“Like an Extra Virgin”

First off, kudos to the name. Very clever.

I enjoyed this article a lot. I really appreciated how this article began with the mythological story of Athena and Poseidon and Athena’s gift of the olive tree. I think this was important to explaining the use and technique of the olive and its byproducts. The article then shifts into explaining the boundaries of the Mediterranean. It is said that the boundaries extend to where there are olive trees growing. This mythological view on the area of the Mediterranean is very interesting to me because it brings back religion into the mix. But it’s a religion that is before the current ones.

We next learn of the health benefits of olive oil and why extra virgin olive oil is healthier. The Greeks also had low frequencies of heart disease. As heart disease trended in America, cookbooks containing the Mediterranean diet began to boom in America. So this is when the Italians took a large role. Being Italian, I grew up using Olive oil in my recipes. I had no idea that they used olive oil as a good market investment and it was not as authentic as the Greeks. This led to an industrial revolution in olive oil production. There is tension between places that are industrial and places that are artisanal.

So this is where my question arises. If this new boundary of the Mediterranean includes the areas where olives grow and oil is produced, would the lack of tradition and authenticity keep places like Tuscany and Umbria on the outskirts of the Mediterranean?

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