Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
The sacred history and profane present of a substance long seen as the essence of health and civilization.For millennia, fresh olive oil has been one of life's necessities-not just as food but also as medicine, a beauty aid, and a vital element of religious ritual. Today's researchers are... show more
The sacred history and profane present of a substance long seen as the essence of health and civilization.For millennia, fresh olive oil has been one of life's necessities-not just as food but also as medicine, a beauty aid, and a vital element of religious ritual. Today's researchers are continuing to confirm the remarkable, life-giving properties of true extra-virgin, and "extra-virgin Italian" has become the highest standard of quality. But what if this symbol of purity has become deeply corrupt? Starting with an explosive article in The New Yorker, Tom Mueller has become the world's expert on olive oil and olive oil fraud-a story of globalization, deception, and crime in the food industry from ancient times to the present, and a powerful indictment of today's lax protections against fake and even toxic food products in the United States. A rich and deliciously readable narrative, Extra Virginity is also an inspiring account of the artisanal producers, chemical analysts, chefs, and food activists who are defending the extraordinary oils that truly deserve the name "extra-virgin." 8 pages of illustrations
Publish date: April 8th 2013
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 288
Edition language: English
, Food And Drink
, Book Club
, Food History
A very enjoyable natural and political history of olive oil. It has inspired me to spring for a can of Merula and begin to sample oils at a local specialty store. On the down side, the audiobook reader is not up to par. He mispronounces words like "cuneiform" and engages in sporadic yet really annoy...
I did not rate it higher because there are few long passages that slow down the reading pace. Plus, yes, I got the point there is a lot of fraud and bad oil out there, and that the powers that be, who benefit from the status quo, will not do squat to change it; after a while, that point got repetiti...
This book is going to end up costing me an arm and a leg, I'm sure. I learned a lot, much of it disheartening. That extra-virgin first-cold-press olive oil you bought at the supermarket? Is most likely fit only for burning in a lamp. It's almost certainly not extra-virgin, and it's quite possibly no...
While there was some interesting information, this book went very slowly. There was almost too much history and not enough current information. I'll not look at the olive oil from the grocery store the same way, but this book also wasn't enough to make me stop buying it for general cooking purpose...
It can be disheartening to read about the extraordinary benefits of pure, fresh olive oil, only to be told you're not likely to get it unless you grow and process your own olives. True extra virginity is mighty scarce. That pretty bottle of oil on your shelf for which you paid a premium price has pr...