Butter is a dairy product with high butterfat content, solid when chilled and at room temperature in some regions, liquid when warmed. It is made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk to separate the butterfat from the buttermilk, it is used as a spread on plain or toasted bread products and a condiment on cooked vegetables, as well as in cooking, such as baking, sauce making, pan frying. Butter consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water, added salt. Most made from cow's milk, butter can be manufactured from the milk of other mammals, including sheep, goats and yaks. Salt and preservatives are sometimes added to butter. Rendering butter, removing the water and milk solids, produces clarified butter or ghee, entirely butterfat. Butter is a water-in-oil emulsion resulting from an inversion of the cream, where the milk proteins are the emulsifiers. Butter remains a firm solid when refrigerated, but softens to a spreadable consistency at room temperature, melts to a thin liquid consistency at 32 to 35 °C.
The density of butter is 911 grams per Litre. It has a pale yellow color, but varies from deep yellow to nearly white, its natural, unmodified color is dependent on the source animal's feed and genetics, but the commercial manufacturing process manipulates the color with food colorings like annatto or carotene. The word butter derives from the Latin butyrum, the latinisation of the Greek βούτυρον; this may be a compound of βοῦς, "ox, cow" + τυρός, "cheese", "cow-cheese". The word turos is attested in Mycenaean Greek; the unlatinized form is found in the name butyric acid, a compound found in rancid butter and dairy products such as Parmesan cheese. In general use, the term "butter" refers to the spread dairy product when unqualified by other descriptors; the word is used to describe puréed vegetable or seed and nut products such as peanut butter and almond butter. It is applied to spread fruit products such as apple butter. Fats such as cocoa butter and shea butter that remain solid at room temperature are known as "butters".
Non-dairy items that have a dairy-butter consistency may use "butter" to call that consistency to mind, including food items such as maple butter and witch's butter and nonfood items such as baby bottom butter, hyena butter, rock butter. Unhomogenized milk and cream contain butterfat in microscopic globules; these globules are surrounded by membranes made of phospholipids and proteins, which prevent the fat in milk from pooling together into a single mass. Butter is produced by agitating cream, which damages these membranes and allows the milk fats to conjoin, separating from the other parts of the cream. Variations in the production method will create butters with different consistencies due to the butterfat composition in the finished product. Butter contains fat in three separate forms: free butterfat, butterfat crystals, undamaged fat globules. In the finished product, different proportions of these forms result in different consistencies within the butter. Churning produces small butter grains floating in the water-based portion of the cream.
This watery liquid is called buttermilk—although the buttermilk most common today is instead a directly fermented skimmed milk. The buttermilk is drained off; the grains are "worked": pressed and kneaded together. When prepared manually, this is done using wooden boards called scotch hands; this consolidates the butter into a solid mass and breaks up embedded pockets of buttermilk or water into tiny droplets. Commercial butter is about 15 % water. Butterfat is a mixture of triglyceride, a triester derived from glycerol and three of any of several fatty acid groups. Butter becomes rancid when these chains break down into smaller components, like butyric acid and diacetyl; the density of butter is about the same as ice. In some countries, butter is given a grade before commercial distribution. Before modern factory butter making, cream was collected from several milkings and was therefore several days old and somewhat fermented by the time it was made into butter. Butter made from a fermented cream is known as cultured butter.
During fermentation, the cream sours as bacteria convert milk sugars into lactic acid. The fermentation process produces additional aroma compounds, including diacetyl, which makes for a fuller-flavored and more "buttery" tasting product. Today, cultured butter is made from pasteurized cream whose fermentation is produced by the introduction of Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria. Another method for producing cultured butter, developed in the early 1970s, is to produce butter from fresh cream and incorporate bacterial cultures and lactic acid. Using this method, the cultured butter flavor grows. For manufacturers, this method is more efficient, since aging the cream used to make butter takes more space than storing the finished butter product. A method to make an artificial simulation of cultured butter is to add lactic acid and flavor compounds directly to the fresh-cream butter. Dairy products are pasteurized during production to kill pathogenic bacteria and other
Cognac is a variety of brandy named after the town of Cognac, France. It is produced in the surrounding wine-growing region in the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime. Cognac production falls under French appellation d'origine contrôlée designation, with production methods and naming required to meet certain legal requirements. Among the specified grapes, Ugni blanc, known locally as Saint-Emilion, is most used; the brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wines barrel age, most cognacs spend longer "on the wood" than the minimum legal requirement. Cognac is a type of brandy, after the distillation and during the aging process, is called eau de vie, it is produced by twice distilling white wines produced in any of the designated growing regions. The white wine used in making cognac is dry and thin. Though it has been characterized as "virtually undrinkable", it is excellent for distillation and aging.
It may be made only from a strict list of grape varieties. For it to be considered a true cru, the wine must be at least 90% Ugni blanc, Folle blanche and Colombard, while up to 10% of the grapes used can be Folignan, Jurançon blanc, Meslier St-François, Sélect, Montils, or Sémillon. Cognacs which are not to carry the name of a cru are freer in the allowed grape varieties, needing at least 90% Colombard, Folle blanche, Jurançon blanc, Meslier Saint-François, Montils, Sémillon, or Ugni blanc, up to 10% Folignan or Sélect. After the grapes are pressed, the juice is left to ferment for 2-3 weeks, with the region's native, wild yeasts converting the sugar into alcohol. At this point, the resulting wine is about 7 to 8% alcohol. Distillation takes place in traditionally shaped Charentais copper alembic stills, the design and dimensions of which are legally controlled. Two distillations must be carried out. Once distillation is complete, it must be aged in Limousin oak casks for at least two years before it can be sold to the public.
It is put into casks at an alcohol by volume strength around 70%. As the cognac interacts with the oak barrel and the air, it evaporates at the rate of about 3% each year losing both alcohol and water; this phenomenon is called locally la part des anges, or "the angels' share". Because the alcohol dissipates faster than the water, the alcohol concentration drops to about 40% over time; the cognac is transferred to large glass carboys called bonbonnes stored for future blending. Since oak barrels stop contributing to flavor after four or five decades, longer aging periods may not be beneficial; the age of the cognac is calculated as that of the youngest component used in the blend. The blend is of different ages and from different local areas; this blending, or marriage, of different eaux de vie is important to obtain a complexity of flavours absent from an eau de vie from a single distillery or vineyard. Each cognac house has a master taster, responsible for blending the spirits, so that cognac produced by a company will have a consistent house style and quality.
In this respect, it is similar to the process of blending whisky or non-vintage Champagne to achieve a consistent brand flavor. A small number of producers, such as Guillon Painturaud and Moyet, do not blend their final product from different ages of eaux de vie, so produce a "purer" flavour. Hundreds of vineyards in the Cognac AOC region sell their own cognac; these are blended from the eaux de vie of different years, but they are single-vineyard cognacs, varying from year to year and according to the taste of the producer, hence lacking some of the predictability of the better-known commercial products. Depending on their success in marketing, small producers may sell a larger or smaller proportion of their product to individual buyers, wine dealers and restaurants, the remainder being acquired by larger cognac houses for blending; the success of artisanal cognacs has encouraged some larger industrial-scale producers to produce single-vineyard cognacs. According to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac, the official quality grades of cognac are: V.
S. or ✯✯✯ designates a blend in which the youngest brandy has been stored for at least two years in cask. V. S. O. P. or Reserve designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least four years in a cask. XO or Napoléon designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least six years; the minimum storage age of the youngest brandy used in an XO blend has been increased to 10 years in April 2018. The Napoleon designation unofficial, will be used to denote those blends with a minimum age of six years that do not meet the revised XO definition. Hors d'âge is a designation which BNIC states is equal to XO, but in practice the term is used by producers to market a high-quality product beyond the official age scale; the names of the grades are in English because the historical cognac trade in the 18th century involved the British. Cognac is classified by crus defined geographic denominations where the grapes are grown
Deux-Sèvres is a French department. Deux-Sèvres means "two Sèvres": the Sèvre Nantaise and the Sèvre Niortaise are two rivers which have their sources in the department. Deux-Sèvres was one of the 83 original départements created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. Departmental borders were changed in 1973 when the inhabitants of the little commune of Puy-Saint-Bonnet became formally associated with the growing adjacent commune of Cholet. Cholet is in the neighbouring department of Maine-et-Loire. In order to avoid the associated communes being administered in separate departments, Puy-Saint-Bonnet was transferred into Maine-et-Loire; the climate is mild, the annual temperature averaging 11 degrees Celsius. The département remains rural: three-quarters of the area consists of arable land. Wheat and oats are the main products grown, as well as potatoes and walnuts. Niort is the center for angelica; some beetroot is grown in the district of Melle. Vineyards are numerous in the north, there are some in the south.
The département is well known for the breeding of cattle and horses. The Parthenais breed of cattle is named after the town of Parthenay in the north of the département. Dairy products are produced in significant quantities; some quarries are in operation, as well as lime extraction operations. Textiles, leather-tanning, flour milling were the traditional industries of Niort, the capital and major city. Nowadays, with 60,000 inhabitants, is an important commercial and administrative center. In particular it is one of the main financial centers in France. Niort is the national headquarters of some of the major insurance companies in France and regional headquarters of others such as Groupama; the regional headquarters of several national banks, including Banque Populaire and Crédit Agricole, are located there. The services sector is heavily represented in Niort, in consulting, accounting and software. Chemistry and aeronautics are the main industries. Textiles and shoe making, mechanics, chemistry, food industry and food packaging are the major industries outside of the capital.
The unemployment rate in the département is low in the north-west, where many small and medium companies are developing rapidly. The south-west of the département attracts tourists with the Marais Poitevin natural area. Niort in the south of the département is connected to Paris and Bordeaux by the A10 motorway, with Nantes by the A83, with La Rochelle and Poitiers by the N11. Another important road in the north of the département is the Route nationale 149, which runs east–west from Mortagne-sur-Sèvre to Poitiers, passing through Bressuire and Parthenay; the RN149 forms part of the European route E62 from Nantes to Genoa. In Autumn 2008, the Route nationale 249 running from Nantes to Cholet, was extended, continuing towards Bressuire and on to Poitiers; this will become part of the E62 and bypass the current RN149. The north and south of the département are connected by minor roads, with the D743 and D748 linking Niort to Parthenay and Bressuire whilst the D938 connects to Thouars; the département has two railway stations on the TGV route between Paris and La Rochelle, with a journey from Niort to Paris taking 2h15.
It is served by several TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine regional railway routes, including a route from Poitiers via Niort to La Rochelle, a route from Niort to Saintes, a route from Tours to Thouars and Bressuire. A railway bus service operated as part of the TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine network follows the RN149 from Poitiers to Nantes, calling at Parthenay and Bressuire. Additionally the département provides the Réseau des Deux-Sèvres, an inter-urban bus service that connects the towns and villages of the département. There are no airports with scheduled airline service within the département, although Niort-Souche Airport is used for private movements; the nearest commercial airports are at La Rochelle and Nantes. Famous births in the département: Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon, second wife of Louis XIV Jacques de Liniers Louis-Marcelin, marquis de Fontanes and politician Henri-Georges Clouzot, film director Laurent Cantet, Palme d'Or at the Festival de Cannes 2008, for the movie Entre les murs Catherine Breillat, film maker and novelist Jean-Hugues Anglade, actor René Caillié explorer, the first European to return alive from the town of TimbuktuFamous people related to the département: Jean-Baptiste Baujault, French sculptor Ségolène Royal, former candidate for the 2007 French presidential election, former representative of the department at the National Assembly, former President of the Poitou-Charentes region and Minister of Ecology since 2014.
Anjou wine Arrondissements of the Deux-Sèvres department Cantons of the Deux-Sèvres department Communes of the Deux-Sèvres department Prefectures website
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Roquefort is a sheep milk cheese from the south of France, together with Bleu d'Auvergne, Danablu and Gorgonzola is one of the world's best known blue cheeses. Though similar cheeses are produced elsewhere, EU law dictates that only those cheeses aged in the natural Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon may bear the name Roquefort, as it is a recognised geographical indication, or has a protected designation of origin; the cheese is white, tangy and moist, with distinctive veins of blue mold. It has characteristic flavor with a notable taste of butyric acid, it has no rind. A typical wheel of Roquefort weighs between 2.5 and 3 kg, is about 10 cm thick. Each kilogram of finished cheese requires about 4.5 liters of milk to produce. Roquefort is known in France as the king of cheeses. Legend has it that the cheese was discovered when a youth, eating his lunch of bread and ewes' milk cheese, saw a beautiful girl in the distance. Abandoning his meal in a nearby cave, he ran to meet her; when he returned a few months the mold had transformed his plain cheese into Roquefort.
Though it is claimed that Roquefort was praised by Pliny the Elder in AD 79, in fact, Pliny speaks of a cheese from Gaul, not mentioning its origin or saying that it was blue. On 4 June 1411, Charles VI granted a monopoly for the ripening of the cheese to the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon as they had been doing for centuries. In 1925, the cheese was the recipient of France's first Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée when regulations controlling its production and naming were first defined. In 1961, in a landmark ruling that removed imitation, the Tribunal de Grande Instance at Millau decreed that, although the method for the manufacture of the cheese could be followed across the south of France, only those cheeses whose ripening occurred in the natural caves of Mont Combalou in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon were permitted to bear the name Roquefort; the mold that gives Roquefort its distinctive character is found in the soil of the local caves. Traditionally, the cheesemakers extracted it by leaving bread in the caves for six to eight weeks until it was consumed by the mold.
The interior of the bread was dried to produce a powder. In modern times, the mold can be grown in a laboratory; the mold may either be added to the curd or introduced as an aerosol through holes poked in the rind. Roquefort is made from the milk of the Lacaune breed of sheep. Prior to the AOC regulations of 1925, a small amount of cow’s or goat’s milk was sometimes added. Around 4.5 L of milk is required to make one kilogram of Roquefort. The cheese is produced throughout the département of Aveyron and part of the nearby départements of Aude, Lozère, Gard, Hérault and Tarn; as of 2009, there are seven Roquefort producers. The largest by far is Roquefort Société made by the Société des Caves de Roquefort, which holds several caves and opens its facilities to tourists, accounts for around 60% of all production. Roquefort Papillon is a well-known brand; the five other producers, each holding only one cave, are Carles, Gabriel Coulet, Fromageries occitanes, Vernières and Le Vieux Berger. Around three million cheeses were made in 2005 making it, after Comté, France's second most popular cheese.
Production of Roquefort cheese entails "4,500 people who herd special ewes on 2,100 farms producing milk... in a defined oval grazing area across the Larzac Plain and up and down nearby hills and valleys." Total production in 2008 of about 19,000 tons was reported. The proportion of Roquefort exported to the United States remained small, only 450 tons out of 3,700 in total exports. Spain, with purchases of 1,000 tons, was by far the largest foreign customer. In early 2009, Susan Schwab, the then-outgoing US Trade Representative, announced a 300% tariff on the cheese the highest level by far of any in the package of tariffs placed on dozens of European luxury goods in response to a European ban on hormone-treated US beef; the tariff was suspended several months as the US and EU settled the dispute. The regional cuisine in and around Aveyron includes many Roquefort-based recipes for main-course meat sauces, savory tarts and quiches and fillings. Before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, it was common in country districts for shepherds to apply this cheese to wounds to avoid gangrene.
The Appellation d'origine contrôlée regulations that govern the production of Roquefort have been laid down over a number of decrees by the INAO. These include: All milk used must be delivered at least 20 days after lambing has taken place; the sheep must be on pasture, whenever possible, in an area including most of Aveyron and parts of neighboring départements. At least 3⁄4 of any grain or fodder fed must come from the area; the milk must be whole, raw (not heated above 34 °C, unfiltered except to remove macroscopic particles. The addition of rennet must occur within 48 hours of milking; the Penicillium roqueforti used in the production must be produced in France from the natural caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. The salting process must be performed using dry salt; the whole process of maturation, cutting and refrigeration of the cheese must take place in the commune of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Roquefort has a high content of 1280 mg per 100 g of cheese. According to a 2012 study, Roquefort contains anti-inflammatory compounds.
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Martinique is an insular region of France located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres and a population of 376,480 inhabitants as of January 2016. Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, southeast of Greater Antilles, northwest of Barbados, south of Dominica; as with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the eighteen regions of France and an integral part of the French Republic. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, its currency is the euro; the official language is French, the entire population speaks Antillean Creole. Christopher Columbus landed on 15 June 1502, after a 21-day trade wind passage, his fastest ocean voyage, he spent three days there refilling his water casks and washing laundry. The island was called "Jouanacaëra-Matinino", which came from a mythical island described by the Taínos of Hispaniola.
According to historian Sydney Daney, the island was called "Jouanacaëra" by the Caribs, which means "the island of iguanas". When Columbus landed on the island in 1502, he christened the island as Martinica; the island is called "Madinina" by the locals. The island was occupied first by Arawaks by Caribs; the Carib people had migrated from the mainland to the islands about 1201 CE, according to carbon dating of artifacts. They were displaced and assimilated by the Taino, who were resident on the island in the 1490s. Martinique was charted by Columbus in 1493. On 15 September 1635, Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc, French governor of the island of St. Kitts, landed in the harbor of St. Pierre with 150 French settlers after being driven off St. Kitts by the English. D'Esnambuc claimed Martinique for the French King Louis XIII and the French "Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique", established the first European settlement at Fort Saint-Pierre. D'Esnambuc died in 1636, leaving the company and Martinique in the hands of his nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, who in 1637, became governor of the island.
In 1636, the indigenous Caribs rose against the settlers to drive them off the island in the first of many skirmishes. The French repelled the natives and forced them to retreat to the eastern part of the island, on the Caravelle Peninsula in the region known as the Capesterre; when the Carib revolted against French rule in 1658, the Governor Charles Houël du Petit Pré retaliated with war against them. Many were killed; some Carib had fled to St. Vincent, where the French agreed to leave them at peace; because there were few Catholic priests in the French Antilles, many of the earliest French settlers were Huguenots who sought greater religious freedom than what they could experience in mainland France. They became quite prosperous. Although edicts from King Louis XIV's court came to the islands to suppress the Protestant "heretics", these were ignored by island authorities until Louis XIV's Edict of Revocation in 1685. From September 1686 to early 1688, the French crown used Martinique as a threat and a dumping ground for mainland Huguenots who refused to reconvert to Catholicism.
Over 1,000 Huguenots were transported to Martinique during this period under miserable and crowded ship conditions that caused many of them to die en route. Those that survived the trip were distributed to the island planters as Engagés under the system of serf peonage that prevailed in the French Antilles at the time; as many of the planters on Martinique were themselves Huguenot, who were sharing in the suffering under the harsh strictures of the Revocation, they began plotting to emigrate from Martinique with many of their arrived brethren. Many of them were encouraged by their Catholic brethren who looked forward to the departure of the heretics and seizing their property for themselves. By 1688, nearly all of Martinique's French Protestant population had escaped to the British American colonies or Protestant countries back home; the policy decimated the population of Martinique and the rest of the French Antilles and set back their colonization by decades, causing the French king to relax his policies in the islands yet leaving the islands susceptible to British occupation over the next century.
Under Governor of the Antilles Charles de Courbon, comte de Blénac, Martinique served as a home port for French pirates including Captain Crapeau, Etienne de Montauban, Mathurin Desmarestz. In years pirate Bartholomew Roberts styled his jolly roger as a black flag depicting a pirate standing on two skulls labeled "ABH" and "AMH" for "A Barbadian's Head" and "A Martinican's Head", after Governors of those two islands sent warships to capture Roberts. Martinique was occupied several times by the British including once during the Seven Years' War and twice during the Napoleonic Wars. Excepting a period from 1802–1809 following signing of the Treaty of Amiens, Britain controlled the island for most of the time from 1794–1815, when it was traded back to France at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars. Martinique has remained a French possession since then; as sugar prices declined in the early 1800s, the planter class lost political influence. In 1848, Victor Schoelcher persuaded the French government to end slavery in the French W
Le Puy-en-Velay is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France near the Loire river. Its inhabitants are called Ponots; the city is famous for its cathedral, for a kind of lentil, for its lace-making. Le Puy-en-Velay was a major bishopric in medieval France, founded early, its early history is legendary. According to a martyrology compiled by Ado of Vienne, published in many copies in 858, supplemented in the mid-10th century by Gauzbert of Limoges, a priest named George accompanied a certain Front, the first Bishop of Périgueux, when they were sent to proselytize in Gaul. Front was added to the list of the apostles to Gaul, who in tradition are described as being sent out to reorganize Christians after the persecutions that are associated with Decius, circa 250; as with others of the group, notably Saint Martial of Limoges mythology pushed the activities of Saint Front and the priest George back in time. It tells; the expanding legend of this St. George, according to the Church historian Duchesne is not earlier than the 11th century makes that saint one of the Seventy Apostles of the Gospel of Luke.
It tells that he founded the church of the que dicitur Vetula in pago Vellavorum, the city "called Vetula in the pays of the Vellavi" was how a document of 1004 termed it. This was. Vetula means "the old woman", pagans were still making small images of her as late as the 6th century in Flanders, according to the vita of Saint Eligius; this was the first cathedral at Le Puy. Following St. George the founder medieval local traditions evoke a legendary list of bishops at this chief town of the pays of Le Velay: Macarius, Roricius, Eusebius and Vosy, all of them canonized by local veneration; the Gaulish settlement of Ruessium/Vellavorum was given its Christianizing name, Saint-Paulien, from Bishop Paulianus. A bishop Evodius attended the Council of Valence in 374. In the early 1180s peasants of Le Puy, led by a carpenter named Durandus, formed a conspiratio called the Capucciati, they challenged seigneurial dominance in a short-lived attempt at reformation. The Christianization legends of Mons Anicius relate that at the request of Bishop Martial of Limoges, Bishop Evodius/Vosy ordered an altar to the Virgin Mary to be erected on the pinnacle that surmounts Mont Anis.
Some such beginning of the shrine Christianized the pagan site. This marked one starting-point for the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela, a walk of some 1600 km, as it still does today; the old town of Le Puy developed around the base of the cathedral. Pilgrims came early to Le Puy, this was the most popular destination in France during the Middle Ages. Charlemagne came twice, in 772 and 800. There is a legend that in 772, he established a foundation at the cathedral for ten poor canons, he chose Le Puy, with Aachen and Saint-Gilles, as a center for the collection of Peter's Pence. Charles the Bald visited Le Puy in 877, count of Paris in 892, Robert II in 1029, Philip Augustus in 1183. Louis IX met James I of Aragon there in 1245, in 1254, when passing through Le Puy on his return from the Holy Land, he gave the cathedral an ebony image of the Blessed Virgin clothed in gold brocade, she is one of the many dozens of venerable "Black Virgins" of France. It was destroyed during the Revolution, but replaced at the Restoration with a copy that continues to be venerated.
After him, Le Puy was visited by Philip the Bold in 1282, by Philip the Fair in 1285, by Charles VI in 1394, by Charles VII in 1420, by Isabelle Romée, the mother of Joan of Arc, in 1429. Louis XI made the pilgrimage in 1436 and 1475, in 1476 halted three leagues from the city and walked barefoot to the cathedral. Charles VIII visited it in 1495, Francis I in 1533; the legendary early shrine on the summit of Mons Anicius, which drew so many, would seem to predate the founding of an early church of Our Lady of Le Puy at Anicium. It was attributed to Bishop Vosy. Crowning the hill was a megalithic dolmen. A local tradition rededicated the curative virtue of the sacred site to Mary, who cured ailments when a person touched the standing stone; when the founding bishop Vosy climbed the hill, he found. The Bishop was apprised in a vision that the angels themselves had dedicated the future cathedral to the Blessed Virgin, whence the epithet "Angelic" given to the cathedral of Le Puy; the great dolmen was left standing in the center of the Christian sanctuary, constructed around it.
By the 8th century, the stone, popularly known as the "stone of visions", was taken down and broken up. Its pieces were incorporated into the floor of a particular section of the church that came to be called the Chambre Angélique, or the "angels' chamber." It is impossible to say whether this St. Evodius is the same person who signed the decrees of the Council of Valence in 374. Neither can it be affirmed that St. Benignus, who in the 7th century founded a hospital at the gates of the basilica, St. Agrevius, the 7th-century martyr from whom the town of Saint-Agrève Chiniacum took its name, were bishops. Duchesne thinks that the chronology of these early bishops rests on littl