I’m putting myself into the casual olive oil consumer’s shoes and, reminding the time when I dazzled by hundreds of different options of variety, brand, and, having no idea which extra virgin olive oils to pick. Simply, we try out and hope for the best.
In this article, we are going to investigate the best olive oils in the UK market in 2020 and will address the best shops to buy olive oils in London.
On the previous olive oil blog post, we addressed buying olive oil, that is, extra-virgin olive oil, really comes down to personal preference and finding your favourite is all about experimenting. Try enough oils and you’ll start to notice different flavour profiles — like piquant, peppery, mild, grassy, fiery — and which one you like best. But there are still a few easy ground rules to follow: Look for dark or opaque glass bottles, or tins, because olive oil doesn’t like light.
Which olive oil is the best?
There are few things in life that taste better than proper extra virgin olive oil. Olive Oils are a healthier choice than solid fats, such as margarines since they have a different structure. Oils are predominantly comprised of good unsaturated fatty acids, whereas solid fats are mainly saturated, and therefore unhealthy.
Unsaturated fats help to raise levels of good cholesterol, which is beneficial to heart health. Saturated fat, on the other hand, has been linked to raised levels of bad cholesterol, which can lead to a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks.
The monounsaturated fats are reliable source to lower levels of bad cholesterol. This type of unsaturated fats can be found in extra virgin olive oil.
The main types of olive oil you’re likely to spot on the market shelves are extra virgin olive oil, pure olive oil and light olive oil.
The British consumer guide for grocery olive oils
The result of a taste test carried out in 2020 by one of the British product-testing website, suggested that consumers would not necessarily need to get for the most expensive bottle when searching for high quality olive oil. The test was carried out by a panel of three olive oil experts who sampled seven different extra virgin oils from big name brands such as Filippo Berio and, as well as private label oils of the leading British High Street groceries.
Lidl’s extra virgin olive oil ranked highest and proved to be more popular than big quality High Street brands like Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer in the test.
Experts were not impressed with the olive oils from Tesco and Marks & Spencer. Tesco’s oil was too bitter, with one expert identifying flavours that were dusty and like a mouldy piece of bread.
However, the most selling olive oil in the UK is Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil. it is a good beginner olive oil, that’s affordable, versatile, and for the best value for money. It’s balanced and mild flavour makes it a go to choose for any meal, regardless of the method, out of all the olive oil brands available in your grocery.
Whichever bottle you choose to buy, be sure to keep it stored in a cool, dark place in your pantry, ensuring it’s sealed when not in use. You’ll be able to enjoy these full-bodied flavours longer this way!
Here, our top selection for different uses in the kitchen. Please let us know in comments your personal favourites, or your regions the best olive oils.
Best value olive oil, Farchioni Il Casolare Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1L
If you’re looking for an oil to drizzle over your food for added flavour, this is for your. Farchioni is cold pressed and unfiltered. It came recommended by two of the experts we consulted. They describe it “rich and fruity flavour and the most beautiful colour. It has a nice balance of fruit and bitter with an earthy aroma.”
The bottle with the old-fashioned stopper is cute but easy to use. The best part, Farchioni EVOO is available in your local Tesco or you can buy from amazon.
Best olive oil for all purposes, Odysea Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Produced with Koroneiki olives from groves in the Chania region on the island of Crete, an area acclaimed to produce superior extra virgin olive oil. A medium strength olive oil with notes of grass and a pleasant peppery finish.
Have tasted olive oil from all over the Mediterranean and nothing tastes more like an authentic meal from a Greek taverna than when it has a good glug of this authentic olive oil. The flavour is beautiful in all the salads I have made and for frying also. Either raw or in cooked food, I haven’t tasted a better olive oil.
Best olive oil for salads, Lyrakis Family est. 1975′ Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil
Sometimes you want an olive oil with strong flavours and a lot of personality. But other times when cooking something with its own unique aromas, you want one that won’t overpower the food. This is an excellent extra virgin olive oil bearing all the features of the Koroneiki variety when grown in Crete: peppery, intense, and aromatic flavour and velvety texture.
Where to buy olive oil in London?
Here, we address the best local stores in London to purchase exceptional olive oils.
The Olive Oil Co., Borough Market
South London’s Borough Market is a perennial Mecca for the city’s foodies. The stalls here groan under the weight of artisan cheeses, cakes, organic vegetables, and hand-reared meat. Borough Market is also home to The Olive Oil Co.
Founder Danilo Manco is from Puglia, where many of the company’s oils are sourced. Particularly recommended is the single estate Cinque Foglie extra virgin, made using olives picked just before they become fully ripe. The Olive Oil Co. boasts a superb range in vinegar too; buy a hunk of fresh Borough Market bread and get dunking on the spot.
Borough Market, 9 Stoney St, London SE1 9AA
Murat Du Carta, Clerkenwell
The shop’s owner, Mehmet Murat, has been in the UK since the 1950s and owns olive groves in the village of Louroujina in his native Cyprus, and a forty-five-acre farm in Turkey. The oil, shipped over in smallish batches, is superlative in quality; New York Magazine once voted it the most delicious in the world. And the family-run shop is tough to beat for warm service, too.
The little shop stuffed with everything imaginable for electrical jobs and most other DIY improvements. What’s more, the prices at Embassy Electrical are extremely reasonable and the Turkish Cypriot owner and his son, Mr Murat and Murat Jr, are lovely friendly people who are happy to pass on their considerable knowledge and advice about the trade.
If that weren’t enough, they also sell some of the best olive oil you’d ever tasted, harvested from their family-owned olive grove back in Cyprus and hand-pressed and packaged by relatives. You can you take your own bottles to the shop to be filled for a discount and the shop’s shelves are groaning with many other examples of their home-grown Murat du Carta olive oil-derived products as diverse as soaps, plump red peppers soaked in olive oil filled jars, olive oil pickled baby aubergines, olive oil infused with various herbs. This is what shopping and shopkeepers used to be like.
76 Compton St, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 0BN
Isle of Olive, Hackney
The Isle of Olive selects its oils from Greece; Kalamata, Sparta, Corinth, Crete, Mitilini, Fthiotida and Chalkidiki. The shop proffers an excellent selection of oils including All Organic Greek Garden Extra Virgin, and a range of Kalamata PDOs. The shop sells juicy olives, tapenade, and olive oil soap. As well as the Isle of Olive store, located just off East London’s Broadway Market, there is a chance to catch the team every Sunday at the Chapel Market in Angel.
6c Ada St, Hackney, E8 4QU