What is the Mediterranean diet?
Often referred to as a recipe for good health, it finds its origin in the diets of Crete and Southern Italy in the last 60’s. Extra virgin olive oil is one of its key ingredients. In addition, it includes grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, small daily consumption of cheese and yogurt, moderate use of fish as a primary source of proteins.
The Seven Countries study by Dr. Ancel Keys
Published in 1980, the study was conducted over 3 decades in Italy, the Greek Islands, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Finland, Japan and the United States. Evidence from the analysis suggested lower rates of heart disease and some cancers in regions where the Mediterranean diet was most widely followed. The study was widely publicised and was followed by a series of additional studies that further explored the relationships between health and diet.
Low fat vs Mediterranean diet, the Predimed study
Between 2003 and 2008, a study was carried out in Spain on 7,500 participants aged over 55 years with a high risk of developing a heart disease. The results highlighted that there were significantly fewer heart attacks, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular diseases with a Mediterranean diet compared to a low fat diet.
For more information, please see the article from the New England Journal of Medicine
A source of anti-oxidants
Extra virgin olive oils contain phenolic compounds, b-carotene (Vitamin A) and a-tocopherol (Vitamin E) which are strong anti-oxidants. These elements can lower the creation of harmful free-radicals associated with many diseases such as forms of cancer.
Not all fats are equal
Extra virgin olive oils include mono-saturated fats which have been found to lower the level of total blood cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol (LDL).
A source of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA)
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid, which means it cannot be produced by the human body. It is contained in extra virgin olive oil and has been associated with lowering the blood pressure.
Extra virgin olive oil has been found to have similar effects to drugs such as Ibuprofen in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Health and olive oil quality
Premium olive oils display superior polyphenol contents, well above commonly found extra virgin olive oils. They also demonstrate significantly lower peroxide content which is created through the oxidation of the fatty acids via contact with air, light and heat.
Olive oil and calories
1 table spoon of olive oil represents around 120 calories, it should therefore be consumed in moderation.
Good food is not everything
Physical activity could well be a factor influencing the lower cardiovascular diseases in the Mediterranean countries in the 60’s. Regular exercise has proven to have significant health benefits and is a key driver for our well-being.
We are delighted to see Oro Bailen's arbequina extra virgin olive oil, one of our most popular premium olive oils featured in the list of the best olive oils in the taste analysis by the Times published in January 2022.
Oro Bailen's arbequina extra virgin olive oil is an early harvest single estate, single variety cold extracted olive oil produced near Jaen in Andalusia in October 2021. It is a delicious mild to medium fruity olive oil with a slightly spicy finish which is very versatile. It is particularly well-suited for salads, grilled fish and chicken.
The early havest arbequina has won Great Taste Awards in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 in adddition to many international recognitions.
Most of our early harvest oils are produced between October and early December. The timing is driven by the region of Provenance, the olive variety as well as weather conditions. In Andalusia, our partner Oro Bailen, one of the world's most awarded olive oil producers, starts with a mini mill, extracting a small quantity of oil every day from the beginning of October to find the optimal profile. Once it has been identified, the harvest happens very quickly and the oil is cold extracted within a few hours to capture its full freshness.
For our review of the 2021/2022, we have selected a few of our early harvest olive oils.ITALIAN OLIVE OILS
Frantoio Franci, our partner from Tuscany, has launched a new delicate early harvest extra virgin olive oil: Bella. Delicate, fresh, fruity with a slightly spicy finish, it is a delicious Italian olive oil which can be used on most dishes and in particular salads and anti-pasti.
Please do not hesitate to contact us on (0) 203 866 8934 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional information).
After a particularly challenging period, we are delighted to announce that we have received 6 Great Taste stars in the 2021 edition of the prestigious competition organised by the Guild of Fine Foods.
Here are our 6 winners
Oro Bailen Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Andalusia, Spain)
Here are some of the judges comments: "well balanced and great tasting oil"
Oro Bailen Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Andalusia, Spain)
A Great Taste judge wound it "pleasingly aromatic oil, versatile in its balance"
Moulins Mahjoub organic sun-dried tomatoes (Tebourba, Tunisia)
Here are the thoughts of the judges: "These tomatoes had a very delicate texture and we enjoyed the wafer-thin nature of it. The flat shape is really interesting and could even be used to hold other snacks for creative canapes. There is nothing to interfere with the pure tomato flavour, which has a lovely sweetness. Very tasty"
Moulins Mahjoub organic traditional harissa (Tebourba, Tunisia)
Here are some of the observations of the Great Taste panel : "This harissa builds in taste and pungency.. The olive oil gives texture and pleasing aroma, with the sun dried peppers offering a flavour which is full and giving a real warmth and depth, which enhances the heat with a delightful overall experience. Every element seems balanced and gives the product its potency."
Due Vittore Oro Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP (Modena, Italy)
Oro has become one of our best-sellers over the last year. Here is what the judges said about it: "This lovely glossy vinegar had a very smooth consistency on the palate. It was very sweet and we could taste the intensity of the grapes as well as the acidity from the vinegar, and found this to be well balanced."
Due Vittorie apple vinegar (Modena, Italy)
This is one our favourite products. We are glad that Great Taste shared our feeling saying "Really tasty and rich apple cider vinegar. Rounded in profile, possibly from the oak ageing, with a long finish. Good levels of sweetness and acidity counterpoint one another. Fruit forward and memorable."
- Fruity: smells of fresh olive fruit, which can be green or ripe and of different intensities
- Bitter: taste of green olives or olives changing colour, perceived in the V zone of the tongue
- Pungent: typical sensation from olives harvested early, can be felt throughout the mouth.
Given the vast number of brands, farms and producers available to the British consumers, we have selected 3 of our favourite books about the world of extra virgin olive oil.
The first one is Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller, an American journalist who lives in Liguria and a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and National Geographic and who has done extensive research about the production and marketing of olive oil. A truly fascinating book. Here is a review by the Guardian.
We are delighted to announce the launch of a new product from our partner Due Vittorie from Modena: Dolceto white condiment with balsamic vinegar.
Dolceto is produced from a blend of aromatic and sweet grape must and fine Italian wine vinegar. With a density of 1.2 and a low acidity, it is best used with fresh salads, steamed vegetables, delicate fish, berries and fruit salads. Its taste is well-balanced, fresh and sweet.
It comes in the round 250ml glass bottle.
10 delicious Mediterranean fine foods and ingredients to take with you with for a taste of the Mediterranean summer wherever you are.
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 email@example.com or on (0) 203 866 8934 to become a stockist.