Olive oil is not what you think it is. According to Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, an olive is a stone fruit like a plum or cherry—meaning that the green-gold liquid we extract from it “is, quite literally, fruit juice.”
And, while we’re blowing your minds, have you ever stopped to wonder what “Extra Virgin” means?
“It’s like extra dead or semi-pregnant,” Mueller said. “I mean, it doesn’t make any sense at all.”
This episode we visit two groves—one in the Old World, one in the New—to get to the bottom of olive oil’s many mysteries.
Listen in this episode as we find out why the ancient Romans rubbed it all over their bodies, and whether the olive oil on our kitchen counters really is what it says on the label.
This was first published by Gastropod in Dec 2017.