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Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil

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by Nancy Harmon Jenkins
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It would be a mistake to regard this merely as an olive oil cookbook. To be sure, Jenkins, who has written for many years on Mediterranean food, certainly does provide an array of appealing recipes that range from ceviche to Spanish shrimp fritters to a Palestinian flatbread. But it’s impossible not to realize that she has an astonishing grasp of olive oil history, science, technology, and connoisseurship that makes this a valuable reference for anyone with an interest in the subject. You can learn not only to cure your own fresh olives but how harvest decisions are crucial to an oil’s character and quality, just how long the olive has been essential to the Mediterranean economy, and how changes in cultivation may be producing a new generation of inexpensive extra virgin oils, sadly risking losses in flavor.

Cloth. Color photographs throughout.

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