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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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The Perfect French Baguette

Baguette2

While there are few symbols as quintessentially French as the baguette, its status – and quality – have been uncertain in recent years. Beginning in the 1950s, bakers began looking for shortcuts to make baguettes more quickly: relying on frozen, pre-made dough. ‘Those bakers at that time were happy,’ said Bouattour, as he led me past the fresh loaves at his Arlette & Colette in Paris’ 17th arrondissement. ‘But it killed our profession.’ In an attempt to save traditional French baguettes from widespread industrialisation, France passed Le Décret Pain (‘The Bread Decree’) in 1993, establishing that, by law, an authentic baguette de tradition must be made by hand, sold in the same place it’s baked and only made with water, wheat flour, yeast and salt.”  Source: BBC

Technological advancements and economic practices would have altered French baking practices, but to halt the change cultural purists took political steps to preserve the old cultural traditions.  The running of bakeries, and the winners of the prize for the best Parisian baguette have been bakers who come from immigrant families. Bakers with Middle Eastern, North African, and West African backgrounds are now key participants of shaping the most French of cultural goods.

Questions to Ponder: Why have bread-making practices become politicized in Paris?  How have immigrants changed French cultural practices?  How have French cultural practices changed immigrants?

GeoEd Tags: culture, food production, France, food, technology, migration, diffusion.

Paris mayor unveils plan ​to restrict traffic and pedestrianize city center

Anne Hidalgo says she wants to cut the number of cars in French capital by half as part of campaign to tackle pollution

Source: www.theguardian.com

The world’s biggest cities are struggling to maintain access to congested downtown areas and still ensure that the downtown maintains it’s historic sense of place that generate so much tourism and concentration of cultural amenities.  Pollution is driving cities to change as the private automobile as the default mode of transportation becomes less feasible and unsustainable as cities expand to be far larger than they ever have been before.  

 

Tags: urban, environmentpollution, urban ecology, France, place, tourism, Paris, megacities, transportation.

A Medieval Abbey Trapped by Tides and Time

“Mont Saint-Michel emerges from the tides in Normandy, France, like an ancient village from a fairytale. The coastal town built on a massive granite rock cuts a dramatic silhouette against the sky, rising from disappearing marshes to a Gothic Abbey at its height. With a permanent population of around 50, this popular tourist destination has a history dating back to at least the Roman era. Fancy a tour before the tides roll in?”

Source: www.youtube.com

Coastal physical geography produces some beautiful landforms such as tombolos.  A tombolo is created when sand deposits attach an island to a larger piece of land–think of it as special type of isthmus.  Mont St. Michel is the world’s most famous example because of the iconic walled city with crowned with a striking medieval abbey.  This is one of those fascinating places for both the human and physical geographer.   

 

Tags: water, physical, coastal, geomorphology, landformsFrance, historical, tourism.

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