Yes my new, slightly dangerous, French addiction!
But first, I want to virtually invite you to an event that happens every year here in Pélussin on November 11th: la Fête de la Pomme! Here’s this year poster for it:
The last time I participated in la fête de la pomme I was 12 ha!
And here is the kind of booth you can encounter all over the top part of Pélussin, a charmingly whimsical neighborhood called Virieu:
In case you’re wondering what the big green AB sign means… Agriculture Biologique! Biologique or simply bio, meaning organic.
But why November 11th and why apples?
November 11th because the armistice between France and Germany was signed on November 11th 1918. I am of course well aware that a lot more countries fought in WW1 but this is how most French people feel about this particular war. They mostly see it as France getting a revenge on Germany for annexing Alsace Lorraine in 1871. This north-eastern part of France became German to return to France at the end of WW1.
Apples because it is the specialty of the Pilat! Apples everywhere!
Every Fall for the past 39 years on November 11th, la fête de la pomme takes over the streets of Pélussin, streets filled with all sorts of booths selling all sorts of things. I will confess the only ones that interest me are the local apples, food, drinks, apple juices, and hand made products like art or soaps, you get the gist!
I have taken some pictures for you of the spots I liked the most! Starting with…
MY NEW ADDICTION!
THIS glorious pain d’épices! Here are the ingredients, in French: 100% miel, farine, lait, oeuf, beurre, bicarbonate de sodium, anis vert. Local honey from the Pilat bien sûr!
I actually discovered this pain d’épices at the famers’ coop yesterday and… ate the whole loaf! Oops! So this afternoon imagine my joy when I found the exact same producers at the fair! Joy coupled with guilt because… I bought another one and… ate the whole loaf again! But this time I received some help!
Sophie looooooooved it! Look at her little tooth so cute!
Bruno was not with us because my grumpy little grandpa no longer enjoys walks so much but he sure appreciated it too back at home on his cosy little fuzzy bed! (notice how Sophie tries to steal his piece…)
But back to our fair.
(Samuel here is selling his hand made soap and I’m planning on visiting his workshop in Pélussin soon with my elementary school friend Amandine who lives right next to him!)
(Vous aimez les escargots?)
(Et les pâtés?)
(Et la charcuterie?)
I have found this French link from the magazine L’Essor for some of the info below so you go ahead look it up and practice your French. Remember, you have to practice at least a little bit every day if you truly want to become a little bit French! This is one easy and pleasant way to do it. (Yes I do realize if it’s every day then it has to be enjoyable otherwise we don’t do it!)
-About 30,000 people visit la fête de la pomme every year. That’s a lot for a 4,000 inhabitants village!
-The fair opens a day prior for visitors to meet the farmers who produce 14,000 metric tons of apples on about 1,000 acres (400 hectares).
-14 farmers are part of the coopérative des Balcons du Mont-Pilat, a poetically named coop, who sold 8,000 metric tons of apples!
-These apples can be identified via quality labels such as, more poetry, Les balcons du Mont-Pilat, Pilat terroir, and rosée du Pilat. Rosée means dew. The most famous kind of apples here in the Pilat is la pomme golden. Be careful now you have to prononce gulden with a French accent!
-This year’s visitors received assistance from little helpers… the « taxi pommes » pushed around by young Pélussinois. Yes people don’t come to la fête des pommes just to walk around! Most of them buy several crates of apples, enough to keep them all winter long! Plus participants can enter a competition to win their weight in apples!
(taxi pommes in the middle of this picture!)
And to end beautifully…
… , just look at this sweet little babies!!!!!!