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Olive Odyssey

Searching for the Secrets of the Fruit That Seduced the World

Regular price $28.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553655145
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Julie Angus, Travel & Adventure,
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
  • Published On: 4/18/2014
  • 344 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781771000062
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Julie Angus, Travel & Adventure,
  • Published On: 05/10/2014
  • 0 Pages

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.

Julie Angus is the author of Rowboat in a Hurricane: My Amazing Journey Across a Changing Ocean. She is a recipient of the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award and holds a master’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Victoria. She lives in Comox, British Columbia.


"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

"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

"[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." -Library Journal

"It is a pleasure to try to keep up with this book; like its author, it covers an enormous amount of territory." -Christopher Bakken, Wall Street Journal

"Angus excels in tracing the history of the olive: any botanist or cook will walk away from Olive Odyssey well-informed on the plant and its products." -Georgia Straight

"A deeply informative biography of the olive, a versatile fruit that has played a huge role in the history and development of civilization." -Vancouver Sun

"Olive Odyssey has many strengths: its contribution to scientific and historical research on olives, good food and travel writing, a sense of humour and an eye for detail, and a sense of adventure and exploration.." -Literary Review of Canada

"[An] unfailingly interesting odyssey." -Philip Marchand, National Post

"Guaranteed to move readers from casual consumers of olive products to enthusiastic aficionados, Angus's book, which sparkles with the sights, smells, tastes and stories of the Mediterranean olive, is as informative as it is infectious." -Publishers Weekly