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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,

Thanksgiving was not my favorite holiday when I was a child. First of all, no presents: Who needs a holiday with no presents? And then,

A Mediterranean lobster Chef Pino Maggiore uses in his Zuppa di Aragosta. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Traveling in Sicily in June this year, I tried as many different versions of Sicilian zuppa di pesce, seafood soup, as I could find.

Chilean salmon. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Daniel Pauly, marine biologist at the University of British Columbia, says we're close to harvesting the last wild fish from the sea. If we

Olive oil collected in a tub will be stored in to a fusto, or stainless steel container. Credit: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

There's a problem with Spanish olive oil, and it's not just in Spain. In recent days, international media have been full of news about


"No, no, no, not the arbequina, bring me the cornicabra." Maria Jose San Román is in full whirl in the kitchen of Monastrell, her


I grew up with people who liked to eat but didn't have fancy palates and weren't interested in acquiring them. Meals were delicious but


Gabriella Becchina, a Sicilian friend of mine, was talking recently on her Facebook page (La Grande Oliva) about the differences between traditional pizza and


Two new books about Spanish food raise more questions than they answer, the principal one being why Spain is such a hard sell in