They are delicious and grace the tables of the most famous Parisian five star restaurants - the strawberries of Carpentras are not only beautiful to look at they are juicy and sweet and smell heavenly - just as strawberries are supposed to smell and taste! So we are real lucky to be so close to Carpentras which in fact is where we have to go to to see (if we have to) our tax inspector or go for various other, equally important official ventures.
So when we heard there would be a "Festival de la Fraise" this weekend we were so excited we couldn't wait to go there. Because usually food festivals in Provence are lovingly prepared, joyous and convivial affairs.
Beautiful and delicious - Carpentras' strawberries
Not so here. First of all you didn't even find the festival. No sign, no nothing. Since we were parked right next to the Tourist Office I went to inquire. "In front of the Lord Mayor's house. " Yes, and where please might that be? To cut a long story short - we had to fight our way through a massive fleamarket selling children's toys and clothes occupying the town center to finally arrive at about five or six stalls selling strawberries, more stalls selling wine and - worst of all - stalls of chefs trying to selling interesting concoctions involving strawberries.
Bulgur, red cabbage, strawberries and shredded radishes
The above being one of the at least aesthetically pleasing offers (don't get me started on a turkey goulash with strawberries...) all we did was buy our strawberries at this adorable young vendor's stall
had a coffee and a strawberry tart at the next café and admired this display by the one and only boutique that had tried to add to the strawberry theme:
So whoever is in charge of this festival: how about deciding what you really want - a big fleamarket or a celebration of your most famous fruit?
Worth a real festival: The famous Carpentras strawberry