Isle of Olive

There are 3 characteristics to look out for when tasting extra virgin olive oil.….” proclaimed Gregoris co-founder alongside Paulina of Isle of olive, a new greek deli in London’s Broadway market, “….fruitiness, bitterness & pepperiness “.

I have attended many wine tastings over the years, but olive oil tasting was something completely new to me.

2014-12-03 19.16.54-3We were about to begin and there were five small plastic cups in front of us containing extra virgin olive oils from different regions of Greece.

The one from Korinthos was cloudy,  sweet and mellow, the Cretan one was bitter and fruity with a long and powerful finish and the one from Pilio was more spicy and left a peppery taste on the back of your throat.

All distinctive tastes that showcase the humble olive in all its glory.  We swirled, sipped and swallowed under the expert gaze of Gregoris.

Around us,  an eclectic mix of other products from around Greece adorned the shelves including honeys, pulses, cheeses and herbs with quality and traceability being the key characteristics for their selection. The graviera  cheese from Crete is one to look out for and it’s surprisingly delicious with a drizzle of Greek honey (thanks Paulina for the tip!).

The wine section in the corner of the shop is small but perfectly formed and includes  a Xinomavro from Naoussa (Thymiopoulos) and the a Mosxofilero/Roditis blend from the Peloponnese (Skouras).

This little shop is fairly unique in that its existence centres around a produce which is arguably the quintessential expression of Greek agricultural – extra virgin olive oil. In that respect, Gregoris and Paulina have created a stylish addition to London’s foodie destination list.

A great project driven by their passion for quality and authenticity. We need more places like this in the UK….

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olive oil tasting

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Fava spread from Santorini made from yellow split peas

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Cretan Graviera cheese with a drizzle of honey

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Gregoris conducting the olive oil tasting

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Selection of Greek honeys

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Cretan meze called Dakos