More of a travelogue — or tastealogue — than a culinary history, it’s yummy descriptions of yummy scenery and mouth-watering descriptions of tasty (and occasionally not so tasty) olive oils around the world are a feast for the mind’s eye and mouth.
Tremendously enjoyable. Learned about a number of spectacular oils which are available now in the U.S. In fact, one of the oils he describes are the best he has ever tasted is on sale at Zingerman’s right now! I intend to check it out and see for myself.
I discovered what tasters mean when they talk about various characteristics, and also which ones I like. That is, I’ve always known what I like, but the book has given me a “professional” vocabulary to talk with.
Having been to many of the places he described the book evoked a spate of memories from my travels long ago. In fact, reading books like this is part of what sparked my desire to travel in my youth.
It’s missing some important things: no index!, no bibliography!, no cast of characters, no pictures, no diagrams. It’s only an upset if you looking on it as a book of culinary history. I forgive him.
And once again reminded myself how fortunate I am to be living in the day and age of Ann Arbor’s sophistication, and Amazon’s attempt to be absolutely all things retail. Written in 1996, it’s still relevant today.
I’m going to go through it again and flag all the oils I want to try — my only question to myself is why I didn’t do that while I was reading.