This was a big week for Paris, as it kicked off two major events — Fashion Week and the other invitation-only event, the Salon International De l’Agriciulture. The scalped tickets we bought just outside of the Metro were marked “invitation professionnelle,” so obviously we were as privileged to be at the latter as anyone at the Balenciaga show. It may be similar to the county fair, with the latest in farming technology and the occasional guy walking around cleaning up animal poop in the exhibition halls, but at least there weren’t any carnies, bikers or dudes in wife beaters at the Salon. I doubt you could say the same about Fashion Week.

For a city dweller, seeing the animals was first on the list. I think everyone else who went felt the same, since the animal hall was packed. It was nice seeing all the little baby pigs, calves and lambs. Spring is on its way!

I’ve never been a fan of birds or things with feathers but this chicken just made me laugh at nature’s weirdness. It had a pompom for a head.

After hanging out with the animals, we headed to the French regional food pavilion. I am such a sucker for these things. I’ve been to quite a few wine and food festivals in France and I’ve never been disappointed. Even when they’re tiny or just a street long, there’s always something new and delicious to try. This hall was two floors of wine, cheese, sausage and lots of other regional specialties. Wine samples were free-flowing; I had some killer Armagnac and we stopped by a Midi-Pyrenees booth to try the wine just because the bottle was so pretty.

There was cheese everywhere. They were really pushing the cheese-cow connection, even at the animal pavilion. Like, we’re so proud of our local cow, its milk produces this kind of cheese. Then there would be a spread of cantal and bleu cheeses from the Auvergne laid out on the hay that the cow had just pooped on. I’m not kidding. Me, I prefer cheese that’s on a counter, behind a clean glass case, far far away from turd.

On a fateful summer day back in 2004, I went to the Bordeaux Wine Festival and had my first and only fried foie gras sandwich. Since then, I’ve searched high and low for it at every other festival but with no luck. Six years later, I had it again here. And with a fig chutney spread and a free glass of sauternes to boot! Look at him fry up those bad boys!

Each region in France was represented here and I had to be dragged out of the Brittany section otherwise we never would have left. So naturally there was kouign amann — an insanely deliciously flaky, buttery pastry — everywhere within in a 1/4 mile radius.

At one point my friend Sophie said, “I’m impressed that you just had ice cream, wine, cheese, saucisson and now a foie gras sandwich.” Florent would just snicker at me and call me “Gourmand” every time he saw me grabbing a sample of fromage or jambon cru.

Well in some parts of the world, it’s just plain rude to turn down food.

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