Premier And Grand Crus – Are They A Guarantee Of Great Champagne?

grand cru

They both sound pretty swanky, don’t they? If you see the words, Grand Cru or Premier Cru on a bottle of Champagne, I’m sure that like most of us, you automatically see this as an indication of a superior quality wine. However, all is not what it may seem because these terms have not been a part of official Champagne language for just over four years. Long before Champagne became synonymous with sparkling white wine, the region was already very […]

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Multicultural France

Multicultural France

Immigrants account for just over 8% of France’s population, with Paris being home to around 40% of its 4.9 foreign-born citizens. The City of Light is also home to 60% of all sub-Saharan Africans living in the country. By nationality, the number of foreigners living in France are: 1.5 million Maghreban (Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian) 1.2 million Latin (Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese) 1.2 million other nationalities 570,000 sub-Saharan African Around 270 million people worldwide speak French in one form or another, […]

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Out Of This World!

Chateauneuf du Pape UFO

Ever protective of their terroir, in October 1954, a municipal decree was passed, forbidding UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) from landing on, taking off from, or flying over any of the vineyards in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The decree also stated that should any extra-terrestrials disobey this law, their spacecraft would immediately be impounded. As crazy as the above law may sound, in 1954, France was in the grip of UFO-fever, with hundreds of reported sightings of UFOs, mostly of the ‘flying cigar’ variety […]

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The World’s First Paddle Steamers

Denis Papin

Although Denis Papin (from Chitenay in the Centre region) developed and built a prototype steam-powered paddle boat in 1704, it wasn’t until June 1776 that the world’s first paddle steamer proper – the Palmipède*, created by Claude-François-Dorothée, marquis de Jouffroy d’Abbans – was actually launched, and sailed upon the river Doubs. Papin’s engine was based on his 1679 steam digester, the forerunner of the modern autoclave and pressure cooker. ~~~ *Palmipède is a term used to refer to birds with webbed […]

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France’s Giant Marionettes

royal de luxe

Back in 1979, actor, Jean-Luc Courcoult had an idea which would eventually turn some of the world’s major cities into a stage for his astonishing creations. These days, his company, Royal de Luxe, is internationally-renowned for its giant marionettes and street performances which have, quite literally, become a huge hit with audiences far and wide. More than three decades ago, Courcoult’s trio decided that instead of their audience coming to watch their performances in Aix-en-Provence, they’d take the shows to […]

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Blanquette de Limoux

Blanquette de Limoux

For more than a hundred years before Dom Pérignon’s apocryphal serendipitous Champagne incident, Languedoc-Roussillon had been producing its own sparkling wine, Blanquette de Limoux. Although the vineyards just south of Carcassonne date back to around the 5th century BC, it was not until 1531 that the region began to produce its sparkling white wine from Mauzac grapes (which are known locally as Blanquette, hence the name). Or rather, 1531 is the earliest recorded mention of the sparkling wine – it’s […]

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Post-Revolution Government of France

liberte-egalite-fraternite

Since 1792, there have been ten changes in the way France has governed itself: First republic: September 1792-May 1804 First French empire: Napoléon I: May 1804-April 1814 Napoléon I: June 1815-July 1815 Constitutional monarchy: Louis XVIII: April 1814-March 1815 Constitutional monarchy: Louis XVIII: July 1815-September 1824 Charles X: September 1824-August 1830 Louis-Philippe I: August 1830-February 1848 Second republic: February 1848- December 1852 Second French empire: Napoléon III: December 1852-September 1870 Third republic: September 1870-June 1940 Provisional Government of the French […]

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Marché de Rungis

marché de Rungis

To the south of Paris, near Orly airport, is the international market of Rungis – the largest wholesale fresh food and flower market in the world. 40% of fresh produce consumed in France goes through Rungis, as well as 30% of fish and seafood, 20% of meat, and 10% of all dairy products, mainly cheese. 35% of France’s restaurants are supplied by Rungis, as are 80% of its shops. Covering 573 acres, Rungis, which opened in 1962, employs 13,000 people, […]

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The French Declaration of Rights

declaration of man and citizen

The first universal declaration of human rights on the planet is the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen; however, these rights do not solely apply to French men and women, rather, they extend to all people across the world.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year In Paris

chinese new year in paris

There can be few festivals that are as lavish and spectacular as those celebrating Chinese New Year; all around the world, Chinese dragons take to the streets, and fireworks abound in magnificent displays. Paris is no different, and this week sees many celebrations to welcome in the year of the goat (yang). Throughout several Parisian districts, people will be hanging up their lanterns, dancing with dragons and lions, and lighting firecrackers – if you’re in the City of Light this […]

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