Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tweets & Clucks

I have been working with my PR agency to launch a new set of social media for French Basketeer. We've just gone live with a new Facebook page and new Twitter. Warning: they are up, they are not pretty or fully used yet. It's not so much the setup that counts to me, it's finding the best way to use these media. I mean, let's face it, you don't care if I just had a coffee and croissant for breakfast, unless I'm in Paris and have something interesting to say about what I'm seeing, right?

I am also working to integrate all of this new and somewhat time-consuming activity into my life; I have 4 email addresses, 2 Facebooks, 1 Twitter, a blog and a website to keep up on, though Blackberry sure helps. I'm also in the process of writing a book & new blog, and a set of lesson plans. Today, though, I got a tweet that First Lady of California Maria Shriver is following me on Twitter. What am I complaining about, being busy? Maria has 462,096 people following her and 197,236 people she's following! Someone said recently that Twitter is like dipping your cup from time to time into a rapidly running stream; you get a sense of the pulse. That's probably closer to the original idea, of Twitter as an infomation-sharing medium. But true to the networking side of Twitter, I followed Maria's Twitter to her Facebook page and wrote on her wall; I had talked to her peeps awhile back about an event for microfinance. She has lots of great info up on The Women's Conference; I've wanted to go for a few years. We'll see if anything comes of my post!
So, stay tuned for more information; if you are on Facebook, I invite you to become a fan of French Basketeer. If you are on Twitter, please do follow us there!

So, with a blog post on Facebook and Twitter and the like, you'd expect photos of Birds and Tweets, right? No, I'm going to take you on a tour of the Clucks today~~ the sign in Louhan; note the tire holder, so improv French:

One of the most famous marches in all of France is in the town of Louhan, in Burgundy. This market is unlike any other in France. It's known as a "Fowl Market" because it is in the area of Bresse, without a doubt the best known chickens in the world. A Bresse chicken is rich and a little gamey, but still tender; the connaisseur's chicken. There are about 250 farmers in the area, who supply over 1 million chickens each year. The classic Bresse chicken has blue feet, a white body, and a red crown; since it is the colors of the French tricolore it is even more prized! You'll see it in the best butcher shops, always with its blue feet and sometimes just a tuft of white plume, to prove it's genuine; this is the only chicken that has it's own AOC or appellation d'origine controllee. The only place I've ever seen Bresse chickens in the US was as the Jefferson market down near Balducci's, on 6th Avenue. I think, incredibly, they are both gone now. Anyway, it's rare to find them in the states.

All the fowl found in the area are raised in a very non-industrial, organic, free-range way. The market is every Monday morning; there is no start time published, you only see a la bonne heure, which means "early." Now I know why they say that, because it must take hours for the vendors to get in and get set up! The center of town is mostly half-timbered buildings and very pretty; the rail station is close to the market, though we drove from Beaune:
There are a few towers with the characteristic Burgundy glazed tiles in the geometric pattern:
The market is divided into several areas, and basically every square inch of the center of town is turned over to the market. There is a section devoted to live fowl & small animals, another area with the normal market fresh foods, and another area for housewares (kitchen utensils, clothes, baskets etc). It's wall to wall shoppers in the food & housewares, and people are not there just to look, everyone is buying a lot of merchandise. There is a lot of commerce going on here...

There are several long rows of every kind of fowl imaginable: The roosters:
All types of fowl; I don't even know the names;
Lots of fluffy little things, little babies? Not for eating though:
the classic Bresse Chicken:
Something tufted and special; Martha Stewart would know! It was ALL here!!
including adorable pygmy pigs for pets:

I think this is a French Turkey?:
Ducks & geese...

If it moves, you can find it at this market; a pet ferret on a French Blue leash:
Rabbits; I hope for many cute rabbits....
Even a Jack Russell terrier puppy bred in England; I really wanted to take this little guy home; he was totally calm and handsome; this was part of the reason I got Honey, I love the calm disposition of the European dogs:

If you are interested, the vendor will show you a bird:

Most of these are said to be for breeding; you can buy a prepared chicken for dinner elsewhere. The shoppers come to the market with various gear to take their animals home; in a basket:

or a box with airholes:

Or in a wagon:
I left the market thinking it would be difficult to eat any fowl or any animals soon; I ended up getting some eggs; perfect perfect eggs in shades of beige and brown; note they are displayed in baskets:

And we went home and I made a quiche Lorraine for dinner, Julia's recipe, with those eggs...a little brown in the photo here but devoured quickly...

and washed down with a glass of Domaine Gros rose that R chilled for us in advance:

And all was right with the world.....

1 comment:

  1. Such a fun post, Andrea! I love the basket and wagon used to take the chickens home! So very classy! Thanks for sharing.