For millennia, fresh olive oil has been a necessity - for food, medicine, beauty, and religion. Today's researchers continue 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 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. Extra Virginity is an inspiring account of the people who are defending the extraordinary oils that truly deserve the name "extra-virgin".
©2012 Tom Mueller (P)2011 Dreamscape Media, LLC
Audio is good everyone should hear this book.
Very informative book. I loved the history but I did have a sad reaction to this book. I lost trust in the fact that no matter the integrity of generations, it can all be ruined by greed of a few.
My husband and I enjoy cooking together and so this was a great listen while we were going to take a long road trip. After the autho identified the significant health benefits of consuming olive oil, he then presented a case for the corruption and adulteration of olive oils commonly sold in grocery stores and offered in restaurants. This book was a very in depth analysis and exposition, but fascinating through and through. Having read this book, I feel like a better consumer and it makes for some great conversation at dinner parties. Moreover, now that we have identified authentic olive oil and the bold taste of authentic oil, I'm grateful to be informed of what to look for in the marketplace. May even consider visiting California to see olive oil growth and production as the process sounds fascinating.
This book is a must-read if you are interested in where your food comes from, how it gets to your plate, and what is in it. Not all food has the same history and contorted path, but the threats are the same. Dilution, mislabeling, adulterating, and blatant cheating.
Like most popular items that carry a premium price - the masses want it cheaper and there are shady businesspeople that are willing to let them think they got a good deal. The power and quality of real olive oil is an amazing story. The artisans that bring it to the table have much history to share. Unfortunately, they are being squeezed out of business and the consumer is getting cheated by the same thing - lack of standards and meaningful rules that tell consumers what is in a product and where it came from so they can make an educated choice.
Hopefully, with more awareness things can be changed and the consumer will know what they are buying and eating.
The only thing I would change is the glossary at the end. This is of limited use in audio format and should be at the very end after the "Tips and Suggestions" for finding, buying, and using real olive oil.
Opens your eyes to the fraud committed with the majority of EVO on the grocery shelves and the blind eye the regulators turn towards it. Fraud of billions of dollars of either olive oil below extra virgin standards or adulterated with other oils. Not only cheats consumers but penalizes reputable makers by fake EVO below their cost to produce authentic EVO.
Along with showing the corruption in the olive oil industry this books also makes one appreciate the history of olives and the pure joy of tasting good oil.
this book has allowed me to enjoy olive oil much more. learning about the intricate methods of producing olive oil from the groves, to the process, to the sale, this book enlightened me to look at olive oil in a new light! more a story telling than just a factual piece, the listen was easy and entertaining. I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious about olive oil and the world behind it. As an educated consumer now, I now know what to look for when purchasing olive oil. You may also learn a little Italian while enjoying this book!
This is an informative book about the olive oil trade. The scams that go on in oil labeling, bottling, and sales will likely shock most readers. Unless you are already well informed about this, the book will give you much needed practical information that will help you make informed decisions about what oil to buy, how to use it, and how not to waste your money.
the section on oil substitutions and adulterants
bad at accents
the slippery side of olive oil
It is one of my favorites
find out what you've really been eating
This is just a delightful book, with great narration and a fascinating story. I decided to go out and buy an olive oil that was higher grade than my usual grocery store brand oil, and found that there is a significant difference in the taste, color and texture in a better olive oil. Its nice to read a book and get a sense for what the author is trying to explain in your own home. Overall 5-stars!
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 an informative book, and the anecdotes are interesting, but I have limited patience for rambling. After 3 hours, I still had no idea when the story was suppose to start. I rarely give up on a book, but I just could not give another minute to Extra Virginity. I would compare this story to the ramblings of a talkative seat-partner on a transatlantic flight. This would be a good coffee table book, but skip the audiobook . . .
Only got 40 mins into the book before I just couldn't go any further. The story spent so long sucking up to oil with flattering phrases instead of meaningful content that I got sick of it, lost interest, and returned the book.
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