Just Ask: What is extra-virgin olive oil?

Q: How do I know if my Italian olive oil is really “extra-virgin”?
A: It probably isn’t.
Nearly 70 percent of Italian olive oil sold in the United States is doctored, according to a New York Times report.
It’s an open secret that most Italian extra-virgin olive oil is really made from Spanish and North African olive oil shipped to Italy, which makes it the world’s largest importer of olive oil.
There, it is cut with soybean oil and beta carotene, chlorophyll is added for color, and it is labeled as extra-virgin, Made in Italy.
What to do? Journalist Tom Mueller lists legitimate supermarket extra-virgin olive oils at http://www.truthinoliveoil.com. — Slate.
Q: What states have the most- and least-attractive license plates?
A: Most: Wyoming, Hawaii, Utah, Alabama, Oregon.
Least: Delaware (last), Arkansas, Alaska, Michigan, Virginia.
Ohio? Ours are 38th. — CarInsurance.com.
Q: Who invented the diesel engine?
A: No, it wasn’t Vin Diesel. It was Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel (1858-1913), a German mechanical engineer who advocated fuel efficiency. Diesel engines run more efficiently than typical gasoline engines. — dictionary.com.
Q: I thought the term “start over with a clean slate” started in school. True? A: It started aboard ship.
A slate tablet was kept near the helm on which the watch keeper recorded speeds, distances, headings and tacks.
If there were no problems, the slate would be wiped clean so the new watch could start with a clean slate. — Various sources.
Q: Everyone knows the quote, “Make him an offer he can’t refuse” from “The Godfather” (1972). What’s the second-best?
A: Many say it comes immediately after capo Peter Clemenza (actor Richard S. Castellano) helps whack a guy in the New Jersey meadowlands. He casually tells the gunman, “Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.”
Q: Don’t tell me there’s a mustard museum.
A: And it’s the spice of Middleton, Wis.
Barry Levenson, founder and curator of the National Mustard Museum, says he was inspired after his Boston Red Sox lost the 1986 World Series. He said he wandered around an all-night supermarket, noticed the mustard varieties available, and came up with the idea.
In 1992, he quit his job as an assistant state attorney general and opened his attraction, one of Wisconsin’s most popular. Admission is free. — Martha Esbin, “The Librarian’s Muse” blog, Toledo.
Q: Who invented the odometer?
A: In his roles as a royal and U.S. postmaster, Benjamin Franklin was curious as to how far he had traveled by carriage. Although the concept dates to ancient times, Franklin built an odometer in 1753.
He attached it near the wheel of a carriage, determined the circumference of the wheel and the number of revolutions required to travel a mile, and the device registered the distance. — Workman Publishing Co., Independence Hall Association.
Q: What were the last words of British Maj. Gen. Sir William Erskine after he jumped from a Lisbon window in 1813?
A: “Now, why did I do that?”
Poor bloke couldn’t ask Send an E-mail to justask or Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.


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