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Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit
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Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  110 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
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 Rose
Published November 29th 1996 by North Point Press
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Rogue Reader
Apr 02, 2011 Rogue Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love olives. I often crave them. Green, black, in-between; jumbo, teeny-tiny and middle-sized. They're bursts of flavor in my mouth, with a long remembered taste. I love olive oil too, that clean slick feel in my mouth and flavors that are as various as the bottles. It's no wonder that I enjoyed reading Mort Rosenblum's Olives, The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit. It's both a travel narrative and a culinary narrative as Rosenblum seeks out ancient groves of trees and historic presses in France, ...more
Dec 01, 2014 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love olives.
Our house is full of olive monsters.
I have photos of beautiful old olive trees in Greece and memories of delicious olives, oil and products from grand-mames village in France.
The history of olives is ancient, full of rich tradition and symbolism.
This is a wonderful blend of all those things and personal experience.
Apr 09, 2015 Wouter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an excellent and engaging writing style, which kept me going from the first words to the very end. This is a great journey to ten different countries which produce olives and olive oil and discusses economics, history, politics and of ourse the kitchen and recipes of olives. I didn't know anything about the subject but I became really intrigued - Mort effectively converted me. I wans't a butter-only person at all but didn't really know what happened with the oil before it ended up in my kit ...more
Jan 14, 2009 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Loved this book from the first page: “I figured green olives grew on one kind of tree and black on another” (5). Okay, maybe I knew a teeny bit more than that—but only because I knew that black olives were also called “ripe” olives. But then one day last fall I saw a tree with both green and black olives on it—at the same time. We’d been driving along a dirt road in a rural area with hectare after hectare of olive trees. We stopped, I got out, picked an olive—one that was half between green and ...more
James Miller
Oct 20, 2015 James Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one. I would have liked more actually about his own olive grove and how that was rescued, but I really enjoyed finding out about how embedded olive culture is around the Med (which was far more exciting than one might have thought).

Finding the flavours Mort did would be taxing without a private plane, but his highlight Nunez de Prado is available online and I look forward to sampling.
Mar 30, 2008 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it. This is the second time I've read this book, and it is amazing how well-written and interesting a book focused on one fruit can be. The book makes me hungry for crusty bread and olive oil--and now I wonder how often I've eaten really good olive oil, or if I've only eaten poor quality oil and not known it. Since I buy my olive oil in the grocery store and in see-through bottles, I figure I've not had the best there is. I'm going to find a really good one and see if I can taste the differ ...more
Cardyn Brooks
Jul 02, 2013 Cardyn Brooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The auhtor's engaging writing style is conversational. It feels like a leisurely chat with a friend who's sharing interesting details of his travels with another friend during a long lunch. He packs a lot of information about every aspect of olive history and industry onto each page without making it seem like a classroom text.

His appreciation for olives is obvious, so is his affection for olive industry professionals.
May 11, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing
Another well researched, work, which shows plenty of taste. Rosenblum, who grows olives on his place in the South of France, or did, went about the Mediterranean, Mexico, and California to find the best tasting olives and olive oil. He was always equipped with a spoon, and plenty of good description, humour, and terrific transition.

A seriously enjoyable read.
I loved this; I wouldn't have thought there was a market for a micro history of olives, but I am glad there was, because it was totally charming and fascinating. Call 1-800-OLIVEOIL for olive oil emergencies! (True story.)
Mar 27, 2009 Jenneffer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am about halfway through this book right now, it is fantastic. It says a lot for the author when a person who reads his book fees absolutely compelled to eat olive oil during and after each reading session :)
Jul 03, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book makes you want to eat more olives, and possibly move to France to grow your own. A little like Peter Mayle novels in feeling, but filled with history and facts about the role of olives.
Aug 11, 2010 Tuck rated it really liked it
all around the world checking out olives. beautiful line drawings. doesnt visit some new non-traditional growing regions like agentina or south africa
Jun 29, 2007 Chadwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodies, people who care about eating
Shelves: food
If this book does not make you a snob about olive oil, I will seriously come to your house and cut your tongue out at the root.
Apr 10, 2008 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book that Blythe ever gave me. Bless her heart.
Jan 19, 2007 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun overview of olives and mediterranean culture
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