Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit

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9780865475267: Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit
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Winner of the James Beard Award

Until one stops to notice, an olive is only a lowly lump at the bottom of a martini. But not only does a history of olives traverse climates and cultures, it also reveals fascinating differences in processing, production, and personalities. Aficionados of the noble little fruit expect miracles from it as a matter of course. In 1986, Mort Rosenblum bought a small farm in Provence and acquired 150 neglected olive trees that were old when the Sun King ruled France. He brought them back to life and became obsessed with olives, their cultivation, and their role in international commerce.

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Review:

After rice, corn, and wheat--the three staples of, respectively, East Asia, the Americas, and Eurasia--the olive is the foodstuff most closely bound to history, shaping the course of nations and empires. Mort Rosenblum, the author of the lively Secret Life of the Seine and many other books, gives us a wide-angle, altogether engrossing account of the olive's life and natural history, studding his narrative with conversations with farmers all around the Mediterranean. Rosenblum predicts an upsurge in olive cultivation in the United States as more and more people become aware of the fruit's many healthful qualities. If you have the urge to take up farming, read this fine book--you may be moved to put in some olive trees and try your luck.

About the Author:

Mort Rosenblum is a special correspondent to the Associated Press and the author of Who Stole the News? and The Secret Life of the Seine. He lives in Provence.

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