French Gastronomy on Stamps (23): Rhone-Alpes

timbres-gastronomie-rhonealpes

France has issued many stamps on food (not foodstamps!) on her own gastronomy for quite some time.
A new series will be issued on April 25th and wil be printed in the form of mini-sheets dedicated to a particular region with stamps, pics and explanations.
With the twenty-second of these sheets I’d like to introduce is Rhone-Alpes.

Rhone-Alpes is an administrative regions in France whose history is both ancient and new.
Rhone stands for the Rhone River which flows through Switzerland before taking a 90 degree turn towards the Mediterranean Sea. This region with the Saone River valley is the true start of France with a 2,500 plus year old history.
On the other hand, part of the Alpes/Alps, including Mont Blance was still Italian until the French governement bought it in the second half of the XIXth century!

It is an extremely rich region and the present sheet does not do it justice.
You can see:
-Fondue which shares its origins with Switzerland and French Jura. Originally a poorman’s winter fare invented by shepherds, it has expanded behind the French borders as a culinary specialty.
-Boucho restaurants in Lyon were originally inns where the wife was cooking and the husband serving. There are only under 20 authentic ones left in Lyon.

Naturally the region is deservedly famous for its many wines, cheeses and spirits distilled by monks in mountain monasteries.
Withe bourgogne it accounts for half of the best restaurants in France.
It is also the land of winter sports with already two Olympic Games staged there!

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