Today was the first day of the southwest France food festival. It was held on the left bank of the Seine, not far from Notre Dame. There was a marching band, 2 boats serving lunches and tapas, free samples of southwest France products, and plenty of booths selling those products.
Turns out that southwest France is famous for fois gras, other duck products, prunes, spice cake, and grapes. Who knew? We had our cheapest lunch yet, a ham sandwich and a goat cheese sandwich.
We bought some prunes and a slice of spice cake to take home - old peoples' snacks.
There's a region in France (not the southwest) that makes this wonderful soft nougat candy filled with nuts and fruit. I had been looking for some, but the place in Montmartre where we purchased it in 2009 was now selling only pre-packaged bags and I wanted to buy the large slices we had bought before. An Internet search led me to believe we'd find some in the 20th arrondisement, so we went up there, but the store was closed. There was a sign saying something about the city closing the place.
Then we went to buy a baguette from the 3rd place winner of the 2011 best baguette contest. It was also in the 20th, but farther afield than the disappearing nougat shop. This trip was the equivalent of living in northeast Detroit and going to Auburn Hills to buy your baguette. However, the availability of the métro made it seem not quite that crazy. We arrived at the boulangerie at about 5:00 pm and the cashier told us the baguettes de tradition would be ready in about 15 minutes. We wandered around the neighborhood for awhile, and returned to buy baguettes still warm from the oven. They were delicious. You can see from the photo that we munched on one of them before returning home.
Still searching for nougat, we went back to the Marais district, where purportedly there was a shop selling it. However, that store too was closed. So, for our sweets we returned to Laricol, a self-service (very unusual in Paris) chocolate shop. Here's a photo of their macaron display.
My sister and her husband arrive Sunday, so we bought a few macarons to have when they get here as well as some candy.
Today's cheese: None purchased. We have to finish up what's in the refrigerator
Today's bread: Third place in the 2011 best baguette contest