Recipes and News

Speciality and Fine Food Fair 2018 (trade only)

This year The Oil Merchant will be exhibiting at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair at Olympia, London. We will be joined by three of our suppliers: Valdueza from Extremadura in Spain, Liá from Messenia in Greece, and Frescobaldi from Tuscany, Italy. Please come along to our stand, 5090, to taste some oils and have a chat about our range.
If you would like us to send you an invite for a free ticket, please email us in advance - office(at) If you do not sign up ahead of time tickets on the door will cost £25.
Please be aware that this show is for trade customers only.

A Gourmet Guide to Oil and Vinegar

We have been greatly enjoying using this wonderful book by Ursula Ferrigno. Full of beautiful recipes and captivating photography, it is a brilliant introduction into cooking with oil and vinegar, specifying what types of oil work well with certain foods, and all presented in an approachable, lively way. The recipes are simple and delicious, encapsulating Ursula's encyclopaedic knowledge of and natural instinct with ingredients. The book has a useful introduction which gives the reader a good background on the history and uses of olive oil through the ages, as well as some lovely tips such as how to combine it into your beauty regime!
We are very excited to have a number of the oils that we import featured in the book, and are grateful to Ursula for selecting them.
Published by Ryland Peters & Small, the book is available from their website,, on Amazon, or in all good bookshops.

New Season Oils

As we receive deliveries of new season oil from Italy, France and Spain, we can start to breathe a sigh of relief that, although the 2014 olive harvest has been far from easy for producers, the oils we have tasted so far have been of a good quality and flavour. In fact, it has been fascinating to taste the fruits of this catastrophic harvest (one producer has asserted that it is the worst since 1933 for olive oil production in Italy) because, with fewer olives and less varieties to choose from, it showcases even more the skill and knowledge of the blenders who have managed to retain each farm’s individual qualities and characteristics. We have noticed a certain softness to the oils that we have tried, but there is good balance and plenty of fruit too.

There are some oils that we will not be able to taste at all this year; due to the shortage of good-quality, healthy olives produced by organic farming we have a severe shortage of organic olive oil. Colonna in the Molise, Badia a Coltibuono in Tuscany and Viola in Umbria will not be bottling any of their organic oils, though we will have some from Ravida (Sicily) and Castelas (France). L’Estornell in Spain have thankfully not suffered so badly from the same problems as much of Europe so supply of their delicious organic EVOO will not be interrupted.