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Extended Audio Sample Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, 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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.