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My apologies for the unexpected silence. I caught the cold (aka absolute misery) that is going around and then had to rush and prepare for my trip to Paris. That’s right, this communique is coming to you from the City of Light!  

As I have not done anything involving an iconic image of Paris yet (this is my 7th time here, so they aren’t on the top of the list), I give you a picture of the “Semi-marathon” I came across this morning on Rue de Rivoli: 


I arrived yesterday and promptly settled in to my rental apartment (ie crashed out) and then finally grocery shopped and did some laundry. Thank goodness for Google:

Since I’ve had the opportunity to come here with regularity, this trip I wanted to be mostly about seeing and doing things I hadn’t done before. In the spirit of this, when I read last week about the Salon International de l’agriculture, I vowed to go. How could I resist attending something so French and yet so reminiscent of my rural childhood?  So, despite jet lag trying to slow me down, I took the metro to the Porte de Versailles Expo Centre (within the city of Paris proper -quelle surprise!). 

This was a far cry from anything I ever experienced. It is hard to quantify into words, but this expo brought me closer to understanding the French relationship to their food and the land than any number of guidebooks, cultural studies, and extensive food consumption have ever given me. Here were French families by the hundreds (nay thousands), all taking in the vast variety of animals and produce and other elements of the food chain in an earnest way. The emphasis on terroir-the importance of the region of origin-was inescapable. And the fact that quite frequently the animals and the delicious food they would eventually become were right next to each other really emphasized what your food source looks like, feels like, and how their health equals your health. This is not emphasized in the US enough as part of our education (nor do I think having livestock and prepared food next to each other is legal in the US-gotta love the French!) and it shows in what we tolerate in our food chain. 

As you ponder where your food comes from, I leave you with some pictures from the expo. (I’m doing this from my phone and I can’t seem to add captions, just roll with it). 

A well coiffured cow

The world’s most chill llama

This goat seems to have a full body mohawk…and the attitude to match!

I hope to post everyday this week–fingers crossed. 

Au revoir!