I hadn't been in years and was unprepared for how much it has grown. Since I was there last it seems its tripled or more in size. And, that means it takes forever to go from one to another pavilion.
My faulty memory tells me that there was a big pavilion for animals and another for food, but now the animals seem scattered all over and the regional food alone occupies two immense floors of Building #7.
I was really there, not to pat the cows like M. Chirac, but to sample some of a friend's food dishes at the Cheeses of the Auvergne stand. And they were terrific, both plain cut cheese and a "Crème de Saint-Nectaire fermier, royales à la fourme d’Ambert" with a sprig of Chinese seaweed she'd brought back from China.
Of course, once there and since the Agriculture Minister had yet shown up, I cruised around a bit sampling cheese and sausage and smelling the offerings at the restaurants and stands on the periphery. A wonderful pre-lunch set of appetizers. Go next year if not this weekend.