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Extra Virginity - The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil (Anglais) Broché – 12 avril 2013

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Little is what it seems in the world of Italian olive oil, Mueller reveals in this brilliant exposé of the industry... as he travels Italy, Mueller uncovers a murky mafioso world and a trade in Italian food that has been estimated at some 60bn a year --Sunday Times

A work of investigative journalism, yes, but that's only one strand of this book, in which Mueller sings the hymns of praise to the health benefits of olive oil and meets the small growers who are being pushed to the wall while their neighbours get rich selling counterfeit products. Glasgow Herald --Glasgow Herald

An eye-opening account of the dark side of the olive oil trade… as entertaining as it is informative and as fast-paced as a thriller, you will not be able to put it down. --Daily Express (5-star review )

Fascinating --Independent on Sunday

A work of investigative journalism, yes, but that's only one strand of this book, in which Mueller sings the hymns of praise to the health benefits of olive oil and meets the small growers who are being pushed to the wall while their neighbours get rich selling counterfeit products. Glasgow Herald --Glasgow Herald

An eye-opening account of the dark side of the olive oil trade… as entertaining as it is informative and as fast-paced as a thriller, you will not be able to put it down. --Daily Express (5-star review )

Fascinating --Independent on Sunday --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition CD .

Présentation de l'éditeur

"Extravirginity" is a rich, fluid and evocative account of the history and alchemy of olive oil; and how the finest artisanal oil-manufacturers - rooted in the deep south of Italy - are endangered by the international-wide corruption of the billionaire oil barons who are destroying the reputation of one of mankind's oldest and most versatile products. The best Italian extra-virgins are made by authentic artist-craftsmen, who combine traditional farm wisdom and cutting-edge extraction technology to produce the finest oils in history. Despite the unprecedented quality and popularity of their oils, however, top Italian producers are being steadily driven from the market by fraud. Extra-virgin olive oil is difficult and expensive to make, yet alarmingly easy to adulterate with inferior grades of olive oil, cheap seed and nut oils, or worse. Skilled oil criminals are flooding the market with low-cost, faux extra-virgins, reaping rich profits and undercutting honest producers. Yet the Italian government does little to fight this corruption. "Extravirginity" introduces olive oil's saints and sinners, whose conflicts, over the next decade, will determine the fate of quality olive oil worldwide: a feisty pugliese woman of sixty struggling to keep the family business afloat; her mafiosa neighbour who has grown wealthy on adulterated oil; a terminally-ill manager from Milan who is dedicating his last years to preserving high-quality olive oil; and a Catholic priest in Sicily who harvests olives and makes oil on lands confiscated from Cosa Nostra, despite regular death-threats. "Extravirginity" is rich with classical allusion, with the integral cultural significance of olive oil, and the passion of those who produce it. This book is suitable for readers of "The Orchid Thief", "Liquid Memory", and "Gomorrha". --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition CD .

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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 juger...et 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 Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5 204 commentaires
204 internautes sur 216 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 Amazon.com
Format: Relié
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
91 internautes sur 95 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Loving an endangered species - 3+ 22 janvier 2012
Par Blue in Washington - Publié sur Amazon.com
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.
115 internautes sur 128 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 Amazon.com
Format: Relié
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
93 internautes sur 109 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Captivating and Provocative 30 novembre 2011
Par Nathan J. Ver Burg - Publié sur Amazon.com
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
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Who Knew Olive Oil Could Be Such A Page Turner? 17 décembre 2011
Par Carlos Sullivan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I purchased this elegant little book on the strength of the recommendations of several friends as well as a review by the New York Times, "In "Extra Virginity," Tom Mueller reveals the brazen fraud in the olive oil industry and teaches readers how to sniff out the good stuff". Not being a serious foodie, I have to say that I was somewhat skeptical going in, but I am now a true believer.

Knowing very little about olive oil at the outset, I was amazed at how compelling I found the subject to be. Everything from the battle between the forces of good (the honest producers and sellers) and the forces of darkness (the fascinatingly corrupt oiligarchs and thieves of every stripe) to the incredibly rich history of olive oil as it intersects with that of ancient man. Meeting producers all over the world and learning about the wonderful oils they produce has made me want to plan my next trip abroad around an olive harvest in Greece or maybe South Africa. I am still somewhat amazed to think that, at least in the US, many consumers are not getting what they pay for (sometimes not even getting olive oil) when they pick up a bottle of 'extra virgin' olive oil at their local super market.

Maybe the best thing about the book is that it really teaches you about great oil and why it matters. Everything from the eye opening health benefits of extra virgin olive oil to the culinary aspects is covered. I have a newfound confidence in my ability to identify the real extra virgin oils from the rest, which I am already putting to good use. And it sounds like Mueller is in this fight for the long haul as the book mentions a web site, extravirginity.com where he talks about the continuing battle to clean up the industry. All in all a very enjoyable read.
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