Sunday, 26 April 2009

Flowers and Flavours - A French Country Show

Horticultural show - Flowers and Flavours - Fleurs et SaveursHaving recently seen some colourful posters popping up around town and having been tempted by the promise of "Fleurs & Saveurs" (Flowers and Flavours - although we went along more for the "Saveurs" than the "Fleurs"!), we decided to make a special effort getting up early(ish) on a Sunday morning to bring you a glimpse of a provincial French Horticultural show.

Unfortunately the warm spring sunshine we'd been enjoying for the last few days seemed to be enjoying the lie-in that we'd missed out on...

A few metres inside the gates and already our eyes were wide open and our mouths were watering! Homemade saucisson and pâté in a wonderful assortment of flavours - anyone for Cognac pheasant, bison or Auvergne blue cheese...? All available to try although so shortly after breakfast, a strong stomach is recommended!

Paris Miniatures - French Market selling saucisson and pâtés - Emmaflam and Miniman
Selection of saucisson and pâtés

The next stall to catch our eye was "Les Jardins de Marie" selling a lovely selection of award-winning jams and conserves. We had tried some of her produce before, so this time we were hoping she would be present so we could bring some back home with! She uses some wonderfully inventive combinations of ingredients in her jams and you can see the full list at her site which is in French, but it'll give you the perfect chance to swot up on your French food vocabulary!

Paris Miniatures - Homemade Jams - Emmaflam and Miniman
Homemade jams - flavours included straw (!), vanilla courgette and lily-of-the-valley

After sampling half a dozen exotic jams, it was time to choose. The biggest surprise was a Champagne jam...sublime! There is even the sensation of tiny bubbles exploding on your tongue...

We also chose Apple Cider and Haricot de Soissons (Soissons white bean - a local speciality). The latter is destined for some upcoming macaroons...

Not only are the jams delicious, they are beautifully presented too.

Paris Miniatures - Trio of Jams - Emmaflam and Miniman
We came back with cider, white bean and the extraordinary champagne jam

And just in case anyone is doubting that we're in France, there was even a jolly fellow selling snail-based produce! The guy was so passionate about his snails - we'll spare you the detailed cross-section drawing of a snail indicating every single piece of a snail's anatomy (email us if you want to see it) and we'll just leave you with this one interesting fact: a snail has 20 000 teeth...

Paris Miniatures - French trader selling snail-based dishes - Emmaflam and Miniman
Vive la France!

Oh it was a horticultural show, it wasn't just food, food, food! There were even some plants and flowers to buy...

Paris Miniatures - Horticultural Show - Emmaflam and Miniman
It was a horticultural show after all...

We even came back with some strawberry plants for the garden. Hopefully those tiny strawberry "fleurs" will be producing some strawberry "saveurs" before too long...

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