Anunţ publicitar al Statului Român in ziarele mari ale lumii:

Anunţ publicitar al Statului Român in ziarele mari ale lumii:

Cine a putut, ştiut şi vrut a plecat.

Avem nevoie de ajutor!
Plătim la nivelul pieţei.
Preferăm vorbitori de Româna!

______________________________

vineri, martie 17

Il contadino non studiato che sta rivoluzionando l'Agricoltura



Pomodori senz’acqua ne pesticidi: 
questo metodo affascina i biologi


I metodi di Pascal Poot, lontani dall’agricoltura moderna, sono oltreché iperproduttivi anche naturali e poco costosi. Gli scienziati pensano di trovare delle risposte ai cambiamenti climatici.



Qui il terreno è così sassoso e il clima così arido che le querce vecchie di 50 anni sono più piccole di un uomo. All’entrata della fattoria di Pascal Poot, sulle alture di Lodève (Hérault) troneggia un vecchio cartello in cartone: “conservatoria di pomodori

Ogni estate, i pomodori gialli a pera e altri Neri di Crimea crescono qui in una pazza abbondanza. 

Senza irrigazione malgrado la siccità, senza tutore, senza cure e alcun pesticida ne concimi, le sue migliaia di piante producono fino a 25 kg di pomodori ciascuna.

Il suo segreto? E’ nei semi che Pascal Poot semina davanti a me, con dei gesti che mischiano pazienza e nonchalance. L’inverno sta per terminare nella regione, è venuto il tempo per Lui di affidare i suoi semi alla terra. Sono le prime semine dell’anno

L’uomo ha 52 anni ma sembra senza età. 
Questo figlio di agricoltori che ha lasciato la scuola a 7 anni si dichiara completamente autodidatta.

Ha allevato pecore e coltivato castagneti prima di specializzarsi nelle sementi. Oggi semina su del terriccio, dentro una serra, quindi mette i vasetti su un enorme mucchio di letame fresco, per cui la temperatura nei giorni successivi arriverà a 70 gradi, riscaldando la serra e permettendo la germinazione dei semi.

La tecnica del letto caldo è molto antica. Questo permetteva agli orticoltori del XIX secolo di raccogliere meloni in città dalla fine della primavera. E questo permette a Pascal Poot di far germinare ogni anno migliaia di piante di pomodori, zucchini, peperoni, poi li pianta in piena terra e non se ne occupa più fino alla raccolta.


Mentre semina, Pascal mi spiega i dettagli del suo metodo:


“La maggior parte delle piante che oggi chiamiamo “erbacce” erano piante che si mangiavano nel Medioevo, come l’amaranto o il dente di cane. 

Mi son sempre detto che se loro sono così resistenti è perché nessuno se ne è più occupato da generazioni .



Tutti cercano di coltivare gli ortaggi proteggendoli il più possibile, io invece 
cerco di incoraggiarli a difendersi da soli.

Ho cominciato a piantare pomodori su un terreno pieno di sassi vent’anni fa, e all’epoca non c’era una goccia d’acqua. Tutti pensano che facendo così le piante muoiono, ma questo non è vero in effetti tutte le piante sopravvivono. All’inizio abbiamo pomodori piccoli, ridicoli. Bisogna raccogliere i semi dei frutti e seminarli l’anno seguente. Allora si cominciano a vedere veri pomodori, possiamo raccoglierne 1 o 2 kg per pianta.

Meglio ancora se aspettiamo un anno o due. All’inizio mi hanno preso per matto ma alla fine, i vicini hanno visto che io avevo più pomodori di loro e senza peronospora, allora la gente ha cominciato a parlarne e dei ricercatori sono venuti a vedere.”

“Alla fine degli anni 90, durante la lotta contro gli OGM, ci siamo detti che bisognava lavorare anche sulle alternative, ed abbiamo cominciato a fare l’inventario degli agricoltori che si facevano le proprie sementi. Ne abbiamo trovati tra 100 e 150 in Francia. Ma il caso di Pascal Poot era unico. Il minimo che si può dire è che lui ha una grande indipendenza di spirito, segue le sue regole, e per mia conoscenza nessuno fa come lui. 

Lui seleziona le sue sementi in un contesto molto difficile e di stress per le piante e ciò le rende estremamente tolleranti, migliora le loro qualità gustative e fa si che i nutrienti sono più concentrati. Oltre ciò lui coltiva diverse centinaia di varietà differenti, pochi agricoltori hanno una conoscenza così vasta”



I ricercatori cominciano solo ora a capire 
i meccanismi biologici che spiegano il successo del metodo di Pascal Poot


...assicura Véronique Chable, specialista in materia a l’INRA-Sad de Rennes che ha realizzato delle ricerche sulle selezioni di Pascal Poot dopo il 2004



“Il principio base è di mettere le piante nelle condizioni in cui vogliamo che crescano. L’abbiamo dimenticato ma da molto tempo fa parte del buon senso contadino, oggi si chiama ereditarietà dei caratteri acquisiti in altre parole c’è una trasmissione dello stress e dei caratteri positivi delle piante per più generazioni.

Bisogna comprendere che il DNA è un supporto di memorizzazione plastico , non è solo la mutazione genetica che causa il cambiamento , c’è anche l’adattamento , con geni che sono dormienti , ma che possono  risvegliarsi . La pianta produce dei semi dopo aver vissuto il suo ciclo, e conserva memoria di alcuni aspetti acquisiti

Pascal Poot gestisce bene questo, le sue piante non sono molto differenti dalle altre a livello genetico ma hanno una capacità di adattamento impressionante.”

Questa capacità di adattamento ha un valore commerciale. 
Durante la mia visita, molti hanno chiamato Pascal per ordinare delle sementi. L’agricoltore vende i suoi semi a molte aziende bio, come Germinance. Kevin Sperandio, artigiano sementiere di Germinance, ci spiega:

“Il fatto che le sementi di Pascal Poot si siano adattate a un territorio difficile fa si che hanno una capacità di adattamento enorme, valida per tutte le regioni e per tutti i climi. Non non abbiamo i mezzi di fare questo genere di test ma sono sicura che se facessimo un confronto tra una varietà ibrida, quella di Pascal Poot e un seme bio classico sarebbero quelle del conservatore dei pomodori che otterrebbero i migliori risultati”

Una parte dei semi sono venduti illegalmente, perchè non sono iscritti nel catalogo ufficiale delle specie e varietà vegetali del GNIS (raggruppamento nazionale interprofessionale delle sementi e delle piante)

“Una delle mie migliori varietà è la Gregori Altaï
Ma non è iscritta nel catalogo, forse perché non è abbastanza regolare. Molte varietà sono come questa. L’autunno scorso, la sementiera  Sementi del Paese a un controllo di repressione frodi ha trovato 90 infrazioni nel loro catalogo, il principio stabilisce che siamo autorizzati a vendere i semi che danno frutti tutti uguali e danno gli stessi risultati in ogni luogo. Per me questo è il contrario della vita, che riposa sull’adattamento permanente. 

Questo porta a produrre dei cloni ma vediamo sempre più che questi cloni sono come zombi...”


Alla domanda su questi controlli, 
un rappresentante di GNIS spiega:

“Il nostro obiettivo è quello di fornire una protezione per l’utente e il consumatore. Il settore francese delle sementi è molto importante, ma ha bisogno di un’organizzazione e di un sistema di certificazione”.

Tuttavia la standardizzazione della frutta e dei semi si fa spesso a scapito del gusto e delle qualità nutrizionali . E potrebbe , in futuro , danneggiare gli agricoltori , dice Veronique Chable

“Il lavoro di selezione dei semi dimostra che siamo in grado di far crescere la pianta in condizioni molto particolari . Ma l’agricoltura moderna ha perso di vista che tutto questo si basa sulla capacità di adattamento. In un contesto di rapidi cambiamenti climatici e ambientali il mondo agricolo avrà bisogno di questo . Dovremo preservare non solo i semi , ma anche la conoscenza degli agricoltori , le due cose vanno insieme”.

Per condividere questa conoscenza , ho chiesto a Pascal di spiegare come si selezionano e raccolgono i suoi semi. 


Ecco i suoi consigli:

"Bisogna raccogliere il frutto più tardi possibile, appena prima del primo gelo così avrà vissuto non solo la siccità estiva , ma anche le piogge autunnali.

Il pomodoro è molto speciale . Quando si apre un pomodoro , i semi sono in una specie di gelatina, come un bianco d’uovo . Questa gelatina impedisce ai semi da germogliare all’interno del frutto , che è caldo e umido . 

I semi non germoglieranno fino a quando la gelatina non sarà marcita e fermentata.

È necessario dunque far fermentare i semi . 
Per questo bisogna aprire il pomodoro , togliere i semi e lasciarli per alcune ore nel loro succo , per esempio in una ciotola e ci sarà poi una fermentazione lattica.

Dobbiamo monitorare la fermentazione come il latte sul fuoco , può durare tra 6 e 24 ore , ma non deve formarsi  della muffa. Poi se prendendo un seme col dito si stacca bene dalla gelatina allora è pronto.

Si mette il tutto in un colino da tè ,si lava con l’acqua e si mette ad asciugare. così si ottiene una percentuale di germinazione tra il 98 % e il 100 %

Il peperone è diverso , basta lavare i semi , asciugarli su un setaccio fine e conservare. Per il peperoncino è lo stesso ma occorre fare attenzione perché i semi sono molto piccanti , e questo passa anche attraverso i guanti . Una volta che ho raccolto i semi di peperoncini Espelette senza guanti , ho dovuto passare la notte con le mani in acqua ghiacciata !"

joi, martie 16

Cultivating More Than a Garden in Guatemala’s Highlands



"I have a saying: Don't confuse poverty with laziness," says Doña Francisca Ros Gómez*, also known as Doña Fran. She is a 37-year-old single mother of four living in Huica, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. She is also a coffee producer, beekeeper, mushroom grower, gardener and excellent cook. Since 2012, Doña Fran began diversifying the crops that she grows as well as her sources of income. With unstable rainfall and temperature patterns in recent years, the coffee and basic grain harvests have been unpredictable. For rural people living in poverty, these changes affect their households drastically.

dscf3990
Doña Fran pulls a beet out of her organic garden, which she started in 2012 because her income from coffee production lowered. Photo by Anika Rice

"Four years ago I started a garden on my property," says Doña Fran. "I went to some workshops with the Esquipulas Cooperative in La Libertad, of which I am a member." Standing in her garden, she points to the beets, carrots, onions, tomatillos, cabbage and radishes that are growing healthfully. "These are the herbs. We have basil, lemon verbena, parsley, cilantro, yerba buena, and that's chamomile." She shows me each plant, handling the leaves with a gentle touch.

Squash vines wrap around coffee plants in a diversified farm system in Huica, Guatemala. Photo by Anika Rice.
Squash vines wrap around coffee plants in a diversified farm system in Huica, Guatemala. Photo by Anika Rice

"We learned organic composting. I throw layers of dried corn cobs, ashes from the kitchen, and green material onto the pile. I tell my kids to go out into the hills and bring back green plant matter, then we chop it up and layer it on." In March, she takes the compost pile out onto the concrete terrance and turns it. "If we are planting new coffee plants that year, I use it to start the seedlings. Otherwise, it goes back to the vegetables."

In 2014, Doña Fran lost 50 percent of her coffee harvest, which was her primary source of income at the time. Coffee leaf rust, a disease caused by fungal rust, devastated coffee crops all over Latin America over the last four years, so her situation was not unique. She started growing avocados, bananas, limes, papayas, oranges, peaches and squash, both for selling in town and to help feed her family. "Even still, we had to buy less food and stop buying new clothes. I also had more debt from taking out loans."

Oyster mushrooms growing in bags of dried corn cobs and bean shells provide supplemental income for Doña Fran. Photo by Anika Rice.
Oyster mushrooms growing in bags of dried corn cobs and bean shells provide supplemental income for Doña Fran. Photo by Anika Rice
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Doña Fran stands among her oyster mushrooms that grow in a dark humid room attached to her house. Photo by Anika Rice

"That was when I doubled my oyster mushroom production." Doña Fran is the only person in her community cultivating oyster mushrooms. She has two mushroom farms, located in dark humid rooms that she added on to her house. She hangs plastic bags from the ceilings and fills them with corn cobs and black bean shells, both byproducts from her other crops. "I spray water on them and harvest daily. People come to my house to buy them by the pound." Each pound goes for 15 quetzales, the equivalent of about $2.00.

"Changes don't happen overnight," she tells me. "It's not easy to make people change things in their community. But the work we are doing here is for us, for our families. It is important to diversify in these times."

Doña Fran has been experimenting in the kitchen with all of her new produce. "As part of the organic gardening workshops, we had classes about cooking and nutrition for the family." A group of 25 women came to her house to attend the workshops. "We learned how to make jams and marmalades. People here never thought you could make jam out of vegetables, but we made some with beets and tomatoes. We made chard tamales, too."

Jocote popsicles in Huica, Guatemala. Photo by Anika Rice.
Jocote popsicles in Huica, Guatemala. Photo by Anika Rice

One of the best desserts I've had in Guatemala was her popsicle made with jocote, an acidic orange fruit in the cashew family. "The most surprising thing was when they made us a drink with loquat and cucumber," she says. "It was actually really good! Now we incorporate these recipes with the fresh produce into our kitchens."

"It has been because of economic need that I've started all of these projects. Just because I am poor doesn't mean I am not going to sweep my house or bathe my kids. I realized that I had to start working harder to support my family. If I don't work, who will provide for us?"

*Name changed at interviewee's request.

marți, martie 14

Wild About Burgundy


A most passionate collector makes a connection to the legendary DRC
Photo by: Robert Camuto
Collector Edmond Asseily (right) with Domaine de la Romanée-Conti codirector Aubert de Villaine in the barrel cellar

      

Edmond Asseily doesn't make halfway decisions. He goes all in.

As a young high-flying currency and metals trader in Europe in the 1990s, Asseily dove into Bordeaux's top growths—amassing thousands of bottles in his Paris cellar, studying châteaus and drinking every vintage he could find.

"Within seven years, I drank everything you could drink in Bordeaux back to the 19th century," he says. "I was on a learning binge."

But Asseily, now 48, wanted more. Tall and lean, the French-Lebanese hedge-fund manager has an intense personality, fluency in seven languages and a hyperactive curiosity.

In 1996, at a lavish dinner in Paris with classic French vintages, he drank 1978 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti, which he says changed his life: "The Romanée-Conti haunted me with its sheer aromatics and delicacy I had never encountered before."

Asseily sold his Bordeaux collection in 1999 and plunged into Burgundy, fascinated by the range of wines all centered on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

"I wanted to understand Burgundy the way I understood Bordeaux," he says. "At the time, Burgundy was off the radar; it was still reeling from decades of poor winemaking practices. The revival had started in the '90s, led by a small number of growers."

Since that time, Asseily has become a regular fixture in Burgundy, leading his life in unexpected directions.

I first met Asseily six years ago on a visit to DRC, and I was floored by the accuracy of his palate in picking out cuvées and vintages in a blind tasting. In January, I caught up with him again in Burgundy.

Over several bottles in Beaune, he described how he learned Burgundy from the ground up, starting by walking its mythic vineyards.

In 1999, while walking the premier cru Cros Parantoux vineyard, adjacent to Richebourg, he met Christian Faurois, vineyard manager of Méo-Camuzet, who became his mentor and friend.

Two years later, the men crossed paths with DRC co-owner and codirector Aubert de Villaine.

Eager to gain de Villaine's confidence, Asseily offered to share two classic wines he had purchased from DRC's Paris distributor: DRC La Tache 1937 and a magnum of Romanée-Conti 1945.

"I was very impetuous," Asseily says with a laugh. "I wanted to learn too much too fast."

The reserved de Villaine was wary of the exuberant wine enthusiast, but accepted the offer and invited him to lunch, eventually warming to Asseily as a connoisseur and confidant.

Calling him an "enlightened amateur," de Villaine, 78, says, "Edmond has a great capacity to speak about our wines that he has tasted, with a perception that is very close to my own."

De Villaine also appreciates that Asseily doesn't just collect wines; he drinks them. "I can call Edmond a friend," he adds.

Tasting through the stellar 2015 vintage in DRC's cavernous barrel cellars, de Villaine and the effusive Asseily act as foils, seeming to feed off each other.

Pondering a glass of DRC's Grands Echézeaux, de Villaine says, "I am not good at making analogies, but for me the 2015 vintage is like the 2005 vintage plus the 2003 vintage."

Asseily elaborates: "The tannins aren't as firm as 2005; it's rounder. And you have the over-ripeness but not the dried currant flavors of 2003."

Asseily's passion for Burgundy has evolved into small sideline businesses. When he was a child, his parents left Lebanon during its civil war. Believing in his native Beirut's revival as an oasis of peace in the Middle East, he moved his family to the city and, in 2003, began importing Burgundy wines there. Asseily, who now helps run his family's investment fund, then became DRC's exclusive agent in Lebanon in 2004.

In 2010, Asseily opened a Beirut wine bar named Burgundy, partnering with a French-Lebanese doctor, Ziad Mouawad, who runs it. De Villaine honored Asseily by attending the restaurant opening and calls the Burgundy-dominated wine list "one of the most beautiful in the world."

In 2014, Asseily took over a Swiss wine importer and distributor, Maison Mathieu, from its retiring owner, and he says his focus has changed from Burgundy's stratosphere to lesser-known, young and upcoming producers. "Back in the late 1990s, I was buying La Tâche for the equivalent of 180 euros [about $200] a bottle," he says. "Now it's thousands. It's crazy!"

After a two-decade love affair, drinking Burgundies that most of us can only dream about, Asseily has concluded that terroir is important, but that the wine producer's hand has even more impact. "A great producer who farms lesser appellations will always be worthier than a less-thorough producer with the best appellations," he says of the shift in his purchases.

"Originally I was trophy hunting, but it was affordable," he says. "Now it's evolved into a treasure hunt."

vineri, martie 10

Discriminarea barbatilor




13 dovezi clare că bărbaţii sunt discriminaţi: 
 
 1. Femeile pot fi promovate pe criterii gen sâni, coapse, fund, buze.       Bărbaţii trebuie să aiba studii, experienţă, competenţă.  
2. În caz de dezastre, catastrofe naturale, naufragii, femeile şi copiii sunt salvaţi primii.       Bărbaţii întotdeauna la urmă.  
3. Dacă două femei se îmbrăţişează, se ţin de mână, se sărută, stau împreună etc, înseamnă că sunt prietene.       Dacă doi bărbaţi fac asta, sunt poponari.  
4. Dacă o femeie nu se descurcă cu banii, înseamnă că are o problemă financiară.       Dacă un bărbat nu se descurcă cu banii, el este un incapabil, un ratat, un neisprăvit.  
5. Dacă o femeie face nazuri, este capricioasă, cu toane, nu ştie ce vrea, îşi exprimă liber emoţiile, se destăinuie, înseamnă că e "feminină".       Dacă un bărbat face asta, înseamnă că e imatur, slab, efeminat.  
6. Femeile au dreptul să mănânce gratis la restaurant, să intre gratis în cluburi etc.       Bărbatul plăteşte întotdeauna.  
7. Dacă o femeie singură nu face sex, este o femeie cinstită.       Dacă un bărbat singur nu face sex, nu este bărbat.  
8. Dacă vrea să facă sex, femeia trebuie să aleagă.       Dacă un bărbat vrea sex, el trebuie să cucerească sau să plătească.  
9. Dacă o femeie nu satisface sexual un bărbat, nu contează, el este oricum mulţumit.       Dacă un bărbat nu satisface sexual o femeie, el este impotent. 10. Dacă o femeie naşte, este sfântă.       Bărbatul ajunge sfânt cînd e răstignit pe cruce.
11. Bărbatul trebuie să fie tot timpul amabil, politicos, atent cu femeile.       Ele nu au nici o obligaţie în acest sens faţă de bărbaţi.
12. Femeile sunt numite "sexul frumos".       Bărbaţii: "porci", "măgari" şi alte rase de animale.
13. Un bărbat, dacă are o problemă, trebuie s-o rezolve (că de-aia e bărbat).       Femeia cheama un bărbat.

marți, martie 7

O poezie de toata frumusetea



TE DUCI, COPILĂRIE
​...
(autor necunoscut)



Mi-e grea maturitatea, mi-e greu să fiu docil
Aş da orice pe lume să redevin copil


Zburdam prin curtea plină cu raţe şi găini
Trăiau pe-atunci părinţii şi rude şi vecini
Mi le-ai luat pe toate şi-o lacrimă îmi storci
Te duci, copilărie, şi nu te mai întorci


Nu mai există basme, nici eu nu mai exist
Balaurul e şmecher, iar Făt Frumos e trist
S-au inventat claxoane, adio zurgălăi
Te duci copilărie, cu toţi eroii tăi


Un prof ce ne-nvăţase cum să plantăm stejari
A defrişat pădurea vânzând-o pe dolari
Cu cât urcam în vârstă ne suntem mai străini
Te duci, copilărie, şi devenim haini


Bunica şi bunicul ce mă-nveleau cântând
Sunt două cruci de piatră şi tac pe sub pământ
Şi mai era şi crângul, şi-un râu şi nişte tei
Te duci, copilărie, pe toate mi le iei


Din tinda casei mele, când mama îmi vorbea
Fugeau din boltă norii şi soarele zâmbea
Iar tata orice teamă din vis mi-o spulbera
Te duci, copilărie, cu fericirea mea


Făceam pe-atunci războaie cu săbii mici de nuc
Iar după bătălie mergeam să bem un suc
Azi ne-omorâm pe bune, prin diferite căi
Te duci, copilărie, şi devenim mai răi


Mă zgâriam pe braţe urcând în corcoduş
Iar cel mai bun prieten era un căţeluş
Eram atât de veseli fugind prin porumbişti
Te duci, copilărie, si devenim mai trişti...


Pe-atunci orice ninsoare mă bucura nespus
Iar ploile de vară păreau să cadă-n sus
Acum la doctor mergem, plecându-ne umili
Te duci, copilărie, şi devenim fragili


































luni, martie 6

Josko Gravner in una mitica degustazione ad Onav Genova


gravner e anfore

Presentata dal Delegato dell'Onav genovese Massimo Ponzanelli, Mateja Gravner incontra il numerosissimo pubblico per parlare della sua cantina di famiglia e presentare gli stupefacenti vini del padre Josko.

All'inizio appare un po' smarrita, di fronte ad una vasta sala piena di pubblico, ma poi inizia con passione a descrivere le sue colline, che non superano i 250 metri slm, al confine con la Slovenia, con vigneti di Ribolla e Pignolo, tipicamente friulani, ma anche di uve da vitigni internazionali, vigne che la sua famiglia coltiva nei 15 ettari di terreni marno-calcarei intorno alla grande casa dei suoi antenati, costruita oltre 300 anni fa.

DSC_0062 2Ma quando afferma –" Noi non siamo un'Azienda biologica certificata, siamo prima di tutto contadini che rispettano onestamente la natura, perché le cose che si fanno con coscienza non hanno bisogno di certificazioni e di regole" – ecco che il suo tono si fa deciso e quasi orgoglioso e noi, pubblico, cominciamo a capire il significato e la concezione che c'è dietro la produzione Gravner.

gravner in vignaCi racconta che, negli anni '90 il padre capì che aveva sbagliato ad estendere troppo la coltivazione della vite e provvide a limitarne gli spazi per creare un habitat migliore attraverso l'inserimento di alberi, leguminose, piante di vario tipo, quali olivi, meli, cipressi e di stagni e laghetti proprio perché prese coscienza che l'acqua era necessaria per ricreare un equilibrio naturale in cui potessero vivere gli animali, i pesci e gli uccelli. Questi ultimi tornarono tra gli alberi e per accoglierli furono addirittura costruiti dei nidi artificiali. "Cerchiamo di essere meno dannosi e il più possibile rispettosi della natura", afferma Mateja.

Così come sono rispettosi con la vite. La cura del vigneto consiste soprattutto nell'assecondare la natura aspettando che si compia il suo ciclo e limitando l'intervento dell'uomo, le vendemmie sono quasi sempre avanzate, almeno fino al mese di ottobre, perché –" le uve vanno raccolte al meglio, quando sono veramente mature perché sono la base dei vini buoni in quanto in cantina non si aggiunge né si toglie nulla"-

DSC_0022Ci racconta che, dopo un periodo di vinificazione tradizionale, Josko, dopo un viaggio in California, durante il quale disse di aver imparato cosa non si deve fare nella vinificazione, decise di eliminare tutti i trattamenti chimici, a parte lo zolfo; successivamente scoprì, in seguito a sperimentazioni, che solo con le bucce e senza lieviti il vino manteneva il sapore dell'uva che lo aveva prodotto. Nel 97 produsse la prima Ribolla senza lieviti che sapeva finalmente di Ribolla. Fu eliminato l'acciaio, non si controllarono più le temperature, l'uva si teneva a fermentare in grandi tini senza aggiungere niente.

Nel 2001 il passaggio alle anfore.

gravner e anforeLe anfore permettono una macerazione lunghissima senza il controllo della temperatura e, se l'uva è buona, non c'è bisogno di aggiungere sostanze. La prima anfora fu acquistata nel '97 anche se Gravner ne aveva sentito parlare, 20 anni prima, da Luigi  Veronelli e dal prof. Scienza e si sapeva che l'anfora veniva utilizzata in Georgia per la vinificazione. Ci vollero 5 anni, dal 2000 al 2005, per avere le anfore e infine si creò la cantina dove il pavimento e i muri, all'interno, sono costruiti in modo da rendere l'ambiente omogeneo con l'esterno, per non provocare all'uva uno shock termico al momento della vendemmia. Le anfore sono fatte di argilla cotta, non contengono tracce di materiali pesanti, pericolosi per la salute dell'uomo. All'esterno, poi, l'anfora viene ricoperta con sabbia e calce per creare un guscio protettivo.

Le uve, ottenute con un forte rispetto del territorio e coltivate senza prodotti chimici, pigiate o pigiadiraspate, sono messe direttamente nelle anfore, dopo aver tolto gli acini marci e i raspi, se necessario, a seconda dell'annata. Durante la fermentazione, sei sono le follature giornaliere per proteggere col liquido le bucce che emergono, affinchè non siano attaccate dalle muffe. Non ci sono regole per la durata della fermentazione, tutto dipende dall'annata e, dopo la malolattica, l'intero processo si ferma intorno a marzo / aprile. Terminata la svinatura, il liquido passa in grandi botti per 15 giorni ed ancora in anfora per sei mesi.

DSC_0063Nel mese di settembre viene messo ad affinare ingrandi botti di rovere per 7 anni: si è scelto questo tempo perché le cellule umane si rinnovano ogni 7 anni e la natura ci suggerisce che, in tale periodo di tempo, si compie un ciclo vitale. Le Riserve prevedono 14 anni di affinamento.

Degustazione

"Breg" 2008  Igt Venezia Giulia bianco (Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Riesling)

Vino fermentato sulle bucce; servito a temperatura ambiente come i vini rossi. Bellissimo colore ambrato brillante che dal punto di vista cromatico si stacca da tutti i vini che solitamente conosciamo. Colore che ricorda certi metalli preziosi, quali, per esempio, l'ambra. All'olfatto è fresco e subito inonda le narici con sentori vari e cangianti: ginger, frutta secca, zafferano, erbe aromatiche, note del tè, legno di sandalo. In bocca intenso ed imperioso con struttura, potenza e lunghezza. Percepiamo un bel tannino, una struttura importante, ben armonizzata. Vino estremamente giovane, con acidità fresca e viva. Perfettamente amalgamato ed armonico. Chiude con buona morbidezza.

"Breg" 2007 Igt Venezia Giulia Bianco

Il vino si è aperto in ritardo rispetto al primo ma si rivela altrettanto interessante. Bellissimo colore ambrato brillante, simile al precedente ma forse con maggior brillantezza. Olfatto: tè aromatico, note erbacee, fieno e erba tagliata, frutta secca, nocciola, mandorla, canditi: vino di grande complessità aromatica. L'olfatto si evolve di minuto in minuto. Vini che sfidano tempi lunghissimi con grande maturità. In bocca grande acidità, grande freschezza, tannini lievi, astringenza da bucce, un vino che trascende l'idea di vini bianchi. Questo vino è più composto e con struttura un po' superiore rispetto al precedente, con finale pulito e lunghissimo.

Ribolla Igt Venezia Giulia 2008

Colore ambrato e luminoso. Al naso sentore di fiori essiccati, nota di tè, zafferano, nota di pasticceria, naso simile al primo vino della  stessa annata. Note speziate di ginger, erbe aromatiche, mandorle e canditi. In bocca la Ribolla presenta una nota piacevolmente amaricante, a differenza del Breg. Il tannino è presente in maniera morbida ma l'equilibrio è mantenuto perché si tratta di un vino di corpo e di sostanza. L'elemento alcolico induce ad una percezione che tende verso la dolcezza. L'anfora conferisce al vino delle caratteristiche comuni ma non va ad appiattire il gusto.

Ribolla Igt Venezia Giulia 2007

Bellissimo colore ambrato, colore straordinario. Naso: la vendemmia 2007 parte piano ma vince sulla lunghezza; nota di zenzero, spezie dolci, cannella, anice stellato, ginepro; naso intrigante, dolce ed espressivo.  L'evoluzione nel bicchiere è notevole. Vino molto complesso che si evolve nel bicchiere. La Ribolla risulta più strutturata del Breg con note più complesse e con finale amaricante.

"Breg" 2004 Igt Venezia Giulia rosso (Pignolo)

Il Pignolo è un vino estremamente tannico che richiede molto invecchiamento. Sensazioni verdi, note aromatiche, note di carne macerata, pelle di salame. Estrema gioventù di questo vino sia per tecnica di vinificazione sia per la caratteristica di questo vitigno. Note olfattive balsamiche, prugna secca disisdratata, spezie come pepe. Vino che dà sensazioni emozionali.

 "Rujno" 2001 Igt Venezia Giulia rosso (Merlot)

Rujno è vino da occasioni speciali, nelle annate normali prende il nome di Rosso Gravner. Uve da vigneto del '67 che fa  capire la capacità tecnica di vinificazione perché questo, a differenza dei bianchi, di può confrontare con altri Merlot. Olfatto: straordinario e ricco che dimostra ancora  gioventù anche se prevalgono le sensazioni terziarie. Vino di bella maturità, con note di tostatura, caffè e cacao. Maestoso e denso, ricco di note importanti tipo le note ematiche e speziate. In bocca prevalgono elementi di eleganza e finezza; vino di straordinaria eleganza e pulizia.

Ha partecipato alla serata Fiorenzo Sartore esperto degustatore Onav.

Enrica Bozzo

duminică, martie 5

Mama lui de porc!






 

1)     Orgasmul la porci dureaza 30 de minute (30 de minute !!!! Sa-mi dau una !!!)
2)     Somnul (pestele) are 27000 !!! de receptori gustativi – (la ce-i trebuie ? Ce-i asa gustos pe fundul raului ?)
3)     Gandacul de bucatarie traieste fara cap pana la 9 zile, dupa care moare de foame (eu tot la porc ma gandesc…30 de  minute !!!)
4)     Paduchele poate sari pe distanta ce depaseste de 350 de ori lungimea corpului propriu, asta e ca si cum, un om ar  sari un stadion de fotbal (wow si porcul ?!!!…norocosul)
5)     Elefantii sunt singurele mamifere care nu pot sari (Slava Domnului !)
6)     Unii lei pot avea pana la 50 de acte sexuale pe zi (oricum, porcul e mai castigat)
7)     Urina de pisica lumineaza la expunerea la ultraviolete (cat au mai cheltuit ca sa afle si asta ?!)
8)     Ochii strutului sunt mai mari decat creierul sau (stiu chiar cativa oameni la fel)
9)     Steaua de mare in general nu are creier (si din astia stiu cativa)
10)  Oamenii si delfinii sunt singurele mamifere care fac amor de placere (da porcii ???)
 
 
 




miercuri, martie 1

As France’s Towns Wither, Fears of a Decline in ‘Frenchness’


Adam Nossiter
Albi, an hour northeast of Toulouse, is among a growing number of French towns encountering commercial decline. Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
ALBI, France — The paint is fading, but the word is still clear: Alimentation, “Groceries.” It seems like a stage prop, grafted above the window of the empty old storefront. Opposite stands a tattoo parlor. Nobody enters or leaves. The street is deserted.
Keep walking, and you’ll find more vacant storefronts, scattered around the old center of this town dominated by its imposing 13th-century brick cathedral, one of France’s undisputed treasures. Tourist shops and chain clothing stores are open, but missing are the groceries, cafes and butcher shops that once bustled with life and for centuries defined small-town France.
Measuring change, and decay, is not easy in France, where beauty is just around the corner and life can seem unchanged over decades. But the decline evident in Albi is replicated in hundreds of other places. France is losing the core of its historic provincial towns — dense hubs of urbanity deep in the countryside where judges judged, Balzac set his novels, prefects issued edicts and citizens shopped for 50 cheeses.
A nearly empty street in Albi. “This phenomenon of the devitalization of the urban centers is worrisome,” a government report said, “as the stores contribute so much to city life and largely fashion it.” Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
In January, I went to Albi while covering the French presidential election. I’ve known the city for nearly 35 years, visiting a handful of times as part of a lifetime’s engagement with France that began at age 4 when my family moved to Paris. My first trip to Albi came in 1982, with my college girlfriend, and I found a bustling, jewel-like city that took its ochre-red color from bricks that had been used since the Middle Ages and echoed the hot, meridional sun. I was captivated.
I returned in January not on the trail of a presidential candidate but to better understand a French paradox just beneath the surface of the campaign: the deep pride felt by the French in what they regard as an unparalleled way of life, always accompanied by anxiety that it is facing extinction.
The campaign is like few before it in France, because of the looming question of whether the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, will do the once-unthinkable, and win. She has already pushed the discourse rightward and made a visceral promise to voters: to protect not just France, but Frenchness. Whether the menace is defined as Islam, immigration or globalization, her vow to voters is the same: I am the woman to preserve the French way of life.
The visible decline of so many historic city centers is intertwined with these anxieties. Losing the ancient French provincial capital is another blow to Frenchness tangible evidence of a disappearing way of life that resonates in France in the same way that the hollowing out of main streets did in the United States decades ago. A survey of French towns found that commercial vacancies have almost doubled to 10.4 percent in the past 15 years. As these towns have declined, voters have often turned sharply rightward. Albi is traditionally centrist, but the same conditions of decline and political anxiety are present, too.
Turn a corner in Albi, and you’ll pass the last school inside the historic center, abandoned a few years ago. Down another street is the last toy store, now closed, and around a corner is the last independent grocery store, also shuttered. Walk down the empty, narrow streets on some nights and the silence is so complete that you can hear your footsteps on the stones.
Vacant storefronts in Albi. Adam Nossiter/The New York Times
“If nothing is done, a substantial part of the French soul will perish, taking with it more than half the French population,” the businessman Charles Beigbeder wrote in Le Figaro recently, calling for a “Marshall Plan” for “peripheral France.”

A Way of Life Fades

I arrived in Albi, population 49,000, on a Thursday evening, having driven in from Toulouse, an hour away. At the edge of town, I passed a giant shopping center, Les Portes d’Albi, where the parking lot was black with cars. In the Albi I had known before, people had lived in town above their stores. Centuries of accumulated living were packed inside the tree-shaded boulevards. Shopping was as much about sociability as about buying.
Before arriving, I picked up a government report, an autopsy of many French provincial capitals: Agen, Limoges, Bourges, Arras, Beziers, Auxerre, Vichy, Calais and others. In these old towns, many harder hit than Albi, the interplay of the human-scale architecture, weathered stone and brick, and public life had been one of the crucibles of French history and culture for centuries. Now they were endangered, as even the dry language of the report conveyed that an essential part of French life is disappearing.
“This phenomenon of the devitalization of the urban centers is worrisome,” the government report declared, “as the stores contribute so much to city life and largely fashion it.”
My first appointment was with the town whistle-blower, who had agreed to give me a tour. Florian Jourdain wasn’t exposing local corruption but the decline of the town that was hidden in plain sight. His meticulous blog, picked up by the French press, caused such resentment among Albi’s commercial establishment that last year the merchants’ association staged a demonstration against him in the main square.
Florian Jourdain has documented the decline of the town in his blog. Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
With a degree in history and studies in geography, Mr. Jourdain published an online map, with a skull-and-crossbones marking each vacant store. He discovered that nearly 40 percent of the remaining shops sold clothes, and he suspected that much of the trade was with tourists. Only a single traditional boulangerie, or bakery, remained in Albi’s old core, and not a single free-standing butcher shop.
A Parisian by origin, Mr. Jourdain worked quasi-undercover, and few in town, even among his allies, seemed to know his last name. I met him on a Friday morning in the windswept plaza of the looming Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, a giant brick fortress built eight centuries ago to awe the region’s restive heretics. As we started on the Rue Mariès, the city’s main commercial street, Mr. Jourdain pulled his hood down over his head to avoid being recognized, as I struggled to mentally repopulate the empty street with the liveliness that had delighted me 35 years before.
“For me, if you are precise, you can’t be attacked,” he said of his work. “It’s a big problem for me that there are no grocery stores in the center of the city. There is no neighborhood cafe.”
Street after street, we took the measure of the town’s fragility. Name tags were missing from buzzers at the doorways of the old buildings. Above them the shutters stayed closed night and day, with estimates that 15 percent of these old houses are vacant.
Mr. Jourdain knew something was amiss soon after arriving from Paris in 2013. “Right away I realized it,” he said. “Just across from us, and right next to us, there were two magnificent buildings, vacant. I thought it was strange. And then I started to see more and more empty stores.”
We came to the Place Lapérouse, named after the great French explorer who was born in Albi in the 18th century. I had a flashback. On a warm afternoon many years before, I sat on a bench here, gazing at the old buildings around me. It had been quiet enough to hear the birds in the centenarian plane trees shading the square.
Now, it was a frigid intersection combined with a soulless pedestrian plaza. Cars whizzed past.
We moved on, passing two storefronts with “total liquidation” written across them. The sense I had many years before, of a dense urban space that was a living, breathing organism, was gone.
“Look, here, this used to be a cafe,” he said, pointing to a woman’s clothing store where the faint remains of a traditional cafe awning were still visible.
Mr. Jourdain spoke with the fervor of a disappointed suitor. He had moved to Albi to embrace its beauty and to escape the clamor of Paris but instead found a creeping listlessness. He saw his role as waking up his fellow citizens. “The risk is great for our beautiful episcopal city,” he wrote in his blog.
We moved on to the empty Rue de la Croix Blanche. Again, we were the only walkers, passing a line of closed stores. On the Rue Puech Bérenguier we passed the last grocery store. On the Rue Peyrolière we saw the abandoned elementary school, closed in 2013, a classic Third Republic building where generations of Albigeois were educated. On the wall inside, a children’s drawing from the last class was still visible.
Some streets in Albi stay empty much of the day. “There are whole buildings where there isn’t a soul,” Mr. Jourdain said. Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
“The cries of children will resound no longer,” the local paper, La Dépêche du Midi, wrote when the school closed.
In former days, the covered market, the Marché Couvert, would have been a hub of life and commerce. No more. “You feel as though time has been suspended,” Mr. Jourdain said.
Hours had passed on a sunny Friday in the center of town, yet on some streets we saw almost no one. “You see clearly that we are on a street that is dying,” Mr. Jourdain said on Rue Emile Grand as we concluded our tour. “There are whole buildings where there isn’t a soul.”
I called City Hall for a meeting with the mayor, a member of France’s center-right party, but was met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm from her spokeswoman. I was put off with the promise of a phone call the following week, and when I finally reached the mayor, Stéphanie Guiraud-Chaumeil, she argued that urban “devitalization” has had a “relatively moderate impact.” She also angrily condemned Mr. Jourdain.
“He is an extraterrestrial,” she said, “who came here to get talked about.”
The head of the merchants’ association, who had led the demonstration against Mr. Jourdain, was equally elusive. He was not to be found at the anonymous basement supermarket he runs beneath the Marché Couvert. Nobody knew when he would show up or how to reach him, and the association’s office in the center of town had long since closed.

Leaving City Centers Behind

The next morning was a Saturday, the busiest shopping day of the week, with shops promising sales and customers inside the clothing stores. There was a hint of the liveliness I had remembered from many years before, but these were weekend shoppers, many from out of town.
I went to see Fabien Lacoste, a Socialist city councilman, in the shadow of the cathedral. As on most Saturdays, he was at work, flipping crepes at his outdoor food stand.
To him, Albi’s fate was a cultural misfortune. City leaders had poured money into a high-concept modernistic new culture center at the town’s edge. And the shopping mall had been built. Large grocery chains, called hypermarkets, had also been constructed outside the city, with free parking. It is not that Albi no longer had commerce, or activity. But the essence of the ancient city was being lost.
The rise of the shopping centers traced the sharp rise in living standards brought on by what the French call the Trentes Glorieuses, the 30 glorious years from 1945 to 1975. Growth was around 4 percent; purchasing power of the average worker’s salary rose 170 percent. The boost to consumer demand could not be met by the old center-city structure of small shops, small purchases. Malls and strip centers were born.
A shopping center outside Albi. France has the highest density of malls in Europe. Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
Today, France has the highest density of such retail space in all of Europe, even as vacancies in 190 historic town centers have gone to 10.4 percent in 2015 from 6.1 percent in 2001, according to the government report. Thus, the French paradox: a newly consumerist society that had stripped France of its “soul” — made even worse, now, by the fact that economic growth has collapsed.
“There’s no bar, no cafe. We’re in the southwest, for heaven’s sake. It’s a scandal,” said Mr. Lacoste, serving up crepes to his customers. “We’ve lost that conviviality that was our signature. Before, each little neighborhood had its own center, with its own cafe. All that has disappeared.”
“What I deplore is this devitalization,” Mr. Lacoste added. “You won’t be doing your shopping here.”
By Sunday, Albi had reverted to its weekday torpor. I went for my evening run along the green Tarn river and passed a half-dozen people at most. In the twilight the town felt abandoned.
I finally caught up with the head of the merchants’ association just as he was leaving his supermarket. He did not seem pleased to see me and was even less pleased with Mr. Jourdain. “There are town centers where the situation is much more complicated,” he said.
Albi risks becoming a town appealing only to tourists. “Twenty years ago, the center of town was still animated,” said Eric Lamarre, who closed Albi’s last toy store last year. “People really came to town to buy. There were loads of lovely things. It buzzed with people.” Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
My last interview before leaving town was with Eric Lamarre. Last year, he closed Albi’s last toy store. “Twenty years ago, the center of town was still animated,” he said. “People really came to town to buy. There were loads of lovely things. It buzzed with people.”
The big shopping center opened in 2009, and his business declined until the end, when he was losing 50,000 euros (about $53,000) a year.
“It’s a political problem,” he said. “These towns have been had. They always say yes to the shopping center developers.”
Albi, he said, “is still a magnificent city — for the tourists.”



Northpamet New York 5 hours ago

Great article. The same thing happened in the USA. That's why I don't set foot in Wal-Mart, which sucks the life out of towns and puts former businesspeople on horrible wages without benefits. It's a cancer, fed by people who shop there to save $3 on a T-shirt. This is not prosperity. It is impoverishment, not just of character, but of people whose businesses are gone. (PS: Whatever you do, don't put in brick-paved pedestrian streets! That's an admission of death for a town.)

reader Chicago, IL 4 hours ago

The irony is that no one forced anyone to patronize these peripheral stores to the detriment of the central ones. It was a choice. It was a choice to put them there, yes, and it was also a choice to use them. They offer lower prices, but there is another cost as well. The same thing has happened in many places in the US, but there has also been a movement to reverse the trend in some places. I do think it's possible to change this, but you have to have a group of citizens that is committed to doing so. Articulating the loss is a step in the right direction, I think. I would just like to note also that in the US, many of the communities most trying to change this process and to engage with local businesses, farmers markets, etc, are progressive ones. The idea that only the right wing wants to preserve the beauty of some of our traditions - especially the ones worth keeping - is incorrect.

Frank Viviano Barga, Italy 5 hours ago

Very well done and profoundly sad. What makes it even sadder, in a broad sense, is that the same story is unfolding all over the traditional landscape of Europe. In Italy, there are towns and small cities like Albi at every turn, especially but not uniquely in the south. Travel to once-vital regional centers in Britain and the signs of rapid decline are equally palpable. By contrast, Rome, Paris and greater London are expanding ever further into what were once rural hinterlands. There are compelling economic and social explanations for this trend. But as Adam Nossiter observes, none of them measures the incalculable damage that desertion inflicts on a nation's soul and identity.

Dylan Janus Chicago 4 hours ago

Even France, champion of culture, is not impervious to the corrosive forces of corporate dominance and globalization that have hollowed out local economies. This is the way of commerce for nearly all of us here in the USA: big malls, big cars, big parking lots, even bigger people, all stocking up on goods made in slave conditions on the other side of the planet. I'm don't know how to fix any of this, but I suspect it will not end well. This reminds me, I need to go to Costco after work...

K. Herman Los Angeles 5 hours ago

I lived in Limoges in the late '90s and this trend was beginning there. The city center, a beautiful jumble of half-timber buildings, was emptying out while the shopping centers on the periphery attracted residents with convenience and lower prices. There was a melancholy to it and a sense of loss, which even I, a very young American, felt. But what the French have to ask themselves, as we are doing in America, is whether you can go back again, or whether facing an evolving country and culture with clarity and pragmatism is what's called for. The idea that "Frenchness," like American greatness, was static over centuries (or decades, for us) until relatively recently is a fallacy, obviously, and at any rate somehow setting back the clock to a "better" time is impossible. Hopefully, the French won't make the same mistake we made here.

rexl phoenix, az. 5 hours ago

This is extremely sad, where is the world going, are we all staying home to look at our "screens". I have heard similar stories from all over the world.


Eli Tiny Town, Idaho 4 hours ago

You could write this story about any number of small towns in the Midwest or The South.

For anybody that doesnt understand why so many people voted for Trump, it's a reaction against this same thing.

I drove cross country a year ago and there were a lot of places that had beautiful main streets completely devoid of life and activity. There'd be one maybe two fast food joints that kinda limped along, a gas station that seemed to double as a sorta groceries and sunderies store and that was about it.

People here in rural America are clamering to be heard that their towns are dying and that nobody seems to care.


Boeuf
4 hours ago

This isn't so much a story about "Frenchness" as it is about the effects of the economics of global trade on every town in the world.

What's the alternative in the face of the omnipresence of multi-national companies that offer cheap products that, ultimately, all local consumers, French or any other nationality, flock to in droves.

I suppose a government could rip up free trade agreements, and ban IKEA, Starbucks, McDonalds, H&M from opening stores, and risk economic retaliation from other countries, all in order to force its citizens to buy from locally owned neighborhood shops.

But the cost to local consumers would be so high that it'd quickly outpace the diminishing purchasing power of local citizens, not to speak of the effect on the GNP caused by closed borders.

The French love to mock cheap Made-in-China products and laud the superiority of locally made French products, but *somebody* in France is supporting this annual multi-billion euro market of these cheap imports. Hmmm, who could it possibly be in France???


Patrician New York 4 hours ago

The problem, decline in 'Frenchness', is a real one. It's also easy for demagogues like Marine LePen to capitalize on. But, when I read the situation specific to Albi (or other provincial capitals), to understand cause and effect, I don't buy what LePen is selling.

How is this situation caused by immigrants, or Muslims? As I understand from the article, what's happening is a confluence of two forces: first is that large scale hyperstores/shopping centers are taking market share away from small family owned/mom and pop stores. The driver for that is scale leads to lower prices. We've seen that at work in America for decades: Barnes and Noble (now facing Tech competition) driving out neighborhood book stores, Walmart doing the same to grocery stores. This often leads to decline in urban centers, which has lately for many American cities reverted due to urbanization.

The other factor seems to be a decline in economic growth and activity impacting salary and wage growth. I don't know, from the article, if there's also a migration towards larger cities creating a vicious cycle of decline.

So, yes. There may be some immigrant stores selling stuff not traditionally French, but that's not what contributing to the decline.

Any electorate must always ask of their politicians: HOW? How will you fix the problem? naming the problem is the easy part. Confusing cause and effect and putting the blame wrongly will just lead to suboptimal outcomes.

France: learn from our stupidity.


ake Texas 2 hours ago

So France is about 25 years behind the United States in the hollowing out of it's small city and town centers?
In about 10 years many places like Albi will start to slowly come back to life as younger people, lured by cheap rents and tiring of the big city life, move into these town centers and open up cafes, etc.
It is happening to many places in the USA - look no further than Detroit now Portland in the 90's, NYC in the 1980s ,etc.
This is part of the urban cycle.


Peter C New York 3 hours ago

What I find most disappointing in the information this article (and the photos) provide, is the unwillingness of town representatives to speak with the journalist and the willingness to blame the "whistle blower." This too is an example of Frenchness: deny the problem and point at the next guy. Such a beautiful old city demands a young eye and some entrepreneurial spirit, as well as government support in those areas. If rent is cheap in those beautiful buildings, then it is time to open up some night spots, to open bars and clubs, to open fashionable food shops and restaurants. "If you build it they will come." I believe that the young people of France and of all the industrialized nations whose souls are being ripped out by multinational conglomerates are clear eyed and aren't happy about corporate take overs of their histories, towns, patrimoine. They are seeking soul and heart and authenticity but don't know where to turn. This situation mustn't be seen solely as a negative, it is an opportunity to rebuild. I am just wondering why there is no "underground" culture that sees that its time has come.


Dan Morgan Florida 5 hours ago

France successfully combatted these outside of center malls and groceries for years until the unrelenting march of commerce overran the powers that be. This happened in most of America years ago now -- so much so that we don't even believe that our towns and small cities EVER had vibrant life. That's not the case.

In the USA the trap was cheap land and nearby competition. In France it's preservationism and the fact that most towns set up so-called industrial zones where more people work, and then later live. These zones were set up to prevent the town centers from becoming industrialized and the architecture destroyed. Try to preserve a town to this extent and it becomes a museum without daily life . . . !


Ruben Kincaid Brooklyn, NY 2 hours ago

Go to any small city on the planet that has a big-box store on the outskirts, and you will find something similar happening to its center. Wal-Mart destroyed many American towns over the past few decades. This is more about money than being French.


Bill New Zealand 3 hours ago

This is very sad, but I think we need to distinguish between globalization per se and corporate capitalism. Certainly free-trade agreements that privilege mega-corporations are wreaking havoc, but simply putting up trade barriers will also make it difficult for small businesses to sell abroad.

Global trade means Americans can get single malt Scotch. It means in turn that micro-distilleries in the US can sell their wares in boutique shops globally. It means access to French cheese, or Japanese anime. or fair trade coffee. As someone living in New Zealand, it means I can buy ski boots--since there are no local manufacturers--and in fact I did from a locally owned shop.

There is no reason small shops could not stock these items in town--along with, I might add, the products produced in France that will be sold anyway in those large malls.

What throws a huge wrench in the system are corporate economies of scale. Those small shops cannot compete because giant corporations--many domestic--have made it difficult for small businesses. It was not global trade that destroyed the independent bookstore in the US. It was Amazon and Borders.

I'd love to see new model of global trade that levels the field for small businesses.


Jean-Louis Lonne Belves France 4 hours ago

So true; I live near Castillon la Bataille. There is a LeClerc ( like a small Walmart)just outside of town. It cleaned out the small stores with cheap stuff, bad bread, bad meat, old veggies,- not much money in these items. The town is owned by drug dealers, pharmacies, and eye glasses stores , all profit items.


Nate CA 2 hours ago

I have seen so many of these “doomsday” articles about France and especially French Cuisine over the last few years.

If you were to believe all these articles you would think France has become an abandoned hollow shell, eating nothing but fast food burgers and buying nothing but pre-packaged convenience foods.

I finally had to go back last year and see for myself.

I visited over two dozen places, from large cities to tiny villages out in the middle of nowhere. I do not (and cannot) dispute the experience of the author in these specific places, but overall my experience was much, much different

https://cphotoj.com/2016/06/12/a-la-carte-blanche/

While there are no doubt many towns in France with problems, just as there are many towns in rural America with problems, these examples are only one side of the coin.

It’s like taking Detroit or a small coal town in rural Kentucky and using them as an example of what is happening in the majority of America.

Yes, these problems exist, but they are only part of the truth.



RFC Santa Fe, NM 2 hours ago

It's easy to blame superstores and political neglect for the emptying of traditional French towns but there is also the issue of greatly declining birth rates and the emigration of young people to Paris -- they don't want to stay behind and run the family butcher shop or patisserie, or live in apartments where the toilet is in the courtyard. These changing demographics have been going on for decades. The superstores simply fill a need for residents of multiple nearby towns to buy everything they need at once -- even the French appreciate efficiency. Nostalgia for a city center of tiny shops is nostalgia for a time when women stayed home and spent the day planning and shopping for meals. Perhaps we should "blame" the demise of France's charming towns on feminism? There are obviously many factors at work.


fastfurious the new world 3 hours ago

When I visited my educated cultured politically left friends living in the old charming parts of Spanish cities, including Barcelona, I learned they did all their shopping at the big-box stores and groceries in the burbs.

Because $$$.

You can't argue with that.

It's the end of an era. Those who want everyone to continue to patronize small shops and pay more aren't paying attention. People have less money. Shopping at larger cheaper stores is the result. Heraclitus indeed.