Tag Archives: Tom Mueller

Top food stories from Berkeley in 2011

Andre Green from the Berkeley Food & Housing Project cooks for the neediest in the community. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back to see what food stories created a buzz around town and on Berkeleyside in 2011.

Granted, there’s an arbitrary nature to such end-of-year lists. But it’s an opportunity to take stock of the city’s culinary culture.

For the purposes of this post we’ve focused on food news stories, which doesn’t take into account the dozens of interviews with foragers, farmers, artisans, advocates, chefs, cooking teachers, preservers, pasta makers, cheese purveyors, pop-up restaurateurs, and farmers’ market vendors we’ve published during 2011.

This year also saw controversial coverage of corner stores, reporting on detractors of school food, an insider’s take on speed dating with a veg-friendly focus, and a widely criticized first-person piece on disappointing camp chow.

Readers may differ on what food stories caught their attention. Feel free to add your own highlights (or low points) in the comments section.

In alphabetical order: … Continue reading »

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Author: You may not like what’s lurking in your olive oil

olive oil
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That bottle of extra virgin olive oil you take off the grocery store shelf may not be what you think it is.

Instead of being a greenish-gold, fruity, fresh oil made from olives, rich in antioxidants and delicious to drizzle over a beautiful caprese salad, more likely than not it is a blend of oils, some made from olives, and some not.

In fact, a recent study by UC Davis that tested a number of the best-selling olive oils in California, including Bertolli, Star, and Colavita, found that 69% of the extra virgin olive oil imported into the U.S. did not meet the standards for extra virgin.

“It’s a big hoax,” said Tom Mueller, who will be talking about the issue, and his new book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, on Saturday from 2 to 6 pm at Amphora Nueva Berkeley Olive Oil Works on Domingo Avenue. “What’s written on the bottle does not guarantee what is inside.” … Continue reading »

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