I enjoyed it and I think I learned a lot.
I say I think I learned a lot because I noticed that not every bit of information related as truth was accurate.
For example, the book explains Hanukkah as being an internal matter of factions within the Jews battling over control of the temple. (If you don't know that history--suffice it to say that this is not what happened!)
Other than not fact checking some information, I liked it and have a couple bottles of real olive oil on order and the family is excited to see if we will enjoy what we have been missing!
Seems like the chance of actually getting extra virgin olive oil in the high priced bottle you just bought is pretty slim. Surprising to me, the book describes the need to develop an acquired taste to actually enjoy it. Overall, a solid taste of the good, the bad and the ugly in growing olives, pressing them and ultimately selling olive oil.
Yes, with the caveat that the narrator reads rather slowly (not terrible), but his impersonation of the voices was TERRIBLE. I was cringing by the end of the book and just wanted him to quit trying. Just read!!!
The story of the olive oil industry! Fraud in the industry goes back to the Romans. But what surprised me most is that Mark Twain actually commented on it in his book, Life on the Mississippi!!
Let me count the ways!! I enjoy the flexibility of Audible but it is the RARE reader who adds to a book being read. More often, it is readers like the one narrating this book, that totally detract from the reading experience. The narrator had such a fake, sappy voice for most of the characters he impersonated. It would have been FAR better if he had just read the book straight without trying to make individual characters voices.
Food Fraud from Roman to Modern times
How does Audible choose its narrators? Seriously, I think I could do a better job than many of the ones I've heard.
The mind blowing truth about the world of Olive Oil and beyond. Absolutely wonderful, a book that I will always treasure. I am grateful for the information found in this book... it opened my eyes and changed my life.
i am interested in the overall topic of food production, its history and bumps along the way, including the adulteration along the way of various products, including olive oil. so this book is worth the time for a listen. it does go a bit slow, though. i think some tighter editing would have improved the book and made its overall message easier and quicker to absorb.
the general description of how oil has been and is tampered with in its journey from the tree to the consumer is of central value to this book.
sadly, after listening to about 400 recorded books on this service, i found the narration of this title to be the worst i've encountered. ganim's reading of this book gets in the way of the story it is supposed to tell. this isn't a work of fiction where we want a bit of acting to spice up the characters. the fake accents of various interviewees were desperately poor and extremely annoying.
You will crave high-quality olive oil during and after reading this book. Fantastic narration, juicy history, and a nice dose of business and politics this book has it all. Olive Oil is such a rich topic, from mafiosos to Greek gods and models it is a truly rich subject. The author appreciates and is passionate about his subject.
I compare this book to Onward (the autobiography of Starbucks founder) because the descriptions of the oil are much like the descriptions of the coffee roasts. They make you want to go to the nearest olive oil distributor!
Peter Ganim is a fantastic narrator.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
If you're a Foodie, you'll love "Extra Virginity"! If, however, you love political or religious history, chemistry, food revolutions, technology, you'll really like this book.
It chronicles the Golden Age of Olive Oil (those Greeks, I tell ya), to Oil Bosses, to Technologically Advanced Mills, and gets into the chemical composition of oil (and there are CSI types of sleuths who have to thoroughly examine acids, triglycerides, and the like because fudging with oil leaves a trace... just like a crime scene). There's its heathen appeal--smearing it all over your body for wanton practices, its symbolical appeal--Israeli soldiers planting a sapling, asking/declaring that anything beyond that is meant for them, its basis for judicial persecution (How dare you call my oil hazelnut oil!), so many things.
Indeed, at just over 10 hours, there's a lot. There's a lot of waxing poetic about nature, historical and physical features of the people Mueller's talked to (like someone with a hump on their shoulder), in depth digressions into the history of contraband and smuggling, etc.
Still, a delightful, eye-opening book.
I used to make fun of my brother for swirling his wine around, sniffing it, lolling it just so on his tongue. Now, after "Extra Virginity", I know how to loll around and judge extra virgin olive oil. Hint: Cleanse your palate with mineral water or a bite of a granny smith apple in between...!
This is a book that I wish I had purchased physically instead of the audio book. The stories and subjects are interesting, and I learned more about olive oil than I'd ever dreamed of, but the reader comes across as patronizing and condescending, and he gets way too in to accents, which is problematic when nearly every speaker is either Italian or Australian. I'd recommend this book, but not from this reader
Mostly fluff, and way overly dramatized filler for the rest.
It was interesting and informative to learn about how most extra virgin olive oil is... really not what you're paying for/getting. However, this could be summed up in a brief article
Gives an overview of the olive industry and how it has become mix of those who love the olive and those who love money more than quality. You will want to research any olive oil source before you buy. Much needs to be done to clean up the industry and get the true product to consumers.