If you travel to France you’ve probably realized that the country is divided into different regions, much like the US is divided into States (and States into counties). If you’ve traveled to France recently, you might have noticed that many of them have changed, resulting in such mouthfuls as the region of “Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charente,” “Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine,” and Languedoc-Roussillion-Midi-Pyrénées!”
In 2014 the French government passed a law reducing the total number of regions from 27 to 18, mostly by combining smaller regions into one large amalgamated region (hence the flood of hyphens). Don’t worry, you don’t need to memories these convoluted combinations, as they are temporary names put in place in January 2016 (when the law went into effect) and were meant to be replaced definitively by October 1, 2016.
So while “Bourgogne-Franche-Compté” seems destined to remain the same, Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charente will become “Nouvelle Aquaitaine” (leaving one to wonder what the people from Limousin and Poitou-Charente think about the whole thing), and Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine takes on the more egalitarian (and lofty) title “Grand Est.”
Some regions’ amalgamation simplifies things: Lower and Upper Normandy combined to form, well, Normandy! And some of the regions have yet to determine what their final name will be.
How does this affect your travel? Not at all, except that we at The International Kitchen might have to do a little reorganization of the website! We’re happy to say we already represent a majority of the 12 mainland regions, and we’re looking to add more itineraries soon.
By Peg Kern
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