The hunt for black gold: is California the world’s next truffle hotspot?

For decades, enthusiasts have hoped truffles can follow wines path to success in the state. Charlotte Simmonds joins a search for the delicacy Staci OToole is lying face down in the dirt. I can smell it! she cries, nose to the roots of a hazelnut tree. A funky, fungal odor emanates from a shallow hole in the ground of this Sonoma Valley orchard. It hints at a hidden treasure many years in the making: a French Prigord truffle, grown right here in California. Commonly known as black truffles or even is s this year, while New Zealand, South Africa and Chile all have burgeoning industries. For decades many have pinned their hopes on the Mediterranean climate, robust wine industry and …

Good enough to eat? The toxic truth about modern food

We are now producing and consuming more food than ever, and yet our modern diet is killing us. How can we solve this bittersweet dilemma? Pick a bunch of green grapes, wash it, and put one in your mouth. Feel the grape with your tongue, observe how cold and refreshing it is: the crisp flesh, and the jellylike interior with its mild, sweet flavour. Eating grapes can feel like an old pleasure, untouched by change. The ancient Greeks and Romans loved to eat them, as well as to drink them in the form of wine. The Odyssey describes a ripe and luscious vine, hung thick with grapes. As you pull the next delicious piece of fruit from its stalk, you …