Top 10 Store Cupboard Staples

Top 10 Store Cupboard Staples

Tasty recipes start with a well-stocked pantry which can lift your daily dishes to another level. For example, take a simple pasta dish and try an artisan gluten-free fusilli and cook like a chef from the comfort of your kitchen . Stock up your cupboard with artisan tuna, pasta, olive oil or passata, and you’ll notice an immediate improvement to your dishes. 

Here is our take on the 10 pantry essentials. Have you tried them?

1. Due Vittorie Apple Cider Vinegar

Due Vittorie Apple Cider Vinegar

A deliciously fresh Italian apple vinegar, aged in oak barrels. Perfect for your salads, fruit desserts, ice cream and cocktails. 3 Great Taste Stars 2020. 

£5.30 : buy it here



2. Organic Preserved Lemons

Chef's secret ingredient. Try them with you salads, grilled fish and tagines.

£6.50 for 400g: buy it here

3. Organic passata

Produced from traditional farming, on the Mahjoub organic farm in Tunisia. Hand-made from juicy tomatoes harvested at the peak of their taste. Free of any additives or preservatives

£4.45 for 600g: buy it here

4. Mediterranean sardines

Gourmet Mediterranean sardines preserved in olive oil, prefect on a toasted bread, a savoury tart or in your salad

£2.75g for 125g: buy it here

5. Sicilian extra virgin olive oil

Fiordidrupa primiza extra virgin olive oil 500ml Italian First Cold Pressed Olive Oil from Sicily

An intensely fruity new harvest extra virgin olive oil, a perfect finishing and dipping olive oil full of flavours

£14.75  for 500ml: buy it here

6. Wild mountain capers

Preserved only in sea salt to retain their natural flavour. Try them in salad and with fish dishes

£4.65 for 100g: buy it here

7. Organic artichoke hearts



Hearts from Òviollette organic artichokes harvested between mid-February to mid-May on the Mahjoub family farm in Tunisia. Delicious in salad, as a gratin with cheese or simply as an anti-pasti

From £5.99 for 200g: buy it here


8. Blue Fin Tuna

Blue Fin Tuna in olive oil by El Manar Thon

El Manar Extra Solid (Bluefin) Tuna in Virgin Olive Oil is produced from freshly caught blue fin Mediterranean tuna caught in early summer off the Tunisian coast. The delicious and high-quality tuna is a rich source of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. It is a rare delicacy with limited production.

£4.50 for 160g: buy it here

Organic Gluten Free Rice and Turmeric fusilli are a delicious, nutritious and healthy pasta alternative. They are hand-made in Italy and certified organic and are as easy to prepare as classical pasta: just boil them for 8-10 minutes. As with the full Pasta d'Alba range, it slow-dried at low temperatures, bronze-die extruded and free of GMO

£3.70 for 250g: buy it here

 10. Due Vittorie Oro Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP 

Due Vittorie Utra dense balsamic vinegar of Modena IGP 250ml

Italy's best-selling balsamic vinegar, is aged in wooden barrels and 100% natural. With a very high density of 1.33, it has a perfectly balanced taste which makes it highly versatile. Try it on parmiggiano reggiano cheese, Parma ham, salads, strawberries and vanilla ice cream

£12.95 for 250ml: buy it here 






May 18, 2021 — Admin account
April 2021 Fine Food Digest features the Artisan Olive Oil Company

April 2021 Fine Food Digest features the Artisan Olive Oil Company

We are delighted to be featured in the Fine Food Digest April 2021 edition in its coverage of new oils and vinegars. 

The Fine Food Digest is published by the Guild of Fine Foods and is one of the most respected trade magazine for the fine food and delicatessen sector in the UK. 

The article included 3 recent product launches: aix&terra's organic olive oil with chili from the Provence, Moulins Mahjoub's organic early harvest single variety Chetoui extra virgin olive oil from Tunisia and Diliberto's organic Fiordidrupa extra virgin olive oil from Sicily.  

We are very pleased with the success of the latest additions to our range of oils which can be found across the UK in organic stores, delicatessen and farm shops. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us at or on (0) 203 866 8934 to become a stockist. 

April 17, 2021 — Admin account
Olives harvest at Frantoio Franci in Tuscany

Buy the world's best olive oils 2020 / 2021

The new 2020/2021 harvest is finished and we had the opportunity to taste many news oils. Whilst there have been significant changes in volumes of production around the Mediterranean, we continue to find real gems of carefully crafted premium olive oils from our partners. 

Frantoio Franci, the award-winning artisan producer based in Tuscany, with the highest score of 100 points in the 2021 edition of Flos Olei, has launched a single variety coratina which we highly recommend for lovers of intense olive oils. It displays a powerful and elegant taste, complex with well-defined bitter and spicy notes of long persistence and good harmony. We have thoroughly enjoyed it drizzled over a butternut squash soup. The Toscano IGP has won another Gold Medal at the 2020 New York International Olive Oil Competition. This medium fruity Tuscan is particularly well suited to a tomato and mozzarella salad. 

In Spain, our partner Oro Bailen is back with their 4 monocultivar extra virgin olive oils, hojiblanca, arbequina, picual and frantoio. Whilst picual continues to be regarded as one of the world's finest olive oils, winning year after year gold medals in the most prestigious competitions, we have been delighted to discover the new 2020/2021 hojiblanca, the mildest oil in the range. It has a beautiful fruitiness and is great to embark on a journey into the world of premium olive oils. 

Oro Bailen frantoio extra virgin olive oil used in Michelin starred restaurants

In Tunisia, after a particularly warm fall, our partner Domaine Fendri had to wait until the second half of November to start the harvest. A drop in temperatures is crucial to give the mild chemlali variety its fruitiness. We found the new 2020/2021 oil to be balanced, complex in flavours with a long finish and a slight degree of bitterness. We enjoyed it on fresh vegetables and sourdough bread. Domaine Fendri was a finalist in the 2020 edition of the Mario Solinas International Olive Oil Competition. 



Pea shoots and beetroot salad with m'hamsa Berber grain

We love this crunchy and healthy salad using an old Berber grain called m'hamsa, a type of giant couscous, hand-rolled and sun-dried during the warm summer months
Where to buy the best Tunisian harissa, online and in fine food stores

Where to buy the best Tunisian harissa, online and in fine food stores

The word harissa comes from the arabic word "هرس" which refers to the pounding or crushing of sun-dried peppers which is its main ingredient. They are typically mixed with garlic, caraway seeds, cumin, salt, sun-dried tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil. Some recipes also include dried mint.

Peppers arrived in Tunisia in the 16th century during the Spanish occupation and quickly become a key ingredient in its cuisine. Today, harissa can be found all over the world and has been fully adopted as a condiment from Europe, the Middle East to the United States. Prestigious chefs such as Yoram Ottolenghi often uses it his original recipes, showcasing the diversity of the South Mediterranean cuisine.

Many harissa recipes have developed over the years. We currently carry three different versions produced by Moulins Mahjoub, our partner from Tunisia in the North of Tunisia. Our organic Tunisian harissa paste is our best-sellers, it is the spiciest of the range and contains 80% baklouti peppers, a particularly hot chili pepper variety. It is very versatile for sandwiches, sauces, stews, soups, fish and meat dishes but given its strength it should be used in moderation. The traditional harissa, is the typical Berber recipe, it has a slightly smoked flavour, a medium spiciness, which makes it ideal for roasts and vegetables. Our mildest one is the sweet pepper harissa and can be used as an anti-pasti, together with pasta or on toasted bread.

Our harissa can be bought on our website, and in some of the UK's best fine food and organic stores such as Planet Organic in London, Dugard and Daughters in Ensfield or Infinity stores and bakery in Brighton.

November 08, 2020 — Admin account
Artisan Olive Oil Company wins 7 Great Taste Awards 2020

Artisan Olive Oil Company wins 7 Great Taste Awards 2020

For its 2020 edition of the Great Taste Awards, we are delighted to have won 7 new recognitions together with our partners.

1. Due Vittorie Apple Vinegar: won 3 Great Taste stars (won by less than 2% of the participants in the competition). Here are some of the judges’ comments: "Beautiful, deep golden vinegar. The aroma is of bittersweet apples. The, the taste. We had to check that there wasn't honey in the ingredients such was the level of sweetness that married perfectly with the acetic, rich, caramel balsamic. The viscosity is that of a darker, older balsamic...the length is unwavering in its balanced purity....What a corker. An aroma of fine old wood furniture and a cellar filled with barrels draws you in. The flavour is both fruity and sharp, beautifully crafted and perfectly balanced. We could drink this product as it is. Quite delicious. There is a roundness and sweetness that harmonises with the acetic tang. This is made by someone who really knows what they are doing. What a pleasure to taste this. Glorious....Caramel and rich in appearance, beautifully clear. A prominent cooked apple aroma. WOW! what a delicious vinegar - sweet “caramelly” notes balanced by the sharp vinegar. Still very much an apple cider vinegar but does have some of the character of a balsamic, which the method of production obviously has created.

2. Oro Bailen Arbequina extra virgin olive oil: won 2 Great Taste stars. The Great Taste judges mentioned :” There is a great deal of character to this oil whilst still being gentle.”

 3. Oro Bailen Frantoio extra virgin olive oil: won 1 Great Taste star. Commenting on Oro Bailed Frantoio, the Great Taste judges mentioned “beautiful, deep, green gold oil with a sparkling clear appearance and aromas of warm freshly cut, sweet meadow hay. On the palate it is rich, smooth and creamily textured, fresh-tasting with notes of tomato leaf and bitter herb, followed by a vigorous, spicy pepper impact hitting the senses. High levels of lasting peppery heat, a certain pungency and a vegetal bitterness populate the finish. A gold-green oil with apple and wild rocket intensity on the nose.”

 4. Oro Bailen Hojiblanca extra virgin olive oil: won 1 Great Taste star. Commenting on Oro Bailen Hojiblanca, the Great Taste judges ...” What an exquisite colour of golden green, perfectly clear. The aroma of freshly cut grass also has elements of cold buttered artichokes and green bananas. The mouthfeel and texture are silky smooth with a fresh young olive fruitiness, a little bitterness midpalate, and a warm and reassuring pepperiness on the finish….Vibrant in colour with a grassy, citrus nose. Peppery, meadowy and fruity in taste.”

 5. Moulins Mahjoub organic hand-rolled wholewheat m'hamsa: won 1 Great Taste star. The judges found : "There was also an array of nutty flavours here that ranged from walnut to hazelnut which we enjoyed"

 6. Moulins Mahjoub organic Tunisian shakshuka: won 1 Great Taste star. "This tastes homemade and without any taint from being jarred" said a judge.

7. Moulins Mahjoub organic artisan sauce with black olives and artichokes: won 1 Great Taste star. The judges commented on its "Wonderful vibrant colour with fabulous fresh aroma. A true smell of the Med. The flavour from the olives and artichokes is outstanding. All the ingredients are bringing an amazing fresh zing."

The Artisan Olive Oil Company is a London based importer, distributor and wholesaler serving independent, speciality and organic stores as well as department stores across the UK.

A guide to choosing the best balsamic vinegars

A guide to choosing the best balsamic vinegars


The high street is full of products with the word balsamic, from glazes to 100 year old balsamic vinegars which range from £2 to £200. To better understand what drives price and quality of balsamic vinegar, it is important to understand its provenance and production process.

Balsamic vinegar provenance

Balsamic vinegar is produced in the province of Modena in the North of Italy in small quantities and through a long ageing process. The consortium of Italian balsamic vinegar producers has set a very detailed set of rules and parameters which need to be follow in order to obtain their stamp of approval. This includes the use of local wine grapes such as Lambrusco and Trebbiano. Balsamic vinegar is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO or DOP in Italian) which confirms its provenance. Traditional balsamic vinegar bottles also contain a numbered seal which allows to trace the origin of the product and monitor production volumes which tend to be very small.   

Taste and aroma of balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar has a dark colour, a dense syrupy texture, a complex aromatic profile often referred to as the bouquet and a balanced sweet-sour taste.

Balsamic vinegar production

The pressing and cooking of the grape must happens at the same time. It is subsequently cooked in an open recipient for several hours to start the concentration process. This leads to the aging process which takes places in wood barrels of decreasing sizes, starting from the largest one initially and ending with the smallest which will be used to extract a small quantity of balsamic vinegar. 12 to 25 years are necessary for the product to reach the appropriate profile to qualify for the DOP certification. As a rule of thumb, only about 10% of the liquid remains after 25 years and this is one of the main drivers of the price of aged balsamic vinegars.


Food pairings with balsamic vinegar

The 12 year-old balsamic vinegar is referred to as "traditionale" and is best suited to warm dishes such as a caponata, risotto, salads vegetables or ice cream and strawberries. The 25 year-old balsamic vinegar referred to as "extra vecchio" is ideal on parmigiano reggiano, meat and fish dishes. In all cases, only a few drops may be sufficient to enhance your dish.


Balsamic vinegar: a popular Christmas gift

Similarly to fine wines, aged balsamic vinegars, through its complex and long production process, has naturally become a popular Christmas present. A product which used to be confined to the Italian aristocracy has become more democratised. Its shelf life also means that it can be enjoyed over a long period of time with friends and family and used as a rare ingredient for those special occasions.


November 05, 2020 — Admin account
Oro Bailen Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil wins Flos Olei 2021 Award

Oro Bailen Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil wins Flos Olei 2021 Award

We are delighted to hear that our partner Oro Bailen based in Andalusia has received the Flos Olei 2021 award for the best quality / quantity extra virgin olive oil in the world for its picual extra virgin olive oil.
November 04, 2020 — Admin account