Inspired by her Syrian forebears’ intimate relationship with the olive, Julie Angus embarks on a voyage around the Mediterranean to unlock the secrets of the fruit that meant so much to them.
Inspired by her Syrian forebears’ intimate relationship with the olive, Julie Angus embarks on a voyage around the Mediterranean to unlock the secrets of the fruit that meant so much to them. Accompanied by her husband and their ten-month-old son, Angus collects samples from ancient trees to determine where the first olive tree originated; feasts on inky black tapenades and codfish drizzled with olive oil, among many other delights; witnesses the harvesting of olives in Greece; and visits perhaps the oldest olive tree in the world, on Crete. The result is a fascinating history and biography of this most influential and irresistible fruit.
“[Olive Odyssey] is an engaging mix of history, food travelog, and botany lesson . . . There is much to enjoy here, especially for foodies and armchair historians.”
“A fascinating exploration for olive lovers, foodists and culinary adventurers alike. Olive Odyssey is yet another impressive conquest on Angus’s enviable list of super-human accomplishments.”
—Bob Blumer, gastronaut and Food Network host
“A well-researched paean to the magical olive, a scrumptious romp through history, agronomy, DNA science, cuisine, business, medicine, religion, and politics—all told through a young couple’s Mediterranean sailing and travel adventures with their toddler . . . This entertaining olive saga covers it all.”
—Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Changed Our World