copyright 2012; W.W. Norton & Company publishers, New York; hardbound; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
"For millenia, 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. Medical researchers today continue to confirm the remarkable, life-giving properties of true extra virgin olive oil. But this symbol of purity has become deeply corrupt. Most of what appears in supermarkets falls short of the high standards that define extra virgin oil, and some of it isn't even made from olives. Smelly, rancid, and downright fake olive oils are everywhere, from corner pizzerias to top restaurants.
Tom Mueller takes us on a journey through the world of olive oil, meeting the hardworking artisan producers who struggle to conserve ancient, local traditions in the face of an increasingly globalized marketplace; fraudsters and multinationals who control the flows of fake products; chefs, researchers, military police, and oil sommeliers who celebrate the extraordinary oils that truly deserve the name 'extra virgin'. Superbly written, rich with fascinating forays into olive oil's uses throughout time, (this book) unveils the sacred history and profane present of a substance seen for millennia as the essence of health and civilization."