NOT only has Australia taken a bite out of the French wine market, a handful of farmers are targeting a particularly valuable delicacy – truffles.
The BBC website features a piece on the growing number of truffle farms in Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.
And the ‘black diamond’ is something worth cultivating as prices start at around £500 a kilo, with truffle hunting dogs just as valuable.
Australian producers have also realised they can use the seasons to their advantage and produce truffles outside the recognised harvest time of December to February.
Farmer Duncan Garvey says the plan is to ‘export truffles to Europe, Asia and North America - anywhere, in fact, where there is an out-of-season demand for the aromatic fungi’.
Before la rentrée in September really kicks in the major political parties in France hold their conferences, and this year’s events are particularly interesting with presidential elections set for April next year.
The Sunday Times takes a look at the manoeuvring taking place within the Socialist opposition and the intriguing possibility that its leading candidate Ségolène Royal may end up battling her long-term partner Francois Hollande in a televised debate.
In the French press Le Monde reports that one of the first bears released into the Pyrenees to try and repopulate the region has been found dead – although the police believe the bear fell and was not killed by those opposing the plans, who fear for their livestock.
I am also continuing my trawl around the world of YouTube on the look out for interesting French music.
This time turning up Serge Gainsbourg from the 60s and the dark rock music of Noir Desir, whose lead singer Bertrand Cantat is currently serving a prison sentence for the manslaughter of his then girlfriend Marie Trintignant in 2003.