On February 23rd, the annual Salon International de l'Agriculture opened in Paris for the 50th time. This may not seem important to you, but in France this Salon is eagerly awaited and the event is given top billing by all news media. Even though France's economy is stagnant, the country is involved in a nasty war in Mali, and the European Commission has just issued a very bleak economic forecast, the Salon de l'Agriculture displaced all this with happy pictures of First Visitor François Hollande arriving at 7:00 AM this Sunday, an hour before the official opening when the farmers were still milking their cows. He then spent most of the day at the giant Salon, talking to farmers and breeders, eating and drinking the offerings (including a glass of milk straight from the cow - in front of television cameras), petting prize animals, asking questions, and defending his policies.
|Arnaud Donckele, 3-star chef|
(*) To read more about the Salon de l'Agriculture in my book Taking Root in Provence click here: