March 5, 2014

Burgundy in the Mouth

With its quasi-kinky title, the 15th annual “Salon des Spécialités: Bourgogne en Bouche,” sees the town of Autun on its finest behavior. In conjunction with a commercial and agricultural fair and amusement park rides (sign from one: “Parents are solely responsible for placing their children in the ride. Parents are solely responsible for fastening the seatbelt.” Imagine that in the Land of the Lawsuit.), about 30 local and semi-local producers gather in the town’s social space to offer visitors a taste of their product. From Burgundy, wines, cheeses, beef (little cubes on a toothpick, offered hot off the grill), and crème caramel; from Alsace, foie gras and Reisling; from Champagne, well, guess.

Cheese is love
Garlic and pig...nobody loses
A bargain
It is little events like this that make being in France such a marvel. Outside of Autun, the event received no publicity, other than a small ad in the local newspaper. It is a worthwhile trip.

Get some snail slime is Burgundy
The fifth generation oil producers lighten the wallet with ease, offering tastes of pistachio, walnut, and sesame oils. Colorful macarons beg for a taste. By the sixth taste of wine, one cannot help but feel a little obligated to buy at least one bottle of crémant. The charcutier counters your suggestion that his specialty ham would be excellent with “some spicy mustard in the land of mustard” by saying, “Personnellement, when I have quality products like this, I don’t like to use something as strong as mustard. Try some salted butter.” Noted. On the "to try" list.

Five generations
There is nary a word of foreign tongue, but, happily, food competes ably with love as the international language. Go taste with gusto, stay for lunch (duck or beef?), and feel good about your little secret discovery.

Dozens of varieties of saucission

What: Food fair
Where: Autun, Saône et Loire, Burgundy
When: First weekend of March (check with the Office de Tourisme for final details)

How Much: Entry is 2 euros; tastings are free; lunch and direct purchase are supplementary

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