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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.

What extra virgin olive oil should I buy? That's a question I'm constantly asked, by readers, by Facebook followers, by people who come to

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Greg, the man who cut my hair (and Julia Child's hair, too) for many years when I lived in Boston, came from a family

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I think it's fair to call Marcella Hazan the dean -- or the doyenne -- of Italian food in America. Without her wise counsel,

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How is it that certain foods pop up on the horizon and go on to become the rage of the moment, while others never

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On my first day of cooking class in the South Indian state of Kerala, I was already hopelessly confused. It was half a dozen

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The end of the year holidays mark the busiest season for food producers, and none more so than producers of extra-virgin olive oil. Why?

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I've just been tasting new olive oil, pressed less than a week ago at a friend's mill north of Florence. Made from a combination of

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  I have a friend who never travels but is deeply curious about my own wandering and always eager for details. "So!" my stay-at-home friend

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