While we were in France at Easter we had a day out in Saumur. Some friends had discovered an accordion shop by the river when they had visited there last summer so Benammi was eager to check it out. On the way there we chose the slow road as opposed to the motorway calling to photograph some of the crooked church spires on the way (of which there are many in that area) http://www.clocherstors.com We had a picnic lunch in the sunshine and visited the accordion shop where Benammi had the chance to play a Maugein melodeon which are handmade in the nearby department of Corrèze
On leaving Saumur we set off on another road towards home. After about five minutes I could smell a toasted nut smell. As we drove along the road it became slowly stronger and richer. We then found its source – La Tourangelle Huilerie (www.latourangelle.fr). We called at the shop and found an amazing array of oils along with the traditional oil extraction machinery on display. The source of the smell turned out to be walnuts that were being processed in the small factory area to the rear of the shop. This could be viewed through windows at the back of the shop, the extraction involves the walnuts being warmed and slightly toasted before they are pressed. After tasting some of the wonderfully coloured oils I chose walnut, grape and pumpkin seed. The oils are for culinary use but it was an unexpected delight to follow the smell, see oil being pressed and look at the traditional machinery used in the process.