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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,

tomatoes & pepper for gazpacho

Eat more vegetables? You know you should, but it isn't always easy. These bright summer days, however, there's a quick, easy and delicious way

Bottled olive oil. Credit: foodistablog

The European Commission has shown customary timidity in abruptly withdrawing a proposal made last week to exert minimal control over the quality of olive

Mackerel and a poisonniere by Nancy Jenkins

I spotted a pair of fresh Atlantic mackerel at my fishmonger in Umbria, Italy, this morning, their unmistakable sleek, glossy skin, marked like the

seafood display

Eat more fish. That's one of the prerequisites of the Mediterranean diet. We all know fish is good for us, yet Americans eat less

Mediterranean diet

The latest news is good news, but it isn't really new news. It was 20 years ago almost to the day that my editor at

Olive oil tasting. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

When new olive oils are fresh on the market it's fun and illuminating to have an olive oil tasting, a sure way to prove

New olive oil.

The best time of year for lovers of great olive oil is the harvest season, from October to December, when new stocks pour fresh

Blood oranges

John McPhee once wrote a little book about oranges -- a subject of no great consequence, but McPhee brought the humble breakfast fruit to