more exhibitors, an extra tent for more cooking demonstration, which actually had the local TV station broadcast it all and lots and lots of buying consumers. Imagine a travelling Farmers' market sort of. We don't drink much in this house, but where else can you taste your way through half a dozen Champagne producers and then buy a case for under 17.00/bottle? Twenty bucks for a really really good bubbly. I like it.
This time around we bought Walnut flour from a mill near Angouleme, Espelette powder from the Basque region and some other fine things to fill the fridge and pantry.
THEY HANDED OUT THESE STICKERS.
THE LOCAL TENT
ALL THINGS WALNUT
GOLD MEDAL WINNING BLUE CHEESE
NOT SURE WHAT HE WAS DOING. FONDUE MAYBE?
REALLY GOOD CANTAL
BAKERS. A VERY PROTECTED PROFESSION IN FRANCE
A WINE FROM THE SW PYRENEES REGION
LA BELLE PROVENCE
OUR DEPARTMENT. FULL OF ARTISANS
I BOUGHT SOME ESPELETTE. A DISTANT RELATIVE TO CHIPOTLE PEPPERS
THE BEST JAMBON
EXCELLENT CHRISTMAS GIFTS
AN OLIVE OIL PRODUCER BROUGHT HIS OLIVE VARIETIES
ANOTHER DEMONSTRATION OF A TRADE
THE ANGOULEME MARKET IS RIGHT NEXT DOOR
WITH A MARKET RESTAURANT
A GOAT CHEESE ARTISAN
LA VACHE QUI RIT PAS
A LOCAL BREED NAMED BARBEZIEUX