Sunday, March 18, 2007

Jam party, not party jam

Our little family was doing some sightseeing and gallery-hopping in Montmartre yesterday when we discovered a very bizarre phenomenon in one of the galleries on the popular rue Lepic. Bonne Maman, the well-known French manufacturer of jams and cookies, was hosting an event there. At first, I thought it was a private party, but after I greeted the man who I thought was the bouncer, he didn't hold us back. We entered and found a tasting party for adults and children alike. I have to say I've never seen happier French people (except maybe after winning a big soccer game). Free food and drink! There were delicious fresh fruit juices, plain yogurt to top with different jams (equivalent to fruit-on-the-bottom but this time it's on top), packaged cookies and cakes, and tiny jam jars filled with not jam, but bizarre, maybe overly creative concoctions -- one being a mixture of foie gras and fig. And since the venue was a real gallery, the main hall was decorated with artsy, Bonne Maman-inspired pieces: photos of jam jars, collages of jar labels, jars transformed into flower vases...

After a little online research this morning, I found that Bonne Maman had rented out most of the gallery space to hold tastings and other culinary events in the span of five weeks. Yesterday's party was especially children-friendly with a large, low table and chairs equipped with paper, markers, and scissors. For some reason, there was also a parakeet in a wooden cage to which Maylin was especially drawn. Maylin was convinced that this was a "kids' party." It sure felt like it to me, too, although the adults did outnumber the children about five to one.

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