Extra Virginity (The sublime and scandalous world of olive oil)

Boy oh boy, if there was ever a book that shouted “buyer beware” this is it. The world of olive oil is exposed and laid bare in Tom Mueller’s Extra Virginity. This is a fascinating read, a bit research-paper-like in places with too much info, but definitely worth the read, even if you skim over parts. Surprise, surprise… it seems all is not as you’re lead to believe in the olive oil industry. If you’re a food purest you’ll hyperventilate when you learn that most of the olive oil produced in Italy is made with oil imported from other countries.  Just because the label sounds Italian doesn’t mean anything. They don’t even import the olives!  Just the oil, in huge oil tankers. And since most consumers probably wouldn’t know a true authentic tasting olive oil if they tasted it, and probably wouldn’t like it if they did, companies actually alter the flavour to make it pallatible to the average consumer. Go figure! Unless you actually go to the farm where they make their own oil and buy it there, you have no idea what you’re buying, and where it’s from. So it’s buyer beware, buy what you like, and worry about more important things. But it certainly makes you wonder about the entire food industry and what else is not quite Kosher. I found this book fascinating!

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