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Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil [Format Kindle]

Tom Mueller
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

The sacred history and profane present of a substance long seen as the essence of health and civilization.

For millennia, fresh olive oil has been one of life's necessities-not just as food but also as medicine, a beauty aid, and a vital element of religious ritual. Today's researchers are continuing 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 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."

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2764 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 267 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0393070212
  • Editeur : W. W. Norton & Company; Édition : 1 (8 avril 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005LW5IZ4
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°178.488 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 J'ai eu aucun idée.... 1 janvier 2013
Par Henri IV
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Avant de lire ce livre, j'ai présumé que les etiquettes sur les bouteilles d'huile d'olive était vrai. Maintenant j'ai une impression très différent. J'ai appris beaucoup sur l'huile d'olive...comment goûter, comment comment douter les etiquettes. Très très interessant!! J'ai originalement lu le livre sur ma Kindle, et ensuite j'ai acheté deux exemplaires en plus pour mes amis.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  152 commentaires
192 internautes sur 203 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An epic battle between first-class quality and commodity pricing 29 novembre 2011
Par Caroline J. Beck - Publié sur
There is no other fruit with a deeper history than the olive. With the publication of Extra Virginity, Tom Mueller has taken it to its bitter end and brings it back again. A book filled with twists and turns that would shame the best mystery writer, Mueller tells a riveting tale about an age-old staple. He explores both ends of the spectrum - the dark, devious world of adulterated oil that has plagued the industry for centuries and a new host of characters from chemists to chefs who are trying to take extra virgin olive oil to a higher level.

It is a story of two opposites: first-class quality doing battle with worldwide commodity pricing and big-money subsidies. Mueller, best known for his 2007 exposé on the world of adulterated olive oil in The New Yorker magazine, spent the last four years delving deep into the subject. When the stakes are as large as a rapidly growing, $1.5 billion business in the U.S. alone, it's understandable that Mueller would uncover an undercurrent of shady dealings.

He introduces readers to a cast of characters from around the world. From "hero" archetypes like Paolo Pasquali of Villa Campestri in Tuscany, a former philosophy professor, who spearheads a new system to protect oil from tree to table to villainous players like Domenico Ribatti, whose illegal activity eventually led to a plea bargain in Italian court. Even Mark Twain gets a mention.

Kudos to the well-deserved acknowledgement of Mike Madison's long years of diligence as a small-scale producer of first class oil. I was only disappointed that there was so little mention of many other ardent, honest and ethical growers in California who are toiling to see extra virgin olive oil gain its rightful place on the shelf. I hope Mueller gets to meet some of them before he completes a sequel.

Caroline J. Beck, The Olive Oil Source
67 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Loving an endangered species - 3+ 22 janvier 2012
Par Blue in Washington - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
An interview with author Tom Mueller on NPR's "Splendid Table" program led me to buy the book. Mueller is just as passionate in person about his subject--great olive oil--as he is in his writing. He is equally strong in chronicling his outrage over what the greed of producers and distributors is doing to undermine the quality of the product. All of this is laid out at length in "Extra Virginity". And it is the extensive investigatory reporting on the greed and criminality that makes the book drag considerably. Still, it does make his warnings and buying counsel to consumers of olive oil the more convincing, even if it makes the book more difficult to read.

What I (gratefully) did get from this book were some great sources to find authentic extra virgin olive oil and a persuasive argument that quality in the product does matter for culinary and health reasons. These are two good reasons to buy Mueller's book. And here's a tip to perspective readers who might, like me, tire of the long passages about Italian oil criminality or semi-cryptic descriptions of olive oil's chemical makeup: you can skip to page 221 of the book where begins Mueller's detailed Appendix, and where you will find all of the information you need to locate, buy and appreciate authentic extra virgin olive oil of any origin. It includes what to avoid as well as how and when to purchase. I have used the information and bought my first Mueller-recommended oil--a Spanish label, Castillo de Canena, that is every good thing that Mueller promised it would be, including crushingly expensive.

Finally, here are a few important things that the reader will get from this book: most extra virgin olive oil sold in the U.S. probably isn't extra virgin oil; to get the good stuff, you have to pay a premium; olive oil is great for your health, if you get the right stuff; the color of the oil doesn't indicate quality; point of origin indicated on the label of any olive oil doesn't relate to quality; there is no single country that produces "the best olive oil".

So, although this may not be the easiest-flowing book, overall it's a fine source of information about an important and interesting food product that is a big plus to quality of life.
105 internautes sur 118 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The olive oil 'tipping point' the world has been waiting for. 4 décembre 2011
Par C. Cord - Publié sur
At a conference in Córdoba, Spain last summer Tom Mueller addressed a gathering of politicians, olive oil producers, scientists and journalists and urged them to repeat the words "extra virgin" three times slowly. The words soon become, he said, "not a food, but a strange religious cult, a language of initiation, or some place on the internet where you really would not want your children to go."

He should know. Mueller is the investigative author whose 2007 piece in The New Yorker, Slippery Buisness: The Trade in Adulterated Olive Oil, forever changed the discourse about olive oil quality by uncovering plenty of places you wouldn't want your children to go.

Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil is Mueller's first book and, while the title emphasizes the weight and complexity of those words, it's all about people.

Mueller is driven by a profound respect for the dedicated people who make good olive oil and a disdain for the fraudsters and profiteers who have always had their way with us. But much more than just getting in the faces of the good guys and the bad guys, he tells why it matters. And then you get it -- you understand what olive oil really is, and why so many care about it so deeply.

After 256 engrossing pages that go by way too quickly, someone who never contemplated the tin of olive oil on the kitchen counter will know why it has brought out the best, and the worst in people for thousands (yes thousands) of years.

I tore through the book, then went back to the beginning and tore through it again. The only times I paused were to read a passage over to take it in a second time, marveling at Mueller's way with words.

Readers of these pages know this is a critical time for the status of olive oil in the world. Producers in every region teeter on the edge of viability as a crisis of impossibly low prices -- brought on by low-quality, often fraudelent oils and shady business practices -- grinds on and on.

The European olive oil behemoths, or as Mueller calls them, "Big Oil," will soon lose to some significant degree the subsidies that have long allowed them to undersell competitors. And New World producers, bolstered in part by Mueller's 2007 exposé, are calling the Old Guard out, challenging the quality of their olive oils, and joining forces to fight for your business.

There is a lot at stake. Olive oil is, as Mueller put it, "an age-old food with space-age qualities that medical science is just beginning to understand."

Extra virgin olive oil has been found to be extremely good for you -- in ways we could have never imagined. But when we head to the local store to buy the extra virgin olive oil we've been reading about, very often what we bring home is something else entirely.

"A swift and widespread dumbing-down of olive oil quality has occurred, which in the end is everybody's loss," Mueller writes.

Andreas März, a Swiss agronomist and olive farmer who began his own investigation into olive oil adulteration in 2004, told Mueller "So long as smelly, rancid oils and first-rate oils with the perfume of fresh olives bear the same name, quality producers in Italy and throughout the Mediterranean have no possibility of covering their costs. So long as olive producers are unable to earn a fair profit for their olives and olive oil, groves will die out."

What a shame that would be, when there are so many mouths to feed -- so many cultures who are just now discovering this ancient food that would help them live longer.

Tom Mueller humanizes the hotbed of olive oil today in a way that is clear, credible and compelling. Extra Virginity, which will be released December 5th, could well prove to be the olive oil tipping point the world has been waiting for.

Curtis Cord
Executive Editor, Olive Oil Times
92 internautes sur 107 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Captivating and Provocative 30 novembre 2011
Par Nathan J. Ver Burg - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Extra Virginity reveals a glimpse into the hidden world of olive oil, which has been widely unseen until now. Tom's hard-hitting report presents vivid narratives of both honor and fraud within the olive oil industry and brings the explicit truth to much-needed light.

This corruption, unexamined for far too long, is very real. Working in the corporate olive oil industry, we perpetually come up against the lack of understanding and concern for truly how much adulterated olive oil is on the market today. It's disturbing how many well known food companies and olive oil suppliers are not being held responsible for their deliberate label misrepresentations, and as a result, consumers are being taken advantage of.

Tom Mueller's insightful history finally brings this prolific issue of adulteration into view for all to see. Echoing the comments by Bill Buford, this book is "ridiculously overdue" and is regarded with the utmost respect and value.

Nathan J. Ver Burg, Centra Foods
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Apple and Eve are the only fruit which we have a longer relationship with... 13 décembre 2011
Par Laurence R. Bachmann - Publié sur
Extra Virginity considers the olive from all angles--both obvious and esoteric. Unlike others reviewing EV, I almost never thought about olive oil. I for one never thought about olives as a fruit (obvious). Of course it is, and that "oil" you are cooking with or that refuses to mix with vinegar is an olive's juice. Nor did I realize there are literally hundreds of types of olives, hence a nearly infinite variety of olive oil flavors. Indeed, like wine and wine-tasters, olive oil aficionados seem to discern flavors and subtleties missed by mortal palates. And to those who think of it only as something to drizzle on a salad or peasant bread, Extra Virginity considers it (as mankind has for thousands of years) as a beauty aid or a health palliative.

No other food commodity can, with perhaps the exception of bread, claim to be such an essential part of civilization's menu or to have a more storied place. . Its pedigree in Ancient Greece and Rome make it unique among foodstuffs or at least one with lots of background. Mueller, a staff writer for the New Yorker, writes extremely well and has, obviously mastered his subject. His style is light and breezy and even the sections on production and processing are interesting and move along at a nice pace. We learn about the crisis of adulteration and problems with labeling, and about the high cost of producing good olive oil due to its labor intensity. Virgin v. Extra is outlined and an industry "crisis" is outlined in (I thought) rather overwrought detail. Some producers are indeed finding it difficult to make the really good stuff because an unsophisticated market (read USA) basically doesn't know the good from the bad so shrugs and usually buys a lesser, adulterated commodity.

I have no doubt the problem is real, but the notion that the really good stuff is just going to disappear out of ignorance is a bit far-fetched. After all, in the 1960s the American wine industry reflected an equally unsophisticated palate and taste level. With education, tastings, and the effort of chefs and sommeliers, Americans managed to distinguish the Ripple from the Rothschild.
In that instance I think Mr. Mueller might be overstating his case. But in all other areas Extra Virginity is not informative, it is terrifically entertaining.
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