am anxiously anticipating Extra Virginity: The Sublime & Scandalous
World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller, because at my age, I can use some
extra virginity. Seriously. And who doesn't need a little
scandal for dessert? The subject of fraud relating to the production
and selling of Extra Virgin Olive Oil was introduced by the author in his
explosive Aug-2007 article in The New Yorker in which he described the
extent of the fraud as follows: "In 1997 and 1998, olive oil was the most
adulterated agricultural product in the European Union, prompting the
E.U.’s anti-fraud office to establish an olive-oil task force.
(“Profits were comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the
risks,” an investigator told the author.)” In a rich
narrative, Extra Virginity documents the history of this age-old
product as a food-group, health and beauty aid and necessity in certain
religious rites; through the current actions of the artisans, activists,
analysts and advocates who are trying to keep the industry
— Karen McCue
But what if this symbol of purity has become deeply corrupt? Starting with an explosive article inThe New Yorker, Tom Mueller has become the world's expert on olive oil and olive oil fraud-a story of globalization, deception, and crime in the food industry 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. A rich and deliciously readable narrative, Extra Virginity is also an inspiring account of the artisanal producers, chemical analysts, chefs, and food activists who are defending the extraordinary oils that truly deserve the name "extra-virgin.
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.