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NewsletterMarch 2014

Abondance & Nothing Else

The French George Clooney is a little older and selling cheese. The photo is a new advertising campaign for Abondance cheese. Ever since moving to Haute-Savoie I've become a fan of Abondance. Abondance is a hard cheese but softer than Comté and not as sharp. It's also not aged as long. Abondance is aged from 4-6 months whereas Comté is aged from 4-24 months, sometimes longer and best at 8-12 months.
Abondance is an AOC cheese (Appellation d'origine contrôlée) and can only be made within Haute-Savoie, using Taurine, Montbéliarde or Abondance cows. As I wrote in my newsletter from October 2007 there is a local farm making and selling Abondance. They also sell other cheeses like Reblochon and Beaufort, plus raw milk.

Municipal Elections

Municipal elections in France are in full swing. Paris is set to elect its first woman mayor, either Anne Hidalgo or Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.
Voting takes place over two rounds March 23rd and 30th. France has a list system that uses a mix of direct and proportional representation. New in 2014, lists must have an equal number of men and woman and alternating by gender. France has 36,680 municipalities and each elects a mayor for a term of six years. Technically voters elect councilors (conseillers) for the municipal council (conseil municipal), who then vote for mayor. Similar to a parliament who elects a prime minister.
One of the problems in this election is finding candidates. French municipalities average about 430 habitats and 11 council seats, making it difficult to find people willing to be councilors or mayor. Even mayors of small villages are paid but have much responsibility and few resources.
More on my site: Municipal Elections 2014 and how the election is playing out in my town.

French TV

Here's a way for you to watch French TV when outside France. Both France Télévisions (public TV channels France 2, France 3, and France Ô) and M6 have their own 'replay' websites: France Télévisions and M6 Reply. The kicker is you'll need to use either a VPN like HideMyAss or a browser plug-in like ZenMate (only works with Google Chrome, but is free unlike HideMyAss) to watch.
Both France Télévisions and M6 also have free apps for tablets and smart phones. With an Apple devices you'll need to download from the French iTunes store and have a VPN like HideMyAss.

Hanging Out

It's been a busy month for Hangouts:
Robert Hoehn: Actor and comic in Paris. If you're looking for a laugh in Paris Robert often performs at French Fried Comedy Night and his videos can be found on YouTube.
Le French Book: Anne Trager and Fabrice Neuman from Le French Book - a digital-first publisher that brings France's best mysteries, thrillers, novels, short stories, and non-fiction to new readers across the English-speaking world.
Laura Bradbury: Laura Bradbury author of My Grape Escape, self-published as an ebook and paperback.
Barron Harper: US international tax preparer.

Mail Box

90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French: Fun little book that fits in your hand was inspired from an article - 20 Ways You Know You're Becoming French.
Nat's Kitchen: Learn to cook 'à la française' in the Burgundy countryside with Nathalie Moiroux.
Psychology Thesis Study: Looking for Americans in France or Americans in US to take short survey.
Bringing Burgundy To You: Wine tastings, wine and food weekends, online shop great and cooking classes.

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