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World Convenes in Paris for Food

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Monday began SIAL, the international food show in Paris, France.
 I am here on behalf of SUSTA, the Southern United States Trade Association . I am working in their booth in the USA pavilion, preparing recipes and using their products to entice potential International buyers to pick up their product.

I have been to the food shows in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and I have even been to the National food show in Chicago. They all pale in comparison to this one, held at Le Parc Des Expositiones, north of Paris. It is a complex of exhibition halls about the size of two football fields in each and there are 8 halls.

In between cooking segments at my booth, I had the chance today to walk around a bit and check out the other exhibitors. It was mind-blowing! Every country you can think of has a section in the halls. I saw Uruguay, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, France, Turkey, India, China and the list goes on and on.
Booth after booth of companies showcasing their products. It didn’t seem to matter what language you spoke, every section had schools of translators, walking around waiting to help. In just the thirty minutes I had to walk around today, I saw more unique food items than in the last 10 years combined. Everything from commodities like grains and legumes, to beverages like beer and alcohol. It was the ultimate international food market with canned items, frozen items, dried items and so much more.

In the SUSTA booth, I had the opportunity to meet hundred of visitors today, all curious to see what this American chef was preparing. Many were thrilled, several just did not seem to understand the flavors of the south.
In all cases, I felt thrilled to be a part of this awesome experience.

After the show ended I was herded towards the train, like so many others, hoping to get a seat on the next departure. I finally found my way back to Chappele, the area of Paris where I am staying, and after a long day, it was exquisite and rewarding to enjoy a meal of escargot and lamb at a bistro near Gare du Nord. A bottle of young rosé helped a bit as well, I have to admit.

Tomorrow I look forward to the second day of the show, and hopefully, the chance to see a bit more of what the others have at their booths.

Reporting from Paris, France, good night.

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Related Photos
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Etiquette expert, Carey Sue Vega.

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