Like an Extra Virgin

This article was very interesting, although I felt that Meneley’s points were at times unclear.  Specifically, I was confused by her comparison of muslims to olive oil, but I am interested in discussing this point further in class.  Aside from my confusion, the rest of the article was intriguing (on a side note, Meneley’s descriptions of olive oil also made me hungry).  I have never thought about olive oil, or any other food for that matter, as deeply as Meneley has here.  For example, I thought olive oils role in industrialism was interesting, considering it was used for greasing machines.  Additionally, I found her discussion on the purity of olive oil most interesting.  It got me thinking about the authenticity of food and what that really means.  It seems, at least in the case of olive oil, that the more culturally represented (or authentic) a food is, the better.  That is to say that people find authentic food to taste best, and be the best for you.  It is a very interesting topic and I’m already wanting to take it to many different avenues.  For example, what does a particular food say about a particular culture? Americans seem to enjoy authentic food (given the slow and local food movements that are growing in popularity), and yet we seem to change other cultures food to our standards.  For example, there is undoubtedly a difference between american-chinese food and authentic-chinese food, or american-mexican food and authentic mexican food.  The point I’m trying to get at is that the way people choose to eat their food can directly say something about their culture as well.  I believe this is the general point that Meneley was trying to make, aside from her more specific ones.

One thought on “Like an Extra Virgin

  1. I was also confused on some of her more specific points and their significance, but I think the biggest point she was trying to highlight was olive oil’s versatility and how that effects the different ways it is used. For example, the Greeks and the Romans had a very similar story on the origins of the olive tree and I think this is important because it shows that the plant is important enough to assimilate it into their culture, it is important enough to be adapted to their culture. I thought your point of what can a particular food say about a culture was interesting. Branching off of your inquiry and applying it to olive oil, the way that a particular culture uses olive oil, what does that say about that individual culture? For example, if one culture uses olive oil more in industry to oiling machines (which I never knew was a use of olive oil) more than culture B, does that mean that culture A is more industrialized, more ingenuitive?

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