Extra Virginity... by Tom Mueller

Bulk Discounts Prices
Quantity Price
1 $36.25
  • Description
  • Enquiry


(Official Released January 2012)

Available Now

Extra Virginity is a rich, fluid and evocative account of the history and alchemy of olive oil, and of how the finest artisanal oil-manufacturers - in the deep south of Italy, around Australia, the Mediterranean, in California and beyond - are endangered by the widespread fraud of one of mankind's oldest and most versatile products.

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.

DescriptionThe best oils are made by authentic artist-craftsmen, who marry centuries-old agricultural wisdom with cutting-edge extraction technology, and now produce the finest oils in history. However, these producers are being steadily driven from the market: extra-virgin olive oil is difficult and expensive to make, yet alarmingly easy to adulterate. Skilled oil criminals are flooding the market with low-cost, faux extra-virgins, reaping rich profits and undercutting honest producers, whilst authorities in Italy, the US and elsewhere turn a blind eye.

From the feisty Pugliese woman of sixty struggling to keep the family business afloat to her industrialist neighbour who has allegedly grown wealthy on counterfeit oil, to Benedictine monks in Western Australia and poker-playing agriculture barons in northern California who make this ancient foodstuff in New World ways, Mueller distills the passions and life stories of oil producers, and explores the conflict, culinary vitality and cultural importance of great olive oil.

ISBN:9781848870055Format:Paperback - C formatPublisher:ATLANTICImprint:ATLANTICNumber of pages:288Publication Date:January 2012Edition Number:1

Order Now!


How long have readers been waiting for a book like this? A century? A millennium? Finally, the earth's most poetic food has found its storyteller. Essential, smart, and ridiculously overdue.
Bill Buford, author of the bestselling Heat

Lovers of fine food and fine prose will relish Mueller's exploration of the storied byways and modern sanctuaries of the olive, related with supple elegance. Engrossing history, vivid contemporary reporting and a cogent call to action, expertly blended in an illuminating text.
Kirkus Starred Review

Destined to be a classic in the food lit canon, Extra Virginity is a fabulous work of historical research and reporting–and a page turner as well. Mueller takes us on a fascinating journey from the sacred to the corrupt. It's a read I couldn't resist.
Laura Schenone, James Beard winning author of A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove

Skilfully blending international courtroom drama with the rich history of one of the first commodities…. Fans of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and Peter Singer and Jim Mason's The Way We Eat will find Mueller's indictment of a slippery trade enlightening and entertaining.
Library Journal

Intriguing and sumptuously researched.
Publisher's Weekly

"Extra Virginity is a fascinating book and a timely one too, as olive oil undergoes changes in classifications, as more of it is being made around the world, and as millions more have come to choose it over other fats. Tom Mueller masterfully separates strands of information— and misinformation— about a subject that is complex and often dark but also one that illuminated with stories that reflect the dedication, heart and know-how to produce that oil that is truly a sacred substance.
Deborah Madison, 3-time James Beard Awards winner

"Starring robber barons, mafia traders, and simple peasant farmers, along with California entrepreneurs and Australian monks, Extra Virginity is enthralling as an international thriller, and a story that all food-lovers need to read and understand."
Nancy Harmon Jenkins, author of The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

Includes delivery within Australia.