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Nancy Harmon Jenkins is a recognized expert on Mediterranean cuisines and the Mediterranean Diet, out of which has evolved her deep interest in regional food systems. She is a food writer and journalist, with numerous books and articles to her credit, including “Virgin Territory: An Exploration of the World of Olive Oil” (Houghton). Her other food books include “The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook” (Bantam), “Cucina del Sole: A Celebration of the Cuisines of Southern Italy,” “Flavors of Puglia,” “Flavors of Tuscany” and “The Essential Mediterranean,” examining a dozen foods key to understanding Mediterranean cuisines. A former staff writer with The New York Times, Nancy continues to contribute to the Times in addition to writing for The Washington Post, Saveur, Food & Wine, the Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She is currently working on “The Four Seasons of Pasta” (Viking), with her daughter Sara, chef-owner of Porsena Ristorante in New York City.

Jenkins has lived and worked throughout the countries of the Mediterranean, at various times making a home in Spain, France, Italy, Lebanon and Cyprus as well as in Hong Kong and England. She now divides her time between a Tuscan farmhouse, where she makes her own olive oil, and a home on the coast of Maine where she was born and raised. In Italy, Jenkins conducts weeklong seminars on the culture and cuisine of extra-virgin olive oil. (In 2014, these will take place in Puglia in the autumn; plans are afoot for programs in Sicily in the spring.)

Jenkins frequently conducts lectures and workshops about various aspects of the Mediterranean Diet, especially olive oil. You can read more of her writing on her site, nancyharmonjenkins.com.

Bread made from a mixture of einkorn flour and all-purpose flour. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Sun, Sea & Olives: There's a lot of talk these days about ancient grains, but frankly, as far as wheat is concerned, it would

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Beef and other foods high in saturated fat can affect your body's insulin resistance, which can cause Type 2 diabetes. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Sun, Sea & Olives: Start your day with bacon and lose 10 pounds? That's what a self-styled dietary expert writing in The Wall Street Journal

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A selection of quality Italian olive oils. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Sun, Sea & Olives: Just recently, news of yet another Italian olive oil scam hit the air waves. It was the usual story, only

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Eggs in a basket. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Sun, Sea & Olives: It's the simplest, most basic of foods, the one cooks turn to when there's nothing to eat in the house

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Pasta (pennucce) with broccoli rabe and garlic-anchovy-chili sauce. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Sun, Sea & Olives: If you've spent this apparently endless winter as I have, in the icy-cold, snow-raddled Northeastern U.S., you are by now,

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A drizzle of fresh Tuscan olive oil. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

I hardly think it needs saying, but I will say it anyway: Olive oil is the foundation of the Mediterranean diet, without which this

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Fried breaded fish sticks with tomato sauce. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Sun, Sea & Olives: It isn't easy getting people to eat what they're not used to, and if what they're used to is a

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You can include vegetables such as carrots, turnips, leeks, sweet potatoes and chili peppers in your roasted vegetable medley. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Sun, Sea & Olives: Thumbs up yet again for the Mediterranean diet. Those tireless researchers in Spain who brought us the good news a

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