"[Mueller reveals] the brazen fraud in the olive oil industry and [teaches] readers how to sniff out the good stuff." —Dwight Garner, New York Times
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 rituals. But this symbol of purity has become deeply corrupt. A superbly crafted combination of cultural history and food manifesto, Extra Virginity takes us on a journey through the world of olive oil, opening our eyes to olive oil’s rich past as well as to the fierce contemporary struggle between oil fraudsters of the globalized food industry and artisan producers whose oil truly deserves 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.
Tom Mueller is, in turn, chemist, explorer, scholar and bard, infusing the narrative with a sense of wonder. — Times Literary Supplement
In covering an industry that has its heroes and villains, author Tom Mueller does a splendid job of sorting out the players and demystifying the product. — Russ Parsons - Los Angeles Times
Extra Virginity may make you reconsider the extra you’re paying for 'extra.'
— Cynthia Crossen - Wall Street Journal
Passionately written yet clear-headed…Mueller builds a convincing case for olive oil as one of the most miraculous and versatile substances in all of nature. — Jerry Shriver - USA Today
Mueller does for his subject what Susan Orlean did for orchids. — Columbus Dispatch
[Extra Virginity] does for olive oil what Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation did for hamburgers. Mueller traces the history of this valuable product from antiquity to the present, but the really disturbing part is his exposé of the inferior quality control and outright fraud among today’s oil producers.