peter in port, March 29, 2012 (view all comments by peter in port)
Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is an essential ingredient in Italian cuisine, and the cuisines of a lot of other Mediterranean cuisines. There was quite a lot I did not know about olive oils before I read this book. The book even helped me understand my grandparents' own peculiar feelings about cooking with olive oil versus animal fats, which they abhorred. You see my grandparents were from the section of Italy known as Apulia, (the heel of the boot) which has been for centuries, and is today the epicenter of the olive oil world. Not only are massive amounts of olive oil produced in Apulia, but it is also an area where olive oil is often mixed with inferior oils for fraudulent purposes. Tom Mueller visits the subject of corruption in the olive oil industry, which is rife, and the various kinds and classifications of olive oil, the history of olive oil, how it influenced ancient Greek culture, how it was used not merely as foodstuff, but as a cosmetic, a skin treatment, a lubricant, a fuel, a religious ritual and a cultural icon. Mueller could have used a better editor, as I found the organization of the book a little confusing, but nonetheless it was a fascinating read. Highly recommended for any foodie.
Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
0 stars -
W. W. Norton & Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Italy resident Mueller, who wrote a piece on olive oil for the New Yorker, is well-situated to interpose olive oil against the Byzantine ways of its present-day production in this intriguing and sumptuously researched book. He begins in southern Puglia at a small, family-run olive oil business, then examines the vastness of Italian farming and olive production and the ongoing struggle for quality oil making. His history takes readers through Europe and eventually around to California and Australia. The book's organizing conflict centers on current imbalances between trade quality and quantity, and the problematic roles of politics, government, and regulation. Mueller includes specialists in his book from a variety of disciplines, including archeology, classics, and epidemiology. Interspersed historical material follows the oil's thread out of Mediterranean antiquity through subsequent civilizations and imperiums, into the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Mechanization during the Industrial Revolution, Mueller points out in this engaging story, accelerated production and consumption, but now the industry is plagued by questionable developments that are fortunately offset by the growing artisanal trade." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The sacred history and profane present of a substance long seen as the essence of health and civilization.
An illuminating look at olive oil withand#160;100 recipes from the country's leading authority on the subject.
"Follow a single, microscopic yeast cell down a rabbit hole, and Alice, aka Adam, will take you on a fascinating romp through the Wonderland of ethyl alcohol, from Natures own fermentation to todays best Scotch whiskies—and worst hangovers. This book is a delightful marriage of scholarship and fun." —Robert L. Wolke, author of What Einstein Kept Under His Hat and What Einstein Told His Cook
Named a Best Science Book of 2014 by Amazon, Wired, the Guardian, and NBC
Winner of the 2014 Gourmand Award for Best Spirits Book in the United States
“Lively . . . [Rogers’s] descriptions of the science behind familiar drinks exert a seductive pull.” — New York Times
Humans have been perfecting alcohol production for ten thousand years, but scientists are just starting to distill the chemical reactions behind the perfect buzz. In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Adam Rogers takes us from bourbon country to the world’s top gene-sequencing labs, introducing us to the bars, barflies, and evolving science at the heart of boozy technology. He chases the physics, biology, chemistry, and metallurgy that produce alcohol, and the psychology and neurobiology that make us want it. If you’ve ever wondered how your drink arrived in your glass, or what it will do to you, Proof makes an unparalleled drinking companion.
“Rogers’s book has much the same effect as a good drink. You get a warm sensation, you want to engage with the wider world, and you feel smarter than you probably are. Above all, it makes you understand how deeply human it is to take a drink.” — Wall Street Journal
An illuminating look at olive oil with 100 recipes from the countryand#8217;s leading authority on the subject
Olive oil is more popular than ever, thanks to its therapeutic and preventative effects in treating different diseases, as well as the growing variety of brands and imports available. Nancy Harmon Jenkins, arguably the leading authority on olive oil and the healthy Mediterranean diet, presents more than 100 dishes that showcase olive oil, ranging from soups to seafood to sauces to sweets. Along with favorites like tapenade and pesto, youand#8217;ll find other exciting dishes like North African Seafood Tagine, Oven-Braised Artichokes with Potatoes and Onions, and Quince and Ginger Olive Oil Cake. But this book isnand#8217;t just a collection of hearty and healthful recipes; Jenkins also covers the history and culture of olive oil as well as how to buy it and cook with it. Aand#160;thing of beauty with the stunning photographs of exquisite dishes as well as Jenkinand#8217;s own Tuscan olive tree grove, Virgin Territory captures the delights of making and cooking with olive oil.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.