Today we had plans to go to Savim, the wine tasting festival here in Marseille, with Nell and Dylan, but Chris wasn't feeling well this morning so we decided to stay home. We relaxed some, and after a while, he started feeling like he could eat something. So we fixed a couple of sandwiches, and decided that since it was SO nice outside, we should have a picnic on the balcony. I put a blanket out there, and we sat outside and enjoyed our lunch in the sun. Oreo wasn't too happy, since we wouldn't let him join us.
Here are pics of our lunch...http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=21167&id=1012407145&l=4614584775
After lunch, Chris was feeling much better, so we decided to head out and go to Savim after all. We tried hooking up with Nell & Dylan, but they had left early since Nell wasn't feeling well either.
Chris & I enjoyed four hours of waundering around stand after stand, tasting wines, champagnes, cheeses, honey, desserts, and sausage. We really enjoyed chatting with the vendors and learning about the creation processes of the different food items.
The honey vendor was from the UK, and told us the whole story, in English, of how they take their bees around France at different times of the year to get different flavored honey. So part of the year they are in Provence for the lavender, then they go to the low mountains, then high mountains, to the forests, and all around and they have a honey for each region they visit with their bees. He let us taste each of the honeys, and they were SO good! Each one with a unique, complex flavor.
We stopped at one vendor that Nell had recommended to taste the wine, and a couple of older ladies asked us if we were just married (she saw my wedding ring), because they thought we were here on our honeymoon. We told them that we had been together for a very long time and Chris explained about his studies. They were very friendly and we enjoyed talking with them.
There was one woman vendor who made fruit confit. She explained to us that she had to cook the fruits 14 times in sugar to get the right flavor and consistency. We bought some cherries from her.
Another vendor from Roquefort region was selling Roquefort cheese. He let us taste 3 different one's of various ages, and we liked the oldest one best. We talked to him about the ridculous tax the US has put on Roquefort cheese because the French won't buy US chicken. We told him that it was stupid, because the two have nothing to do with each other. The French don't want US chicken because it is pumped with hormones (something they don't commonly do here) and the taste doesn't even compare to French chicken.
We bought some organic gruyere from a different vendor, and apparently, this is the ONLY organic gruyere in France. He was very passionate about his cheese and told us about how it's unpasteurized here and that it is better for the cheese to be made that way. We agree! The cheese here is so different than cheese we have purchased in the US. Fannie was telling us that the EU wants all cheese makers to swtich to pasteurizing their cheese, but I don't think it's going to work here.
We chatted with a wine vendor that sold wines to benefit the French foreign legion. They were very nice and we bought a bottle of Rouge to support their cause.
We bought olive oil from our favorite vendor from Arles. The guy gave us an extra large bottle for the same price as the smaller bottle.
We used our golden rule of when someone asks where you are from, always say New York City. You get better things that way! We got so much free food.
The wonderful thing about Savim, is that you can taste food and wine from many different regions in France in one location. It's like traveling around France with your taste buds in the course of an afternoon. We really enjoyed it.
We brought our loot home and had a wonderful spread for dinner.
Here are some pics of our loot http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=21191&id=1012407145&l=aefcac4ded