Extra Virginity: Of Olive Oils Sacred and Profane, and the People Who Make Them

Author(s): Tom Mueller


An 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 craftsmen, who combine traditional wisdom and cutting-edge technology to produce the fi nest oils. However, top Mediterranean producers are being steadily driven from the market by fraud. Skilled oil criminals are fl ooding the market with faux extra-virgins, reaping rich profi ts, undercutting honest producers and remaining untouched by the regulators. With Australian per capita consumption twice that of the US, local producers have been leaders in pushing the agenda for quality and authenticity.

Strongly featuring Australian and New Zealand oils, Extra Virginity is both an introduction to the arcane world of olive oil production and a comprehensive historical, cultural and political account that exposes a global trafficking operation as lucrative as that of drugs.


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Tom Mueller lives in Liguria, Italy with his wife and three children. Educated at Oxford and Harvard, he is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, and also writes for National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly.

General Fields

  • : 9781848870055
  • : Atlantic Books
  • : Atlantic Books
  • : January 2012
  • : 210mm X 148mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : December 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Tom Mueller
  • : Paperback
  • : Export ed
  • : 641.3463
  • : 238
  • : Colour and black and white illustrations