Easter In France


Ring In Easter With Flying Bells, Bunnies and Chocolate Fish….

 Pâques (Easter) simply has to be one of the most enjoyable holiday celebrations for French children. Every single one of those eternally beautiful Parisian Chocolate shops kicks up their candy decorating to ultra high levels as Easter approaches. The Easter “chocolate season” begins weeks before the actual date. Giving chocolates to friends, family, and especially children is essential to a proper celebration of the holiday. Shop windows are chock-full of a festive menagerie including white, dark and milk chocolate rabbits, chickens, and eggs, bells and fish.  Yes, bells and fish!!

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Sardine Pots

Sardine Pots:   A Commonality Between Italy & France

The sardine fishery is the most important fishery industry of France.  However, the Mediterranean sea board, both of France and Italy is notable for its fisheries.PSM V59 D553 Pilchard clupea pilchardus.png

Sardines are named after Sardinia, the Italian island where large schools of these fish were once found, but it was the emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, who helped to popularize these little fish by initiating the canning of sardines, the first fish ever to be canned, in order to feed his soldiers first and then the citizens of the land over which he presided.

sardine history napoleon

In the painting above Napoleon holds a sardine in his hand to ensure importance of the little fish!

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French Taste-Vins

French Taste-Vin

A Late Victorian Hallmarked Silver Tastevin:

One of the most peculiar and compelling objects is a small, shallow, saucer like bowl, which sometimes has a dome shaped bottom with fluted and engraved decorations on the side — it is called a taste-vin.  It is a wine-tasting cup of French origin, an ancient tasting tool. “Taste-vin,” which is pronounced “Taht-vahN” with a nasal French ending and means”taste wine.”  These traditional wine tasting cups were carried by sommeliers (wine waiters) and were used discreetly by sellers of wine when promoting special wines to potential buyers.  Judging the quality of the wine was imperative.Image result for pictures of sterling silver taste-vins

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Guérande Salt Marshes

The Guérande salt marshes are located in southern Brittany, a region in north-west France, between the mouths of the rivers Loire and Vilaine, along the Atlantic Ocean. They form a very large wetland zone, stretching for nearly 5,000 acres.

 Salt harvesting in this region began in the year 868!

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French Bee Hives

Image result for french bee hives

The History of the Bee Symbol
The ubiquitous Provencal bee has its origins in the old 1st century Merovingian dynasty. Childeric the 1st was the first French king to use the bee as a symbol. A symbol of immortality and resurrection, the bee was chosen so as to link the new dynasty to the very origins of France. Golden bees (in fact, cicadas) were discovered in 1653 in Tournai in Childeric’s tomb.  The original bee was actually shaped more like the cicada, but the symbol has evolved to be more of a honeybee shape. The bee is believed to be one of the oldest symbols of French royalty.

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