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Download Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil Audiobook, by Tom Mueller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (788 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom Mueller Narrator: Peter Ganim Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9781611203516
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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.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mueller reveals the brazen fraud in the olive oil industry and teaches readers how to sniff out the good stuff.”

    New York Times

  • 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 expose of the inferior quality control and outright fraud among today’s oil producers.”

    Hollywood Reporter

  • “The New Yorker writer does for his subject what Susan Orlean did for orchids.”

    Columbus Dispatch

  • Extra Virginity may make you reconsider the extra you’re paying for ‘extra.’”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Mueller builds a convincing case for olive oil as one of the most miraculous and versatile substances in all of nature…Passionately written yet clear-headed.”

    USA Today

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry | 2/20/2014

    " Eye opening. This book is doing for Olive Oil what Michael Pollen did for food. Some chapters are off track, I liked ch 1 & 2 & chapters 5 & on so far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 2/8/2014

    " I never finished it but found it interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 2/2/2014

    " A real nice book about the world of olive oil. Mueller does a nice job of giving us the background and history. It is also scary to know that you pretty much have no idea what is in a bottle of olive oil. The section in the back regarding how to buy quality oil is very helpful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marjorie Elwood | 1/25/2014

    " I had no idea that fraud is so rampant in the extra virgin olive oil industry and it's a little disheartening to find this out. However, Mueller took me on a world tour of the makers of delicious and healthy olive oil and is so passionate about his subject that I'm ready to head off to an olive oil bar to look for a bitter, fruity, and peppery (the three attributes of the best oil) oil. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ray | 1/18/2014

    " Interesting expose on the olive oil industry. I had heard, off and on, that much if not most of the extra virgin olive oil we buy is a much lower quality olive oil, not warranting the label or the price. This book, "Extra Virginity", explains that and much more about olive oil and the olive oil business. To me, the subject would have been adequately covered in a newspaper series or magazine article, and the book was a bit long for the subject. Nonetheless, Mueller presented a lot of interesting facts about olive oil from around the world, and laments the fact that many consumers don't know what they're missing by not having access to the extra virgin olive oil we think we're getting in our supermarket purchases. For those interested in getting what you're paying for, Mueller offers valuable tips and resources for obtaining quality olive oil at the end of the book, and that alone made the book worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane Walker | 12/26/2013

    " The format of the book is familiar enough; the author tells us the story of his research. But the result is both fascinating and disturbing. And there were unanswered questions. Do we assume that all the olive oil we buy is fake or contaminated? Is there any way of getting the real stuff? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stella | 12/18/2013

    " Listened to book on CD. It was a fascinating, even if a bit depressing, read. Now I know that the olive oil I've been eating probably doesn't have much really good olive oil in it. I am very curious to learn more about high-quality oil, and see why the author (and the people he spoke with for the book) are so passionate about it. The book is really not technical at all, and it manages not to be sensational, judgmental, or plain too long. I very much enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 12/17/2013

    " I am completely convinced that most extra-virgin olive oil is NOT what it purports to be. After reading this I looked at the local supermarket and about 90% of what's offered is the product of at least six different countries on two continents, all blended together. So, I paid more and bought evoo from Italy only. It does taste better! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 12/15/2013

    " Very interesting - I think I may now spend more on olive oil. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Damona | 12/4/2013

    " fascinating and well-researched. really makes you think about what you might be eating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renae | 11/21/2013

    " Informative and entertaining, two words you don't always get to put together to describe this type of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Siri | 11/14/2013

    " Very informative. Will definitely influence how i buy olive oil in the future. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Da277 | 11/11/2013

    " I will never look at olive oil the same way again! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheena | 11/2/2013

    " Very interesting read. Though now I'm sad that I've probably never bought or tasted real extra virgin olive oil. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon Kersten | 7/12/2013

    " This book is an inflection point for me. I will now explore our local olive oil industry, avoid the cheap supermarket adulterated oil and develop my understanding and appreciation for good and great olive oils. Such an informative read, loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David R. | 11/26/2012

    " The reader is quickly introduced to two concepts: (1) Mr. Mueller really loves extra virgin olive oil. He drinks it like fine wine. (2) Mr. Mueller is upset with an apparantly worldwide problem of adulterated or phony EVOO. The remainder of the book is a prolonged rant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenitive | 10/24/2012

    " Very informative, if a little dry. I'll certainly never buy olive oil from the supermarket again! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 6/6/2012

    " I liked it but a slow read. Too much info for someone who only buys the cheap light olive oil & probably won't be buying any fancy stuff anytime soon. Also, it was depressing reading about all the fraud & corruption. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate S | 3/13/2012

    " Debatable and Slow-going. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 3/9/2012

    " Well now I am going to have to try some REAL olive oil "

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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.

About the Narrator

Peter Ganim is an American actor who has appeared on stage, on television, and in film. He has performed voice-over work since 1994. His audiobook narration has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards.