Comté is a French cheese made from unpasteurized cow's milk in the Franche-Comté traditional province of eastern France. Comté has the highest production of all French AOC cheeses, at around 64,000 tonnes annually; the cheese is made in discs, each between 40 cm and 70 cm in diameter, around 10 cm in height. Each disc weighs up to 50 kg with an FDM around 45%; the rind is a dusty-brown colour, the internal paste, pâte, is a pale creamy yellow. The texture is hard and flexible, the taste is mild and sweet. Fresh from the farm, milk is poured into large copper vats where it is warmed; each cheese requires up to 600 litres of milk. Rennet is added; the curds are cut into tiny white grains that are the size of rice or wheat which are stirred before being heated again for around 30 minutes. The contents are placed into moulds and the whey is pressed out. After several hours the mould is opened and left to mature in cellars, first for a few weeks at the dairy, over several months elsewhere; the manufacture of Comté has been controlled by AOC regulations since it became one of the first cheeses to receive AOC recognition in 1958, with full regulations introduced in 1976.
The AOC regulations for Comté prescribe: Only milk from Montbéliarde or French Simmental cows is permitted. There must be no more than 1.3 cows per hectare of pasture. Fertilization of pasture is limited, cows may only be fed fresh, natural feed, with no silage; the milk must be transported to the site of production after milking. Renneting must be carried out within a stipulated time after milking, according to the storage temperature of the milk; the milk must be used raw. Only one heating of the milk may occur, that must be during renneting; the milk may be heated up to 56C / 133F. Salt may only be applied directly to the surface of the cheese. A casein label containing the date of production must be attached to the side of the cheese, maturing must continue for at least four months. No grated cheese could be sold under the Comté name between 1979 and 2007. In 2005 the French Government registered 188 affineurs in France; each cheese is awarded a score out of 20 by inspectors, according to'overall appearance','quality of rind','internal appearance','texture', taste.
Those scoring >15 points, called Comté Extra, are given a green casein label with the recognizable logo of a green bell. Those cheeses scoring 12-14 points are given a brown label and are called Comté. Any cheese scoring 1-2 points for taste, or <12 overall is prohibited from being named Comté and is sold for other purposes. Comté is well known for its distinct terroir; the term "terroir" refers to a particular smell and taste, derived from the immediate local environment and its traditional methods of production. Therefore, no two wheels of Comté taste alike, its terroir has several causative factors including: having been made in 160 village-based fruitières in their specific region, owned by farmers who bring their own milk from their cows. Because of its uniqueness and unfamiliarity, Comté cheeses go through the process of "jury terroir," where panels of trained volunteer tasters from Comté supply chain and from the region discuss and publish bi-monthly in the newsletter Les Nouvelles de Comté about the taste and their results.
This jury terroir was created by Florence Bérodier, the food scientist, to elaborate in response to a set of formidable challenges that Comté cheese underwent in the beginning for its unfamiliar taste and smell. "The jury terroir is there to speak of all the richness in the tastes of a Comté…" – original member confirmed. For Comté cheese to be worldly renowned, the quality improved, but the challenge stand still to create a uniform taste, impossible to achieve since there were 160 different fruitières specializing, but through the process of jury terroir, people came to focus on communication among the tasters, which improved their ability to perceive and gained in value. They acquired a general culture that enabled to exchange about the taste of Comtés. Media related to Comté at Wikimedia Commons
Normandy is one of the 18 regions of France referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy. Normandy is divided into five administrative departments: Calvados, Manche and Seine-Maritime, it covers 30,627 square kilometres, comprising 5% of the territory of metropolitan France. Its population of 3.37 million accounts for around 5% of the population of France. The inhabitants of Normandy are known as Normans, the region is the historic homeland of the Norman language; the historical region of Normandy comprised the present-day region of Normandy, as well as small areas now part of the departments of Mayenne and Sarthe. The Channel Islands are historically part of Normandy. Normandy's name comes from the settlement of the territory by Danish and Norwegian Vikings from the 9th century, confirmed by treaty in the 10th century between King Charles III of France and the Viking jarl Rollo. For a century and a half following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Normandy and England were linked by Norman and Frankish rulers.
Archaeological finds, such as cave paintings, prove that humans were present in the region in prehistoric times. Celts invaded Normandy in successive waves from the 4th to the 3rd century BC; when Julius Caesar invaded Gaul, there were nine different Celtic tribes living in Normandy. The Romanisation of Normandy was achieved by the usual methods: Roman roads and a policy of urbanisation. Classicists have knowledge of many Gallo-Roman villas in Normandy. In the late 3rd century, barbarian raids devastated Normandy. Coastal settlements were raided by Saxon pirates. Christianity began to enter the area during this period. In 406, Germanic tribes began invading from the east; as early as 487, the area between the River Somme and the River Loire came under the control of the Frankish lord Clovis. Vikings started to raid the Seine valley during the middle of the 9th century; as early as 841, a Viking fleet appeared at the mouth of the Seine, the principal route by which they entered the kingdom. After attacking and destroying monasteries, including one at Jumièges, they took advantage of the power vacuum created by the disintegration of Charlemagne's empire to take northern France.
The fiefdom of Normandy was created for Rollo. Rollo had besieged Paris but in 911 entered vassalage to the king of the West Franks, Charles the Simple, through the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for his homage and fealty, Rollo gained the territory which he and his Viking allies had conquered; the name "Normandy" reflects Rollo's Viking origins. To this day, in Norwegian language the word nordmann denotes a Norwegian person; the descendants of Rollo and his followers adopted the local Gallo-Romance language and intermarried with the area's native Gallo-Roman inhabitants. They became the Normans – a Norman-speaking mixture of Norsemen and indigenous Franks and Romans. Rollo's descendant William became king of England in 1066 after defeating Harold Godwinson, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, at the Battle of Hastings, while retaining the fiefdom of Normandy for himself and his descendants. Besides the conquest of England and the subsequent subjugation of Wales and Ireland, the Normans expanded into other areas.
Norman families, such as that of Tancred of Hauteville, Rainulf Drengot and Guimond de Moulins played important parts in the conquest of southern Italy and the Crusades. The Drengot lineage, de Hauteville's sons William Iron Arm and Humphrey, Robert Guiscard and Roger the Great Count progressively claimed territories in southern Italy until founding the Kingdom of Sicily in 1130, they carved out a place for themselves and their descendants in the Crusader states of Asia Minor and the Holy Land. The 14th-century explorer Jean de Béthencourt established a kingdom in the Canary Islands in 1404, he received the title King of the Canary Islands from Pope Innocent VII but recognized Henry III of Castile as his overlord, who had provided him aid during the conquest. In 1204, during the reign of John Lackland, mainland Normandy was taken from England by France under King Philip II. Insular Normandy remained however under English control. In 1259, Henry III of England recognized the legality of French possession of mainland Normandy under the Treaty of Paris.
His successors, however fought to regain control of their ancient fiefdom. The Charte aux Normands granted by Louis X of France in 1315 – like the analogous Magna Carta granted in England in the aftermath of 1204 – guaranteed the liberties and privileges of the province of Normandy. French Normandy was occupied by English forces during the Hundred Years' War in 1345–1360 and again in 1415–1450. Normandy lost three-quarters of its population during the war. Afterward prosperity returned to Normandy until the Wars of Religion; when many Norman towns joined the Protestant Reformation, battles ensued throughout the province. In the Channel Islands, a period of Calvinism following the Reformation was suppressed when Anglicanism was imposed following the English Civil War. Samuel de Champlain founded Acadia. Four years
Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. Its prefecture is Chambéry. In 2016, it had a population of 429,681. Together with Haute-Savoie, Savoie is one of the two departments of the historic region of Savoy. Savoie is known for its contribution to French cuisine with culinary specialities such as fondue savoyarde, génépi, as well as various sorts of saucisson, it is accepted that Savoie takes its name from the Latin Sapaudia or Sabaudia, meaning land covered in fir trees. Savoie was long part of the states of Savoy, it was integrated into the Mont-Blanc department from 1792 to 1815. The province was annexed by France in 1860; the former Duchy of Savoy became the two departments of Haute-Savoie. Moûtiers, capital of the former province of Tarentaise Valley ceased to be the prefecture after a law passed on September 10, 1926. Savoie hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics, based in Albertville with ski events at Tarentaise and Beaufortain; the coat of arms for Savoie was used as a pattern for the flames in the official emblem of the games.
The other main alpine valley is the Maurienne, connected to the Tarentaise valley by two passes, the col de la Madeleine and the highest pass in Europe, the col de l'Iseran. The Maurienne valley was through the col du Mont Cenis, the major commercial route between France and Italy, it is one of the longest intra-alpine valleys in the Alps. Savoie is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes région, it borders the departments of Haute-Savoie, Ain, Isère and Hautes-Alpes in addition to Aosta Valley and Metropolitan City of Turin in Italy. Much of Savoie is covered by mountains: Mont Blanc Massif Belledonne Massif Lauzière massif Aiguilles d'Arves Massif Massif des Cerces Aravis Range Mont Cenis Massif Bauges Massif Chartreuse Massif Vanoise Massif Beaufortain MassifThe department is crossed by the Isère river, which has its source in the Iseran pass, its two main lakes are Lac du Bourget and Lac d'Aiguebelette, one of the least polluted in France due to a 1976 law forbidding any use of motorboats on the lake.
According to the Chambéry chamber of commerce, close to 50% of the department's wealth comes from tourism. Each year, Savoie hosts over 30 million visitor-nights of tourists. Savoie profits from its natural resources with particular strengths in ore processing and hydroelectric power. Savoie had an exceptionally high export/import ratio of 214% in 2005, its exports rose to € 1.768 € 825 million in imports. Its leading exports were steel and electric and electronic components. Savoie is famous for its cows, which produce numerous cheeses, some of them are: Beaufort Savoie Gruyère Reblochon Tamié Tome des Bauges Tomme de SavoieNumerous wine grapes are grown in Savoie; the most famous wines are made of Pinot noir and Mondeuse grapes. Fruit production is the third largest component of agriculture in Savoie. Apples and pears are produced in the region and are well known for their qualities. Residents of Savoie are known as Savoyards, though they can be called Savoisiens or Savoyens. Main cities: Chambéry: pop.
56,835 Aix-les-Bains: pop. 27,095 Albertville: pop. 18,906 Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne: pop. 8,507 The "average" population density is not a good indicator: the valleys tend to be much more densely populated, whereas the mountains tend to be near-completely uninhabited. The Catholic Church in Savoie is divided into three dioceses: Chambéry, Tarentaise. Together, they form an archdiocese. Tourism, quite important to Savoie, began to develop towards the end of the 19th century summer oriented; the increase in the popularity of skiing in the 20th century made Savoie home to the largest number of ski hills in France, including many famous ones: Val-d'Isère Tignes Les Arcs La Plagne Courchevel Méribel Valmorel Les Menuires Val Thorens Les Saisies Savoie Grand Revard Bramans Bessans ValloireHydrotherapy, practised in the region since antiquity, is quite developed. There are four locations that are still active: Aix-les-Bains Challes-les-Eaux Brides-les-Bains La Léchère Savoy - Historical region House of Savoy - Ruling dynasty of Savoy from 1032 to 1860 Duchy of Savoy - Rulers of Savoy region from 1416 to 1720 Kingdom of Sardinia - 1720 to 1860.
French language Franco-Provençal language Communes of the Savoie department Arrondissements of the Savoie department Cantons of the Savoie department Chambéry - Capital Aix-les-Bains Lac du Bourget The largest lake in France. French wine - AOC wine of Savoie Savoy wine or Wine of Savoie Allobrogie General Council website Prefecture website Regional Tourism Agency Gallery Photos and pictures of Savoie Photos of Savoie mountains
Île-de-France called the région parisienne, contains the city of Paris, is the most populous of the 18 regions of France. It covers 12,012 square kilometres, or two percent of the national territory, has official estimated population of 12,213,364 as of January 1, 2019, or 18.2% of the population of France. The region accounts for nearly 30 percent of the French Gross Domestic Product; the region is made up of eight administrative departments: Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise and Yvelines. It was created as the "District of the Paris Region" in 1961 renamed in 1976 after the historic province of Île-de-France, when its status was aligned with the other French administrative regions created in 1972. Residents are sometimes referred to an administrative word created in the 1980s; the GDP of the region in 2016 was €681 billion. It has the highest per-capita GDP among regions in France and the third-highest of regions in the European Union. In 2018 all of the twenty-eight French companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 had their headquarters in the Paris region.
Besides the landmarks of Paris, the region has many important historic sites, including the Palace of Versailles and the Palace of Fontainebleau, as well as the most-visited tourist attraction in France, Disneyland Paris. Although the modern name Île-de-France means "Island of France", the etymology is in fact unclear; the "island" may refer to the land between the rivers Oise and Seine, or it may have been a reference to the Île de la Cité, where the French royal palace and cathedral were located. The Île-de-France was inhabited by the Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris's Left Bank, it became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris's strategic importance—with its bridges preventing ships from passing—was established by successful defence in the Siege of Paris. In 987, Hugh Capet, Count of Paris and Duke of the Franks, was elected King of the Franks. Under the rule of the Capetian kings, Paris became the largest and most prosperous city in France; the Kings of France enjoyed getting away from Paris and hunting in the game-filled forests of the region. They built palatial hunting lodges, most notably Palace of Fontainebleau and the Palace of Versailles. From the time of Louis XIV until the French Revolution, Versailles was the official residence of the Kings and the seat of the French government; the Ile-de-France became the term used for the territory of Paris and the surrounding province, administered directly by the King.
During the French Revolution, the royal provinces were abolished and divided into departments, the city and region were governed directly by the national government. In the period after World War II, as Paris faced a major housing shortage, hundreds of massive apartment blocks for low-income residents were built around the edges of Paris. In the 1950s and the 1960s, Many thousands of immigrants settled in the communes bordering the city. In 1959, under President Charles De Gaulle, a new region was created out of six departments, which corresponded with the historic region, with the name District de la région de Paris. On 6 May 1976, as part of the process of regionalisation, the district was reconstituted and increased administrative and political powers and renamed the Île-de-France region. Île-de-France has a land area of 12,011 km2. It is composed of eight départements centered on Paris. Around the département of Paris, urbanization fills a first concentric ring of three departments known as the petite couronne, extends into a second outer ring of four départements known as the grande couronne.
The former département of Seine, abolished in 1968, included the city proper and parts of the petite couronne. The petite couronne consists of the départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, the grande couronne of those of Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines and Val-d'Oise. Politically, the region is divided into 8 départements, 25 arrondissements, 155 cantons and 1 276 communes, out of the total of 35 416 in metropolitan France, The outer parts of the Ile-de-France remain rural. Agriculture land and natu
Common Agricultural Policy
The Common Agricultural Policy is the agricultural policy of the European Union. It implements a system of other programmes, it was introduced in 1962 and has undergone several changes since to reduce the cost and to consider rural development in its aims. It has been criticised on the grounds of its cost, its environmental and humanitarian impacts; the circumstance that led to the development of the CAP occurred in the late 1950s to late 1960s. At the time, there was no example of a successful agricultural integration in Europe. However, two main factors contributed to the creation of this policy; this includes the promise EEC made to France bargaining the integrated agriculture policy in favor of France's part in ratifying the Treaty of Rome and due to a lack of substantial policy in agriculture beyond a few pre-existing legal stipulations that some considered, “weak and underdeveloped.” Thus, leading to the creation of article 39 in a set of five economic objectives. As part of building a common market, tariffs on agricultural products would have to be removed.
However, the political clout of farmers and the sensitivity of the issue made it take many years before the CAP was implemented. The Spaak Report of 1956 stated that a European common market that excluded agriculture was unthinkable, it argued that security of food supply was paramount and raised a series of questions about agriculture that needed to be answered by policy-makers. The Treaty of Rome, signed in March 1957, established the European Economic Community and it was due to the French pressure that the Treaty included agriculture. However, due to disagreements within the Six over agricultural policy, the articles on agriculture were vague and policy making was left until after the Treaty had been signed. Article 39.1 of the Treaty set out the objectives of the CAP: to increase productivity through technical progress and the best use of the factors of production. Article 39.2 stated that policy makers must take into account three factors: the circumstances of each agricultural activity due to the social structure of agricultural communities and the inequalities between richer and poorer regions.
Article 40 provided for the common organisation of markets and common prices, along with a fund to pay for it. Article 41 allowed for the introduction of additional measures to implement Article 39, such as the co-ordination of vocational education and research, the "dissemination of agricultural knowledge" and the encouragement of consumption of certain goods. Article 42 allowed the Council of the Community to decide how far the regulations on competition could apply to agriculture; this Article allowed them to grant aid. During 3–12 July 1958 in Stresa, the Community held an agricultural conference attended by agricultural ministers from member states and the President of the European Commission, Walter Hallstein, along with observers representing agriculture. Three working parties at the conference investigated: the current state of agriculture and the agricultural policies of member states. In a speech to the conference, Hallstein complained of urbanisation, leading to rural depopulation and he lamented the "clash of cultures" in which rural life and rural values were considered inferior.
Hallstein reflected on the Cold War threat from communism: It is the core of Europe's achievements, under threat: a whole civilization which rests on the inalienable freedom and dignity of the individual...this tragedy of liberty is a tragedy of the rural class. Let us look around us, alas, we have not far to look, it is for this reason that we are convinced that the European rural class will count among the most trustworthy pillars of our unified European market. Because its fate is at stake, is one of the first threatened. In this room there is no one whose family tree doesn't reach back, sooner or to farming roots. We know what the rural class means to Europe, not only through its economic values, but by its moral and social values; the conference's Final Resolution argued for the vital importance of agriculture in economic and social life and expressed their unanimous wish to preserve the character of European farming, predominately based on small-size, family holdings. They agreed that it was necessary to help these farms increase their economic capacity and competitiveness.
They advocated structural changes to rationalise and cheapen production, intended to improve productivity. The Resolution included a commitment to a price policy. Therefore, during 1958–1959, the Commission drafted the CAP and the Assembly commissioned reports into agriculture; the Commission submitted draft proposals in November 1959 and its final report in June 1960. In December the Council agreed to a system of import levies and to commodity regimes for agricultural produce, they introduced the principle of Community Preference in the implementation of the levies and for the negotiation of commercial treaties with outside countries.