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A Day in Napa - Copia Report

Morton the Mousse | Oct 18, 2005 05:33 PM

Here’s the dilemma: we planned a day of food in Napa to celebrate Mrs. Mousse’s birthday. We had lunch and dinner planned out, but we needed to fill the rest of the day. The problem is, we don’t drink wine. It’s not a moral or taste thing, it’s just that we’re afraid that if we start drinking wine we’ll love it and it will start to cut into our dining out budget. So a day in Napa without wine led us to Copia. After reading multiple negative reviews about Copia I was shocked by how much we enjoyed it. I was engaged, entertained, and I learned a bit.

They were having some enormous wine event that we opted not to attend so our ticket prices were cut down to $15 for the pair, a nice start. The main exhibit was a sometimes cheesy, sometimes interesting multimedia presentation on the history of food. I’m fascinated with this subject, particularly the history of crops. I felt that the displays could have been more in depth, but they still engaged me for a couple of hours. I particularly enjoyed an interactive machine that tested your sense of smell and an exhibit documenting the travels of food crops. My favorite quote, “Chop Suey was many American people’s introduction to Chinese food and many Chinese people’s introduction to American food.”

I loved the edible gardens. I love gardens, I love food, put them together and I’m happy. We spent a couple of hours walking around the gardens, examining the fruit trees, smelling the herbs. The weather was perfect.

The art exhibit was a bit boring for me – sculptured variations on the wine barrel.

The gift shop was great, and I’m a person who hates shopping and usually avoids the gift shop. But this place had an enormous collection of cook books. We spent about a half an hour going through an open copy of The French Laundry cookbook, drooling over the pictures.

All in all, it was a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon and although I felt the exhibits could have been more in depth, I was surprised by how quickly the time passed. Obviously, a wine drinker could probably find a better way to spend the day. But for a couple of foodies up in Napa for food and food alone, Copia was an ideal afternoon jaunt.

Link: http://www.copia.org

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