Dijon Gastronomy Fair -- worth going?
We had planned to head to Dijon for the day Friday to visit the covered market, when I realized it's the first day of the International Gastronomy Fair. Has anyone been (I did a quick board search, but couldn't find any result)? Any comments? Are there lots of free samples, or do you have buy everything to taste it?
(I recently went to the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, and if this is the same thing but with a wider variety of food, I would definitely consider it worth it!! And my husband, bless him, is willing to go along.)
Thanks in advance!
Ok, I found out the answer to my question.... overall, it is definitely worth it. The conference center is filled with various food vendors as well as many small eating areas. The restaurants offer foods from all over France, especially Brittany, as well as Alsace, Camargue,Perigord and more. There were also some foreign cuisines represented, like Italian, Thai, Indian, etc.
There were also lots of snack stands, selling open-faced grilled sandwiches, crepes, and other take-away foods.
Plus, many, many stands selling macarons, chocolate, and more versions of foie gras than you can shake a goose at. Pretty much everyone was offering sample tastes (and in the case of some of the wine merchants I stopped at, they were offering very generous samples) in addition to the actual goods for sale.
The fair was definitely less crowded than I was afraid of, and it was very easy to walk around without bumping into people, or having people elbow you away from the samples. The restaurants were even uncrowded (maybe because there are so many choices).
By the way, Greece is the honored foreign "host" this year, so there is a small pavilion with Greek foods and other goods for sale.
To get there, once in Dijon follow the permanent signs for "Centre Clemenceau" and eventually you'll see temporary yellow signs marked "Foire". Follow them to get to the convention center. We parked at Clemenceau, which turned out to be just a few steps to the entrance of the festival.
The entrance of the festival isn't all that well marked, and there really wasn't a huge line or crowd to tell us where to go. But we walked to the nearest ticket office, saw the poster for the faire behind it, and assumed it was the right place.
There is also another pavilion called "Asiatique Village", which we skipped. And behind the gastronomy floor is another pavilion of what looked like furniture and so on. Plus a small aisle of all the fun kitchen gadgets that get demonstrated (a la Billy May) for slicers and dicers and vacuum pouches and knife sharpeners, etc.
So I'd say it's worth going for anyone who has the chance. My husband who was highly sceptical, ended up enjoying it.
PS - Here's the link to the fair's website (French): http://www.foirededijon.com/