The world’s most celebrated olive oil comes from sun-drenched groves of Italy. But Italy is also a hotbed of olive oil subterfuge, counterfeit, and adulteration—and has been since Roman times, as Tom Muellar showed in an eye-opening 2007 New Yorker piece (which grew into a book called Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.) Next year, getting real olive oil from Italy is going to be even harder than usual. Here’s the LA Times’ Russ Parsons:
As a result of what the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is calling “The Black Year of Italian Olive Oil,” the olive harvest through much of Italy has been devastated—down 35% from last year.
The reason is a kind of perfect storm (so to speak) of rotten weather through the nation: