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An oily mess

(article, Culinate staff)

As Jim Dixon noted here on Culinate some four years ago, labels on olive oil are more confusing than helpful. A few months later, Tom Mueller reported in the New Yorker on the global trade in adulterated olive oil. 

Now Mueller has a new book coming out on the issue — Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil — and American producers and regulators are starting to pay attention.

As Julia Moskin recently noted in the New York Times, California's olive-tree growers have expanded their olive-oil operations in recent years, and are pitching their product as purer, cleaner, and more honestly labeled than their European competitors. 

And as Jane Black reported in the Washington Post, both the Europeans and the Americans are trying to set up regulatory bodies that test and certify oils as being genuinely pure and, well, not rancid.