Why is the sardine industry a big deal in Marseille?
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In the south of France, the expression 'c'est la sardine qui a bouché le port de Marseille'. It literally means that 'sardines have blocked the port of Marseilles' and people use it when they talk about something that is seriously exaggerated. & Nbsp;A postcard commemorating the blockade of the port of Marseille by a French frigate in 1780
The story begins & nbsp; In 1779 in a place called Puducherry in India. Throughout the 18th century, it was one of several key trading positions in the region that the British and French fought against - especially during the Anglo-French Wars and the Pondicherry siege rings (sometimes referred to as the region). In 1779, the British exchanged prisoners for some of the imprisoned French soldiers. The French boarded a frigate named Sartine, named after King Louis XVI's Minister of Maritime Affairs Antoine de Sartine, and a prestigious boat set out for the Mediterranean to bring its men back to France.Sardinian fishermen in Marseille in the early 1900s
The French boat tried to travel imperceptibly by hoisting the British flag - the waters of the Mediterranean at that time were mostly under British control - and they risked drowning for fear of drowning. However, they failed to avoid unwanted attention and Britain and France re-entered the neighboring wars. In May 1780, an incident arrived from the shores of Martsille, involving Sartine and a British colleague. The British opened fire, killing the captain and two crew members. Ironically, Sartine's fall was not entirely caused by the British - they eventually let the ship pass - but after the British let the boat sail without the captain's guidance, the boat ran to the ground at the entrance to the harbor and got stuck. Due to his size and the way he got over the entrance to the port, other boats could not enter or leave for a long time.Marseille has a thriving sardine industry today, as it did in the 19th century
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Over time, elsewhere in France, people started to joke about what happened in the city of Marseille (there is a very strong rivalry between North and South) and it became known as the ideal way to describe something when you are dealing with a bigger reality than you really are. in his opinion a very long story (what the French call "galéjade"). & nbsp;Delicious grilled sardines are a favorite of Marseille grills
However, the roots of this fish story are firmly rooted in history, and over time, the story of "sartine" became known as "sardine." It also fits in well with Marseille's booming sardine industry, which is one of the most anchovy-caught species in France (France catches 38 kilograms of sardine per minute, or 20,000 tonnes a year; you can just read the article in real time). In the south, as the weather warms, Marseilles marinate them in locally available olive oil and "herbes de Provence" (dried oregano, thyme, marjoram and rosemary). & nbsp; & nbsp;
I have lived in Provence since I exchanged my London city life for the charms of the south of France. I have a background in science, business and finance.