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
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
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.
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.
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!
Mother, Wife, Cultural Anthropologist, always a scholar and lover of books!
I listened to this book in my car and really enjoyed it! Tom Mueller kept the subject fresh and relevant by introducing the reader to the history, and people (globally) that make olive oil the "liquid gold" that we consume. I will never buy a bottle again without reading the label. And I intend to educate myself on the flavor profiles of oil. This book is for the scholar, book-lover, agronomist, economist, traveler, foodie, and the casual cook alike.
Who knoew there was so much politicking going on in the world of olive oil? While I may not go out and start drinking shot glasses full to measure quality, I definitely want to try different flavors on the higher end stuff. Maybe hit an olive-oil bar in CA... Great listen!
I loved the apparent curiosity of the main character and how this was inflected by the narrator.
The bit on food law both domestically and internationally.
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.
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 . . .
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.
I got a lot of knowledge from this book and the narrator was great, but I wasn't really enertained. It was like a college course on olive oil.
I know that the author switched subjects and places, but it seemed like the same story over and over.
He did a great job with all characters. One of my favorite narrators
It was interesting. I learned a few things. I never sat in my garage at home, because I couldn't turn off the book though
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