Synopses & Reviews
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.'
A Best History, Current Events, Contemporary Issues Audiobook of 2012. ""[Narrator] Peter Ganim narrates with appropriate surprise, occasional outrage, and always energy and excitement. His excellent Italian and his deep base voice suit the text. His voicing of the many personalities Mueller interviews and even his reading of the glossary at the end are most entertaining...a must listen..."" - SoundCommentary
""[Ganim's] voice lavishes the descriptions of beautiful landscapes of olive groves and delicious olive-oil-infused cuisine with audible love. He gives studied accents to the global range of olive oil producers, farmers, professors, and wholesalers, according to their country of origin."" - AudioFile Magazine
Starred review. ""Engrossing history, vivid contemporary reporting, and a cogent call to action, expertly blended in an illuminating text."" - Kirkus Reviews
3 out of 4 stars. ""Mueller builds a convincing case...gives readers the tools to find honestly and lovingly produced product."" - USA Today
""...engaging story..."" - Publishers Weekly
""Extra Virginity promises a journey into the 'sublime and scandalous world of olive oil' and delivers on that promise. Readers of this book will never again look at olive oil in the same way."" - New York Journal of Books
""a sparkling, stylish, sharply observed narrative that entertains and educates."" - The Dallas Morning News
""Extra-virgin olive oil is glorious, complex and slippery...that's bountifully clear in Tom Mueller's expansive, fascinating exploration...Mueller manages to fuse the poetry and business of olives into a riveting tale that also sheds light on food politics more broadly. The growing legion of olive oil aficionados are destined to adore it, especially the useful index telling them how and where to buy."" - Macleans
""How long have readers been waiting for a book like this? A century? A millennium? Finally, the earth's most poetic food has found its storyteller. Essential, smart, and ridiculously overdue."" - Bill Buford, author of Heat
Globalization, deception, crime - how Extra-Virgin Olive Oil became corrupt.
About the Author
Tom Mueller writes for The New Yorker and other publications. He lives in a medieval stone farmhouse surrounded by olive groves in the Ligurian countryside outside of Genoa, Italy.