Le Grand Marché des Saveurs Rhone Alpes
A blustery September Thursday in Lyon – and over 200 local artisan producers of foodstuff ranging from hand made sausages to genepi have amassed on the place Bellecour at the center of Lyon.
I wore my lucky necklace and rode my bike down the city streets lined with boutiques and galleries for a rendez-vous with the gourmands! Cheese, apples, pears, truffles, poultry, olive oil, fresh baked bread, walnuts, wines, freshly pressed fruit juices, honey, lavender, sausages, snails, pastry, marinated mushrooms, chestnuts, chevre and fromage de vache, eau de vie, dried herbs, and food themed crafts all presented by the people who made them. Everyone had a jolly old time handing out tastes, talking about their products, and selling their items here and there. I had some great conversations with artisan producers from the Rhone, Savoie, Isère and the Drome and have made plans to see some of these vendors again, at their farms and workshops.
These men from Bobosse have invited me for a visit to their operation! I can't wait!
If I can make it up the hill on my bike again, wine awaits me.
There were several cheese makers selling fromage fort, which I understand is made differently everywhere. Maybe I'll have to give it another try.
I will visit this honey maker this fall, or in the Spring. The woman and her son were very beautiful bee people.
This foie gras producer has invited me come to his farm during fattening season to see what the hulaballoo is all about.
I learned from this snail farmer that he is called a Héliculteur. The two people at the table were foreign students who tasted first and then asked, "Mmmm. What is it?" Here's to the adventurous palate!
The chefs and their students were out too, with a fun challenge that gave everyone a chance to participate – there was a list of local products in which the chefs were to produce a tasting dish from.
The game for the public was to taste and fill out a form with their guess as to what the four ingredients that the chefs used were. The correct guesses go into a drawing for a prize. People took this tasting quite seriously.
Needless to say the Bernachon tartlettes went fast...
What did I buy? Of course I could not resist a small bottle of Genepi, some pure cherry juice (hard to find at a good price in this town), and a little pot of duck rilettes to serve at apéro.