Le salon de l’Agriculture opened its doors on the 27th of March. For French presidents, it is a tradition to attend, even if they regularly are insulted or even physically threatened as Hollande was on Saturday. Jacques Chirac was the only president to have a good relationship with the farmers. Looking at some cow in 2005, he said “Ce n’est pas un bovin, c’est un chef d’oeuvre”. Every year, he used to spend a whole day going from stand to stand and downing gallons of beer.
Below a short extract of The Twinning Game.
La Veulaise, ( oyster grown just off the coast of Veules les Roses) had won the 2011 silver medal at the Salon de l’Agriculture.
Ever heard of Le salon de l’agriculture? Go to Google.fr and start typing “salon de” and “Le Salon Internationale de l’Agriculture” will come top. That’s how big it is in France. Open every year for ten days in February/March, it receives more visitors than any other event in France. Think Wimbledon, think Glastonbury, think Stonehenge annual number of visitors and multiply by 7, 10, 20 to have an idea of how huge it is. Seizing the opportunity to stroke a Charolaise (that’s a cow from Burgundy and no Burgundian with a sane mind would get that close to one) or to get high on steaming manure, the Francilliens (people who live in l’Ile de France, Paris and suburbs) forget their love/hate relationship with the farmers for 10 days every year. They’ll remember it the next time they’re stuck behind a line of tractors on the motorway or have to use the back door to the town hall to avoid the huge heap of manure blocking the main entrance.