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new arrivals

just arrived from Cyprus, selling alongside my olive oil 
caper shoots
candied water melon
candied baby aubergine
candied pumpkin
candied orange peel
candied baby walnuts
pickled goosefoot
pickled samphire
cyprus black olives
cyprus cracked green olives

all at very keen prices

my friend Simon majumdar

a fantastic feature in emotions magazine

a mention in the november 2014 issue of GQ magazine

The history of Murat Du Carta’s olive oil

The history of Murat Du Carta’s olive oil

My Cyprus olive groves were started by my  late father Murat du carta, who as a young man was the barber in the village of Louroujina in Central Cyprus

 being a barber in those days also qualified him as a dentist 

 To increase his earnings in order to support a young family he also travelled throughout Cyprus as an agent, buying mules for the then Turkish Cypriot leadership, the Dr kucuk family

 He would deliver  them to the Dr Kucuk family compound in Nicosia where he would be paid his commission (the mules would be sold to serve with the British  army in Egypt)

 My late father would use his earnings to purchase plots of land ranging from one acre to 10 acres surrounding the village of Louroujina where i was born in December 1950

 My mother who was at that point pregnant with me would then together with my father plant these plots of land with olive saplings of the Cyprus olive tree variety, they would then water them for  approx one to two years until they were established

The situation in Cyprus was by this point deteriorating  & My father left Cyprus in 1953 to come to the UK to find work & pave the way for us, he sent for us in 1955 and left the olive groves in the care of close relatives who continued to look after the trees & harvest the fruits

 Once the trees were producing in reasonable quantities the olives were taken for pressing & the oil was sold to the co operatives who then sold  it on to the Italians who packaged and sold it off as Italian olive oil

 After I inherited the groves I decided that I was going to import my oil to the UK  &  package & market it myself I am very happy to say that from the very start it was discovered & written about by the national press & still continues to gain interest throughout the world.


 We produce an excellent extra virgin olive oil from our own olive groves in Cyprus and Turkey, recently featured on Gordon Ramsay's ultimate cooking programme, 

described by the New York Magazine as "England's best olive oil" 

 the observers food monthly described us as the best place to buy your olive oil from,

 the Guardian wrote an article called the test of the best extra virgin olive oils we got first place

We are also listed as one of the 7 great places to buy olive oil in London by the olive oil times

we are very proud of these achievements & we strive to continue to the best of our ability

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your  custom & support





Our new label

Our new label or otherwise our olive oils passport
now a legal requirement for importing olive oil into the UK
due to all the adulterated olive oil that was being imported and sold here
our olive oil is now fully traceable from the grove to the bottle

Embassy Electrical Supplies
76 Compton St, London EC1V 0BN 
tel: 020 7251 4721    web:

Embassy Electronics, Clerkenwell
Oil Boom in EC1! 

From far and wide they come, seekers of the golden elixir – what the New York Magazine called “England’s best” olive oil. The target of their pilgrimage however, is not the pantry at Ottolenghi or the Food Hall at John Lewis but a small electrical supplies shop in Clerkenwell. The proprietor of the shop is Mehmet Murat, a Londoner of Turkish Cypriot descent and the extra virgin olive oil he sells alongside fluorescent tubes and lighting sockets has been acclaimed by some of the best known names in British cuisine. No lesser lights than Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver count among the numerous celebrity fans of his produce. The accolades don’t stop there - his Murat Du Carta extra virgin olive oil came first in a Guardian test of the three best olive oils on the market (beating off competition costing three times the price) and he has also been featured in the Observer (which hailed Embassy Electricals as the best place in the world to buy your olive oil), The Times, Hello Magazine and even Gulf Life (in-flight magazine of Gulf Airways). 

Top marks from the Guardian
The proof of the oil is in the tasting and, when I visited, Mehmet was only too happy to let me sample the produce. First up was the Murat Du Carta. Now you don’t just knock this stuff back down your gullet. As instructed by Mehmet I carefully coated my palate with the oil before swallowing a sample and it went down perfectly – a beautifully rich oil with a peppery after-taste. Mehmet then mixed the oil with a dash or two of pomegranate molasses (also from his farm) to create a vinaigrette-type mixture that makes your taste buds shriek with delight. A word to the wise here - this molasses consists mostly of pure pomegranate juice (mixed with a pinch of salt and citric acid) – unlike the commercially available products which consist largely of glucose and will turn your salad dressing into a syrupy gloop. 

Let the tasting begin
Next came the Chateau Carman. This is made from olives grown on the family’s farm in Turkey and is infused with lemons (also from the family farm) to give a subtle citrus finish to the taste. Next followed marinated capers (which they forage for in the hillsides of Cyprus), which were succulent and piquant with a flavour reminiscent of fine asparagus. The coup de grace for us though was a sublime black truffle infused olive oil – just dip some freshly baked bread into it and you will experience a little taste of paradise. 

As well as the olive oils you will find a range of other produce from Mehmet’s farms. These include chili flakes, sweet paprika, olives, caper shoots, candied orange peel, candied baby walnuts and preserved lemons. On a good year the family’s lemon groves can produce one hundred tons of lemons. Ensuring that the lemons are watered sufficiently to ripen properly is no mean feat. It turns out that watering the crop is a major logistical exercise involving coordinating the release of water from a hilltop reservoir and then channeling it to the family’s fields through a system of sluice gates. The same level of care and attention goes into preparing the sweet paprika, which is washed, cut, de-seeded, sun dried, milled to a powder, and soaked in olive oil and salt for four days. For such a concentration of hand-prepared, natural goodness the price of £3 per tub is an absolute steal. 

Not just oil - some of the other delicacies on sale.
In addition to the home-grown produce they also stock a number of Turkish delicacies and specialities producded by other suppliers, including piccalilli, carob molasses, tahini, samphire and even frankincense. This must also be the only electrical store in the country where there is a shelf bulging with fresh bunches of sage and oregano. If you want to explore some of these flavours but don’t know your sumac from your hawthorn jelly then don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Both Mehmet and his son Murat are a mine of information on Turkish cuisine. In fact after you have listened to Mehmet rattle off one mouth-watering recipe after another it will probably come as no surprise to hear that he also used to run his own restaurant (Compton’s Bar and Bistro – just down the road from the current premises). If you want to go to the source of all this fine produce, you can – Mehmet also has apartments for rent in his secluded villa at Chateau Carman in Turkey. 

One visitor to the shop was more interested in Carta the tom cat than the Murat du Carta
So what is the story behind Embassy Electricals? Well, it starts with Mehmet’s father back in the village of Lourijina in Cyprus. He was the local barber (which, back in the day, also meant doubling up as the dentist) but he also had a sideline in supplying donkeys and mules to Dr Fazil Kucuk (leader of the Turkish Cypriots). He used the commission earned from these sales to buy patches of arable land, planting olive and lemon groves and building up the family’s farm holding. He eventually moved to England but other members of the family kept the farm business running. Mehmet was born in Cyprus but arrived in London as a child in 1955. Having trained as an electrician he went on to open the shop in Clerkenwell in 1980, serving the many electrical contractors working the local office blocks. 

Reminders of the family
Mehmet was brought up on the olive oil sent over from the family farm back in Cyprus and so was blissfully unaware of the acidic imposter which passes for olive oil in Britain’s supermarket shelves. His eyes were only opened when he received some ‘premium’ oil as a gift - some years ago. In 2001 he inherited the family farm and later began selling the olive oil in his shop as a sideline. Since the publication of the New York magazine interest in the product has snowballed, with orders flowing in from around the world (when we visited Mehmet was despatching a case of oil to a customer in Alabama) and the business is the subject of ever-increasing media attention.
Lexicographer Jonathan Green (author of the definitive work on English slang) pops in for a re-fill
and a customer not in search of olive oil - just some plain old light fittings for a local business

So why does Mehmet’s oil taste so good? The secret is a commitment to ensuring quality and purity every step of the way. They pick the olives when they are green, turning purple - this is the point at which they contain the maximum level of anti-oxidants - and take them to the press within 24 hours. The oil is also pure extra virgin. It is not blended with any other oils and it is made from the first cold pressing of the olives – ensuring the highest quality. Additionally, Mehmet supervises the whole process from tree to bottle to make sure that no impurities can contaminate the oil at any point in the process. This includes ensuring that the presses are thoroughly washed down and all traces of other harvests are removed before his olives are pressed. The olives are then shipped to the UK and every single bottled is filled by hand by Mehmet himself. 
Every bottle filled by Mehmet himself
Mehmet's son Murat
Sadly there is a cloud on the horizon for the olive oil pipeline at Embassy Electricals. This comes in the shape of recently introduced EU legislation on the production and distribution of olive oil. The laws come in the wake of a number of well documented recent scandals where inferior and adulterated product has been passed off as extra virgin. As Mehmet has mentioned in his blog, some of this stuff is pomace – which is traditionally used as lamp fuel and is barely fit for human consumption. Unfortunately the legislation catches every producer, big and small, in its net. The raft of new requirements relating to documentation, auditing, certification and distribution will place a disproportionate financial burden on small ethical suppliers. This is also the same heavy-handed legislation you may have read about in the press, which dictates that restaurants can no longer serve olive oil in cruets or carafes. Instead they must offer it in non-resealable containers – the same way you might be served ketchup in a sachet at a fast food restaurant. This law applies even if you have a restaurant with your own olive grove in the back garden. 

Once current stocks are exhausted it will no longer be legal for Mehmet to bottle his oil by hand. Instead he faces the prospect of having to contract the work to a bottling plant. This is bad news all around as it entails additional expense as well as potential loss of control over the production process. Mehmet is philosophical about the challenges that lie ahead though and is determined to find a way around this particular regulatory roadblock. Personally, I think that not even these overheated EU regulations will be able to short-circuit Embassy Electrical’s olive oil mission. 

The place where all the magic happens

And of course they are still a specialist supplier of electricals to local businesses

Deceit in the food industry

After many years of producing, importing and selling olive oil as well being registered with the local authorities with regards selling my products, I was paid a visit by the local health authorities and it was bought to my attention that my Cypriot olive groves were in fact situated in northern Cyprus

i was also told that northern Cyprus is not a recognized country, so although I had oleic acid certificates and government certificates certifying my products are fit for human consumption I was told that if I did not remove my products from sale they would remove and destroy, bearing in mind that I personally produce, import and package my goods, also you can only purchase directly from me

They proceeded to take a one liter bottle from my shelves stating that they were going to send it away for analyzing and would proceed to prosecute me depending on the outcome of the tests, they also said that the test would be able to tell in which part of the world the oil was produced, insinuating that it was not my produce

I challenged them to pop into any of the large supermarkets and randomly take a variety of there extra virgin olive oils and send them off together with mine for analyzing, and when they received the reports back they should come along and sit down for a discussion with me, where we could make comparisons, sadly they never did return with the reports

I am a very small producer no different than any other average committed producer and I am very proud of my products, I maintain quality by being hands-on, from the tree to the bottling, in other words my oil does not pass through any machinery

I asked the authorities if they had any objections to my giving my products away free of charge and there reply was they could not do anything about that, I replied that I would be charging for the containers for instance a one liter bottle would sell for £10 but the olive oil contents would be free

because of all the write ups and press exposure that I have had I have been approached a number of times asking if I was interested in taking up advertising space in some of the national papers, I was also told that it would increase my sales 20 fold, my reply was I already sell all what I produce without any advertising, where would I get the additional stocks from, basically you can only buy my produce directly from me not through any of the supermarkets, in fact because I refuse to have my oil professionally bottled I am not allowed to sell through any third parties, but that’s fine as my years produce is normally exhausted before the years end

presently I sell a 500ml bottle of my extra virgin olive oil for £6.50 if I was forced to send my products off for analyzing in the UK and then send it off to have it professionally bottled etc I would have to sell it for at least £12.50 per 500ml bottles, for the quantity I produce this process would put me out of business

i cannot understand why the authorities do not follow up on products and labeling they should be focusing on recently Harrods was made to remove from their shelves olive oil which was labeled as Tuscan olive oil simply because it was bottled in the UK and therefore could have been tampered at the bottling process, although they had the certification proving it was produced in Tuscany

Throughout the med the normal process of certification is as follows

Once the producers have had their oil pressed they are required to take a one liter bottle along to the lab where it is tested and certified, the problem is that the certificate only represents the one liter, which is top quality, for instance I could use the certificate to represent a large amount of second grade oil which I am about to have bottled

i would like to take you back a few years when i noticed two of the largest supermarkets in the UK selling one liter stone capped bottles labeled as cloudy extra virgin olive oil produce of Tuscany, I noted that this olive oil was being sold in September, they were being sold for £3.99 reduced from £5.99

now being a olive oil producer myself my curiosity was aroused being as any cold pressed extra virgin olive oil when pressed in the months of October through to December is cloudy due to the sediment, this is normally allowed to settle and then bottled leaving most of the sediment in the original containers the sediment is then sold off to soap makers and so forth , some producers will filter there oil immediately after pressing in order that they can bottle and sell on

i have also in the past bottled when first pressed and cloudy but what happens is that within a month the sediment settles to the bottom of the bottle leaving the oil crystal clear, in some cases if you are not careful leaving a good half inch of sediment in the bottom of the bottle, which to the consumer is waste

so it aroused my curiosity as to what process it was put to in order that it was still permanently cloudy, this in my view was done to deceive the consumer that the oil was very fresh, now unless the supermarkets had members of staff going around shaking the bottle on a daily basis I can only assume that it was put through a process to keep it cloudy and it should not have been labeled extra virgin olive oil

Not forgetting that some producers also buy cheap low grade oil and chemically adjust the oleic acid in there oils in order that they can legally label there oil as extra virgin, this is why I would like the health authorities to randomly pick various extra virgin olive oils from supermarket shelves as well as specialist shops and send away for analyzing

i have been approached by some people at farmers markets where they have enquired as to the price of a one liter bottle of my oil when told the price is £10 they shake their heads and say that they are able to purchase a one liter bottle from a particular chain store for £3.99, i tell them that this is impossible as the cost of producing and importing etc actually leaves me very little profit on my £10 bottle

however curiosity got the better of me and i visited one of these stores to check for myself, it was true a one liter bottle was on sale for  £3.99 and it was labeled as extra virgin olive oil until i read the small print which stated that the contents were 10% extra virgin olive oil and the remainder was pomace, pomace is what is sometimes known as lamp oil and in my view is not fit for human consumption basically you get what you pay for

The best way to test extra virgin olive oil is to slurp a little and warm it in your mouth and then to swallow, good olive oil will go down like fruit juice and it will leave a very pleasant long lasting taste in your mouth without leaving any grease or fat residue.

the rules and regulations regarding labeling has got a lot to answer for, for instance olives when you buy them loose is there anything to tell you where they originate from, how were they cured, were they produced by a small holder in the traditional method of curing with salt or brine or were they cured with caustic soda, consumers are not aware of what they are buying in a  lot of cases

i would also like to point out deceit in other fields with regards food production this has been pointed out to me by a very trustworthy source that is employed in one of the following industrial bakeries

a large bakery producing bread and cakes in vast quantities in conditions that are outdated in ovens that do not work correctly, this bakery has been described to me as rat and pigeon infested, although when the health authorities are going to pay a visit the bakery is given 2 weeks’ notice in order to clean up, this is apparently done as the local borough does not wish to shut the premises down as it would put too many people out of work

in another part of town there is another state of the art bakery which confirms to all regulations, in fact it was awarded a contract to supply a large chain of supermarkets who stringently check there producers to make sure all is up to standard

The state of the art bakery cannot cope with the amount of work so instead of expanding they choose to send the cake mixture frozen and chilled to the other bakery where it is baked and packaged and labeled as if it were produced, packaged and labeled at the state of the art bakery

The same out of date bakery produces bread and delivers in plain vans to some farmers markets and this is sold to the public on the pretext that it is produced in an artisan bakery

this is deceit and it can be found in all sectors of the food industry, not so long ago eggs that were sold as organically produced were found to be produced from battery hens, jams said to have been produced from locally produced fruits in the UK were found to have been made from fruit imported from china, you can go on and on

I feel that the authorities should be carrying out more stringent tests on the large producers who are more often than not in pursuit of high profit margins

That’s not to say that the small producer should not be checked thoroughly, but bears in mind that in most cases they produce excellent produce but cannot afford to opt for the designer packaging, labeling and marketing

Support them because in most cases you are getting the genuine article


jamie Oliver unexpected visit to my shop

click on this link to see jamies instagram regarding my produce

The gentle authors new book launch

i attended the launch of the gentle authors new book last night the 18th October at christ church in spitalfields 
if you have never read any of the gentle authors posts in spitalfields life, you are missing out on some quality reading
click on the link below to catch up with some of his articles

at last we have our new black truffle infused olive oil in 50ml bottles, this is not synthetic oil nor is it flavoured it has been infused with real black truffles

normally this oil would cost in the £6.90 price range for the 50ml bottle as a special opening offer we are pricing the 1st 100 bottles at £3.90, so do not delay order now
try drizzling a little on your scrambled eggs or drizzle on your soup use in your rissoto or in your mash potatos or on your pasta 
it only needs a few drops to experience this fabulous taste

my recent visit to my farm in Turkey

picture top left preparing and deseeding 60kgs of paprika bottom left picture we bring it to the boil on a log fire and when cool we take it to the local milling factory who put it through a huge liquidiser we then bring it back and add salt and put it out under sunshine for 7 to 10 days occasionally stirring until it reduces to an intense thick paste
this is a labour of love

picture bottom right is pine honey produced by my neighbouring farm whose bees forage on my trees

my olive oil on gordon ramsays ultimate cooking

alexandra palace farmers market

after being away from attending farmers markets for the last year due to some family health issues

i attended Alexandra palace for the first time this year and was really touched by the tremendous welcome and turnout from new and old customers
one customer said that he had to go back to buying the plain olive oil they sell in the supermarkets in my absence

it had a special feeling going back and it makes me feel that what i am producing is very much appreciated
i sincerely look forward to seeing you all again on the 2nd and the 16th of December at ally pally

many thanks for your tremendous welcome and your much appreciated custom
please also note that i am happy to deliver to you personally if at any time you cannot get to the market

kind regards mem

which markets am i attending in 2012

if you want to pick up some bargains produced on my olive and citrus groves in Cyprus and Turkey then pay me a visit at 

Alexandra palace farmers market  on sunday the 11th November 2012

Alexandra palace farmers market on sunday the 2nd December 2012

Alexandra palace farmers market on sunday the 16th December  2012


i will also be attending Brockley Xmas Market on 

Saturday the 15th December 2012  at Coulgate street, London se4 

this is a great day out , the atmosphere is fantastic , there is music, mulled wine and plenty of bargains


or you are welcome to pop into my shop in Clerkenwell, London EC1V 0BN

tel 020 7251 4721 mob 07956 320 676

if you are unable to attend any of these venues, you can order via my online shop from the comfort of your home

Gordon Ramsay's ultimate cooking program

any one that is interested monday the 17th September 2012 channel 4 at 5pm i am making a small appearance on the Gordon Ramsay ultimate cooking program talking about my olive oil

also i have just arrived back from 6 weeks working away on my farm in Turkey, i have bought back with me some new products produced to organic standards on my farm

sweet paprika paste ingredients are sweet paprika, salt and lots of turkish sunshine

st johns wort infused olive oil

bergamut marmalade

candied walnuts

lemon infused extra virgin olive oil

mandarin infused extra virgin olive oil

fresh paprika powder 

carob molasses

mulberry molasses

grape molasses

brockley xmas market 2011 coulgate st

the 2011 brockley xmas market held on the 10th December at Coulgate street did not disappoint me, and the organisers did themselves proud

i sold a record amount of olives and olive oil from my stall, in fact people who had purchased from me at last years event turned up with friends to restock 
the atmosphere, the entertainment and the locals were second to none, and whoever made the mulled wine should patent it (but  please let me have the recipe first ) 
i look forward to attending this event again and again 
congratulations to the organisers

Alexandra Palace farmers' market

The farmers' market odyssey is now officially under way.

The market at Ally Pally is one of the biggest in London, so it was high up on my list to try. I had been once a couple of years ago and was impressed then. Some of the stalls had changed but otherwise it seemed much the same. 

There were around 30 stalls including
- 3 cheese stalls (one specialising in Cheddar from Somerset, one with excellent and diverse goats' cheeses from East Sussex, and one with an array of cheeses from around the country, which seems somewhat against the ethos of a farmers' market)
- a wet fish stall
- several fruit and veg stalls, including some organic veg, and lots of soft fruit including an array of plums and greengages
- home-made ice-cream and sorbet
- meat including Giggly Pig sausages, made with traditional Saddleback pigs, and a lamb stall
- international dishes of various kinds including Greek (baklava, borek and so on), Moroccan, and Indian, plus an interesting-looking vegetarian stall called (I think) Hungry Carrot
- olive oils, olives, dried herbs and similar items from Cyprus and Turkey . Again not entirely the point of a farmers' market, though they were apparently from the stallholders' own estates ( It must be said that the olive oil was very good, as was the pomegranate molasses. I also tasted caper shoots for the first time - a similar flavour to capers, but with a softer, leafier texture. Good mixed with anchovies in a sauce to serve with fish, apparently. There was also a separate olive stall which also sold feta, stuffed vine leaves, pickled garlic and so on. 

We bought cheddar from Glastonbury, organic biodynamically grown Black Cherry tomatoes, stuffed vine leaves from the olive merchant, and onion bhajis with a little pot of chutney. The tomatoes, which were a purplish colour, were nice enough but no tastier than normal cherry tomatoes.

Last but not least, we had cake from The Cake Hole. These cakes, made in Vauxhall, south London, made me extremely happy. There were too many I wanted to try, but between us we managed the Victoria sponge, the cheesecake and the orange and almond cake. All of them were delicious but I think the orange and almond might have just had the edge - I liked the touch of bitterness alongside the sweet. The ingredients are listed alongside each cake, which I definitely approve of, and were pretty much what you would put in a cake if you made it at home (as opposed to the bewildering list of things in a factory-made cake).

Unfortunately the Great British Summer intervened and it rained on our picnic, but you can't have everything.

Vital statistics:

When and where: Sundays, 10am-3pm, Alexandra Palace Park (Musewell Hill entrance)
Number of stalls: Approx 30 (on my visit)
Range of produce: Excellent
Value for money: 7 (eight if you go about 2pm and get some of the end of the day bargains!)
Marks out of 10: 8

Fresh delivery july 2011

we apologise re the delay of my products from my Turkish farm, it is now scheduled to arrive in the UK in mid July

it consists of the following
chateau carman green olives 
chateau carman dry cured olives
chateau carman marinated olives
chateau carman pomegranate molasses
chateau carman lemon infused olive oil 
chateau carman mandarin infused olive oil 
chateau carman extra virgin olive oil
chateau carman pine honey
chateau carman candied baby walnuts
chateau carman caper shoots
chateau carman wild sage
chateau carman wild oregano
chateau carman tomato paste
chateau carman dried chillis on a string
carob molasses
cyprus black dry cured olives
wild rose hip 
preserved lemons

The best shops in (the east half) London

Le Cool's Chloe McCloskey and Mat Osman select their favourite shops in the east half of London

Embassy Electrical Supplies

Isn't it always the case, that when you popout for a new fuse or socket guard, you find yourself overcome with the desire to stock up on high-quality olive oil? No? It would be if your local electrical supply was Embassy, where owner Mehmet Murat sells fuses alongside the extra virgin olive oil and other aromatic items produced by his family groves in Cyprus and Turkey. The organmic-standard oil is competitively priced at around £6.50 a half litre. Drop by for a taste, and if you're not impressed, you can always buy some light bulbs.
• 76 Compton Street, EC1V 0BN,

mad dog dinners

Olive Oil

electrical oil

December 1st, 2010

On my way to buy bread from the St. John today, I discovered a very unusual olive oil vendor – an electrical shop! Embassy Electrical Supplies sells the family olive oil, from Cyprus and Turkey in the electrical shop. Having looked up the shop on the internet, as it’s so unusual, I’ve discovered that this olive oil is very highly rated. Murat du Carta and Chateau Carman are included in a review by the Guardian, in its “50 best things to eat in the world” and the Sunday Times, to name just a few!

Mehmet, the owner of the electrical shop, came to Britain in 1955. When his father died in 2002, he inherited 500 olive trees and started importing the family olive oil in 2004. The olive oil business is doing well and Mehmet has increased the size of his harvest by buying 45 acres of land in Turkey. The business is now importing more than 1,000 litres of olive oil a year.

Embassy Electrical Supplies is at 76 Compton Street, London, EC1V 0BN – off St. John Street.

the london reviews blogspot

Without the internet I would never have believed this male nirvana existed . Thanks to Mr Berners Lee I can confirm it does . I've been and seen the future. Embassy electrical supplies sells shelves of plugs, wires, cable ties and sparky stuff . Embassy electrical supplies also sells the best olive oil in england ( those anglo experts at the new york magazine say so! ) Who knows if its that good . All I can say is its the best I've ever tasted.

If I was boris Johnson I'd make embassy a must visit for every tourist - it so sums up the diversity and mashed up logic of the city we love . It makes me proud to find such eclectic stores, electric stores. 


We’ve all been there, right. You know, out of nowhere when you’re all out of olive oil and two-core electrical cable. Well, how about being able to satiate your needs for both in one hit. Yes folks, not only do Embassy Electrical Supplies cater, not surprisingly considering the company name, for all your electrical needs, an ever expanding zone of the shop is dedicated to their array of magnificent, tantalising olive oil and other fine Mediterranean delicacies. If you have a few moments to spare, allow me to tell you the story of how this welcome juxtaposition came to be. The affable owner, a Mr. Mehmet Murat, already had this EC1 business under his belt when he then seven years ago inherited the family olive groves in Cyprus - land that his family have toiled upon since the 1950s. With a touch of genius, this remarkable gentleman swiftly combined the two and set about incorporating the oils and olives into what would otherwise have remained your everyday source of plugs, bulbs and cables. What is most remarkable is that as you allow the varying styles and flavours to wash around your mouth – tasting sessions are more than welcomed – the quality, fortitude and texture of these products are pretty much unrivalled. Globally! Using traditional production methods, where lemons are used to sterillise the pressing stones, means that some oils have a lingering citrus tang; others, that have been allowed to linger longer, have a distinctly nutty twist. Sampling the varieties, side by side, the subtle differences are striking. And as this inspired business goes from strength to strength, incorporating a whole heap of other fancy foodstuffs, the quality is not remotely compromised by the increasing quantity.

updated by Eamon Downes on August 30 2010

another magazine

Down Compton Street in Clerkenwell there’s a small, traditional hardware store calledEmbassy Electrical Supplies. In one corner, next to the sockets and four ways, stand two shelving units filled with bottles of olive oil, jars of preserves and dried herbs. “I’ve been an electrician all my life,” Mehmet Murat—Mem, aka Mr Olive Oil—the owner, tells us. “It’s no strange thing to sell olive oil in your own shop. In Cyprus, if I owned the olive groves and I was also the village mechanic, you'd naturally ask me to put some oil aside for you after the pressing.”

Mem, who grew up in London, has run Embassy since 1978. In 2002 he inherited his parents’ olive grove in Cyprus. “This was actually different plots of land that my father bought over time in Louroujina, the village where I was born,” he explains. “My parents planted the trees themselves in 1950.” His father used to sell the oil to Italy, where it would be mixed with a variety of oils before getting re-packaged as Italian for the international market. This is still common practice; single estate olive oil is rare.

Having enjoyed the unmixed oil from his parents’ grove all his life, Mem decided to start importing it directly to London. Soon after the first 100 litres hit the shelves, he got a write-up in New York Magazine declaring his as “England’s best olive oil.” A couple of years ago he bought another grove in Turkey. “Because of the citrus taste, I prefer the Turkish oil for fish and chicken dishes,” he tells us. “The Cypriot oil is more robust, it leaves a buttery taste in your mouth that’s great for pasta. But I would gladly put either into a bowl with some wild oregano and dip some crusty bread in.”

Mem also harvests wild herbs such as sage and oregano, and wild caper shoots, which have quickly become our favourite addition to green salads and butter-based pasta sauces. The business is still family-run. “We pick the olives when they’re green and just turning purple,” he says. “Then we take them to the mill to be pressed within 24 hours. I bottle every single container myself. You’re buying it in London in the same manner you would in Cyprus or Turkey.”

For more about Mem and his single estate olive oils see here and Embassy Electrical Supplies, 76 Compton Street City of London EC1V 0BN.

Text by Ananda Pellerin
Photography by Neil Wissink


Ananda Pellerin is a London-based writer and editor of Wheel Me Out. Neil Wissink is a visual artist also based in London.


i can honestly say that i thoroughly enjoyed attending brockley xmas market on the 
11th of December 2010
i have been selling at various farmers and food markets now for 4 years or more
the market opened at 12 noon and the crowds did not let up until it ended at 6pm
the people, the traders and atmosphere at brockley market is the best i have ever encountered
i honestly feel that a monthly market at brockley would be a success, i would most certainly attend

the organisation and the setting up of the market was second to none, they could teach some full 
time markets a lesson or two

full credit to the organisers,  i sincerely hope everyone that purchased any of my products will enjoy 
i certainly enjoyed talking to you all

eating east

i can only say that i have been blessed with the write ups and reviews i am getting regarding my olive oil

i am ever so greatful to those of you who feel my product is worth writing about, and i will strive to continue 
to produce the best possible products 
read my latest write up by Eating East

my olive oil and the local community in finchley

I attended the Finchley farmers market at avenue house yesterday sunday the 10th of october where i sell my olive oil and found it to be half the market it was a few months ago

because the venue has been reduced down to once a month people tend to forget that it exists, which means a low turnout by the public which in turn leads to a low turnout by the traders
the sooner a new weekly venue is found in the immediate area i feel the better for all

however it was not altogether a bad day, a good percentage of the people that did turn up were in my view all purchasing

one particular young lady with her young child approached my stall and asked my wife if we were Turkish, to which my wife replied that we were turkish cypriot and that our products were from our own olive and citrus groves in both Cyprus and Turkey  
I am also Turkish born and raised in istanbul she replied, with that she got into a conversation with my wife speaking to us in fluent turkish whilst speaking to her young child in french
she spoke very fondly of Turkey and the Turkish people and her happy period of growing up in istanbul

during the conversation she mentioned that she would never have thought i was turkish, neither did i look turkish nor did i sound turkish were her words
i replied that i was often mistaken to be jewish by the jewish community, even the turkish community think of me as anything but turkish
she replied that she was a turkish jew and very proud to be, my upbringing was a happy one she said

this young lady to me was a happy ray of sunshine, as well as a lovely member of the human race, i could actually feel the warmth and happiness radiating from her

i am writing this article because in recent months since the unfortunate incident between Israel and Turkey i have noticed a small number of the jewish community now shun my stall when they hear or read on my posters that my farms where i produce my oil etc is in Turkey and the north of cyprus
some of these people would have previously stopped and had a good chat as well as sometimes purchase some of my products

whilst still at school i worked weekends and evenings in a grocery shop in the holloway road north london area for a jewish employer, i later became an electrician and when i went self employed in the 70s i was again trusted and employed by the jewish community to carry out work for them in the finchley, golders green, stamford hill and edgware areas  

i later opened my electrical store in clerkenwell close to hatton gardens where to this day i continue to serve and having a trusting relationship with the jewish community
8 years ago i lost my father and inherited olive groves in cyprus, i immediately started to bring over my produce and alongside the electrical goods i now sell my olive oil
6 years ago i purchased an olive and citrus grove in turkey i also now sell my produce from my farm in turkey alongside my electrical goods in clerkenwell

i am very honoured to say that my success in life and in business is mostly due to the friendships and dealings together with sound advise and guidence i have had the good fortune to have and continue to have from members of the jewish community
please be in the knowledge that my olive oil and other products whether it be from my cyprus olive groves or from my turkish olive groves have neither religous leanings nor do they have any political views, they are just a gift from God

i very much look forwad to hearing your views as well as a continued friendship

yours faithfully


the test of the 3 best extra virgin olive oils

how proud i was to get the guardian newspaper on the 2nd of september 2010 and find my olive oil which i produce on my groves in koycegiz Turkey getting first position in the test of the best olive oils

for a small producer it is a great achievement and makes it all worthwhile, although i can assure you it is a labour of love

the name of my olive oil is chateau carman named after my house on my olive groves

this particular oil was also described in the sunday observer last year as so good you can drink it on its own

i also produce cyprus extra virgin olive oil from my groves surrounding the village of louroujina in central cyprus, this is labelled murat du carta after my late father who planted these trees back in 1950

this was also named "englands best olive oil" by the new york magazine, you can check out my products at or visit me in my electrical store in clerkenwell,london or at a few farmers markets listed on my web site

or read the articles and watcha  short film clip re my olive oil

farmers markets

i find it rather odd and upsetting trying to get myself accepted at some farmers markets

there excuse is that my farm where i produce on average 7 tons of olives and 100 tons of lemons is more than a 100 miles from the market venue, although i personally marinate and package my olives in london, and i also bottle my olive oil in london as well as all my other products

when asked about other traders being allowed in the market selling olives they reply that they are processed in the uk

i can assure you that most of the olives sold at these markets come out of a tin are destoned and are almost certainly cured in lye (caustic soda) which takes 4 hours to cure

my olives are cured in the age old method of either salt or citric acid and salt, and it takes a min of a month to cure

you are welcome to visit my shop or any of the markets i am allowed to attend and i will be very pleased to let you sample my olives and oil

a film clip regarding my cyprus olive oil and some history behind it

copy and paste this link

to see a short film clip regarding my cyprus olive oil as well as some history behind it

cleopatra island

driving towards marmaris from my farm you go over a iron bridge just after a police check point, you take a sharp right and then carry on driving for 8 km until you arrive at a small port, park up in the car park and there is a small kiosk where you pay 10 lira per person, this is for a return journey to the island it also includes the use of beach beds , the changing rooms as well as the showers

get on the boat and enjoy the trip to cleopatra island, you will see some stunning scenery, cleopatra island is totally unspoilt there is no buildings other then the wooden cafeterias and changing rooms
you can really spend a relaxing day here but do not forget the last boat back is about 6 o clock
take a look at some of the pictures

a bargain day trip

at the end of the day trip my first words were it would have cost more to stay at home

we arrived at the lake side at 9.30 am we were immediately asked what did we prefer for dinner, we were given a choice of fresh fish, meat balls or chicken i chose fish
we were helped on board and took our seats and were immediately served with a welcoming cup of tea

at 10 am 3 full boats belonging to the same family (ERCIN) set off , we went through dalyan where you see the old kings tombs set in the mountains, we went through the reed beds where part of the african queen was filmed
the scenery was stunning to say the least, and the wildlife was unbelievable, i was lucky enough to see a turtle which must have been a meter in width

at 12 am we reached turtle beach, we paid a small fee for entering the beach as well as for a beach bed, we were told to be back at the boat for 1.30 for dinner
we relaxed on the beach as well as having a swim in the sea and returned to the boat for 1.30 where we were served with a freshly grilled sea bream together with rice, salad and bread (drinks were extra) it was superb
we were then sent back on the beach until 4 pm when the boat would start its return journey, at approx 5 pm we arrived at the sultaniye thermal and mud baths, we were given an hour to relax in the thermal baths as well as have a cup of tea or a cold drink from one of the snack bars
and then we set off for home, on route we were given a slice of refreshing water melon, the boats also moored up in a delightful cove where you were able to swim in the clear lake, we arrived back at the boats mooring about 7pm guess what the whole day cost about £7 per person plus £7.00 for beach and beach bed plus cold drinks etc and absolute bargain day out
take a look at some of the pictures

finchley farmers market at avenue house nw3

turned up at finchley farmers market, the new venue at avenue house east end road on sunday the 13th june, most of the traders were humming and haaaing as to whether it was going to be worthwile, the venue seemed quite small and the fact that we were indoors in the renovated stables made us feel that we would be out of the way

much to our surprise when it opened at 10 am the crowds did not let up until close to closing, i believe we all done a lot better than what we expected
in my case i met quite a lot of customers that were already using my oil which they either purchased on line or it was obtained for them by friends
all in all i feel it is going to be a successful and ongoing market, one that i will attend quite reguarly, i also feel that i have picked up a regular following

fresh caper shoots

i am expecting my delivery of freshly picked and cured caper shoots as well as locally produced pine honey, farm produced pomegranate molasses, candied walnuts.

i will start packaging them ready for my next farmers market on the 30th of may 2010, i sell out pretty quick so if you are interested please reserve

rebuilt american classics

on the way to my farm from dalaman airport, you pass by a large open site on your left, it is absolutely filled with restored american classics as well as numerous old cars that would have gone through the crushers a long time ago but they are awaiting to be lovingly rebuilt by the owner of these premises

his rebuilt classics are exported to all parts of the world, take a look at some of these pictures

the med diet

i find it rather funny seeing programs and ads on tv and reading articles in the papers about the med diet, when people are shown drizzling olive oil onto salads etc
if you ever need cookery lessons in central london, then take a look at this website

picture no 2  the med diet as i see it is to almost drown your salad with good pure olive oil and add the juice of half a fresh lemon and just dunk fresh crusty bread into the golden oil, this is just for starters
take a look at some pictures i took at a transport cafe i dined at on the way to my farm from mugla
also have a look at the egg on toast, picture no 3  that is what i call an egg, this is produced on my farm by my free range chickens
picture no 1  is ayran served at the transport cafe, ayran is a popular drink in Turkey made from fresh yoghurt water and a touch of salt a very refreshing drink on a hot day

picture no 4  is sweet paprika being reduced to a puree under sunshine next to my swimming pool, this normally takes about 5 to 6 days
picture no 5  is local cheeses etc on display at dalaman farmers market

picture no 6  peppers on display at koycegiz farmers market

sweet paprika drying on the terrace prior to being taken to the mill




sleeping on the job

i have just arrived back from the farm in Turkey, where i spent the best part of 2 weeks brushing off the young suckers from the mandarin trees, which have been grafted into lemon trees

it sounds easy but under a blazing sun it is very tiring, i visited a number of farmers markets whilst there and took some pictures of traders sleeping on the job just to prove how hot it was

fresh Cyprus olive oil just arrived

i have finally recieved my delivery of fresh Cyprus olive oil, pressed in early Nov 2008 but only just recieved because our transport people set out at this time of year because of road conditions etc
any way it is worth waiting for
i have just started packaging it so it is ready to go right now
it is the best olive oil that i have produced to date, full of flavour with that peppery kick on a delayed timer

in my opinion it is better this year because i transported my olives 20 miles further to have it stone pressed and boy it was worth it

at £9 per liter, i think it is well worth the money you would pay double elsewhere
i do look forward to serving some of you

regards mem

wild wild herbs and capers

have just got back from 3 weeks of hard work on my farm in Turkey
last year we had 800 mandarin trees grafted into lemon trees, as the new shoots take, the old branches are cut off so i spent a lot of time helping to drag the branches of 800 trees back to a central point where firewood was separated from twigs etc

on 3 occasions we drove into the mountains to collect wild oregano as well as sage and wild rosemary
we located so much of it, i gently dried a lot of it and bought it back to the uk for sale at the farmers markets, boy you need to smell this wild stuff (wild oregano is one of the most powerful natural
anti biotics known to man)
while we were picking wild herbs, we came across wild caper bushes or a better description would be brambles, we tore ourselves to pieces collecting not the capers berries as it was too early for them, but the more succulant caper shoots, these you pick like you would pick asparagus break it off where it is still very tender

these we bring back to the farm and wash, we then put into a large container adding 2 handfuls of coarse salt and some citric acid we then fill with water and seal
i can promise you the rewards are great after a month, remove what you require and rinse, you then add olive oil and lemon juice and tuck in, this is not available in the shops, although i am having some transported over but it is well worth those scratches, it is also worth seeing the wildlife you encounter on these trips eg large tortoises as well as on one occasion a whip snake, these are majestic animals which i do not approach neither do i harm them or allow anyone working on my farm to harm them as they are what i consider to be the farmers best friend, they eat poisonous snakes as well as rodents and there eggs
oh and not forgetting a baby pup walked into my farm and was adopted by me and my staff, he is already showing signs of being a good guard dog, we named him Obama.
for anyone interested i have posted some pictures below
some of the other goods i had prepared for transportation and for sale in the uk farmers markets are baby walnuts in syrup, bergamut marmalade, pommegranate molasses, preserved lemons, chilli flakes, sweet paprika, caper shoots, wild herbs, eg wild oregano, wild sage, and what is known in Turkey as wild rosemary is in fact wild lavender, these are all produced and prepared on my farm or picked in the wild and prepared on my farm
i look forward to meeting some of you at the alexandra palace farmers markets or at whitecross street food market
you can check for dates in the farmers market section of my web site

this is my new emblem mr olive oil
i hope you like him
pictures of some of my staff relaxing after
some really hard work

drying some wild lavender

wild lavender
a view of some of my grafted trees
picking wild caper shoots
a grafted lemon shoot
a view of grafted trees
picking wild oregano
whip snake
a young caper shoot
a view of the house as
storm clouds gather

alexandra palace farmers market

my first attendance at alexandra palace was a very pleasant and worthwile experience, although it was meant to have been held at the park due to overbooking we were redirected to campsbourne school which was a couple of hundred meters down the road

i found the onsite management to be both very helpful and friendly, i was also very pleasantly suprised to the responce i recieved as well as the sales i generated, on my return from Turkey i am planning 2 visits per month

i would also like to thank all my customers for your loyal support, i will continue to do my utmost in bringing you the best and freshest produce from my farms

Cyprus olive oil

my name is mehmet murat du carta, i was born in Cyprus in 1950, but raised and educated in the UK,   i own olive groves in Cyprus and Turkey, where i produce one of the best value for money  extra virgin olive oils that money can buy.
i take great care and pride with my products, and for the quality oil that i produce at the price that i charge i would challenge any one to find better

7 years ago i inherited olive groves in Cyprus from my late father who together with my mother back in 1950 had planted several hundred of the Cyprus olive tree variety on various plots of  land that they owned surrounding the village of louroujina in central Cyprus.

for many years the oil produced from these trees was sold to the co operatives who would sell it on to major olive oil producing countries such as italy, who in turn would repackage it and sell it as italian olive oil
my family would allocate about 50 liters of this oil for our own consumption in the uk, where at the time the only olive oil available here was from the chemist

i was not aware of the quality of oil we was producing until i was given a  bottle of  expensive spanish olive oil, my personal opinion was that my oil was far far superior so i started to import my extra virgin olive oil and black dry cured olives to the U.K. where in my first year i gained some recognition by having my oil described as "Englands best olive oil" by the New York magazine, i have since had many other worthy write ups in the times, the hello magazine as well as tiscali where i was described as a food hero.

5 years ago i purchased a large olive and citrus grove in the koycegiz area of Turkey, where i now produce my lemon and mandarin infused olive oil as well as my extra virgin olive oil , i also produce quality table olives that i cure in the same manner that my family has used for centuries, that is with brine and lemon juice and in the case of black olives in dry salt 
(not as some of the commercial producers do in a substance that they call lye which is another name for caustic soda).

i also produce  preserved lemons, sweet paprika, pomegranate molasses, and candied fruit and much more.
  i have also recently planted 20 meyer lemon trees

i import to the uk and package and sell my cyprus produce under the murat du carta label, which i named after my late father.
my produce from my Turkish groves is labeled chateau carman
you are welcome to visit my store in the  clerkenwell area of London, where i would be very happy to let you sample my produce, or you can purchase my goods via my online shop at

i have very strong views on producing and selling pure extra virgin olive oil, i dislike the fact that some producers set out to mislead the general public by labelling their oil as extra virgin when it is blatantly obvious that they have chemically adjusted the acidity levels in order to do so
some producers also blend there oil  with various seed and nut oils and still label it as extra virgin olive oil.

i dislike the fact that some major retailers are selling extra virgin olive oil claiming it is from the tuscany area of italy and selling it at £ 3.99 per liter knowing fully well that it has never been any where near tuscany
a friend of mine who moved to the tuscany region of italy some 20 years ago paid me a visit recently, and during a conversation we had  on the olive oil  of the region he told me that the local producers charge the locals 20 euros per liter for extra virgin olive oil  and that they sell out very quickly, due to the fact that the locals appreciate pure extra virgin olive oil and are prepared to pay  the full price for it,  that alone should speak volumes as to what the general public  are really buying in the UK

i look forward to receiving your comments

a view of my market stall, with up to date products

we are as you can see continuing to add new products to our stall, very soon there will be preserved lemons, candied grape juice, chili flakes, dried morel mushrooms.
dried oranges, mandarins and lemons (for decorative purposes only) and much more

back at whitecross street market after being away for 2 months

it was nice to get back to whitecross street after being away for so long, eric was his usual jovial self, helping everyone

it was good to set out my stall especially with all my new stock, which drew a lot of attention, lots of people tasting my 6 different types of olives produced and prepared by me and my family as well people tasting my infused olive oils and preserved lemons

i sold quite a lot of olives (especially the chakistes which we prepare with garlic/dry cracked corriander seeds and small pieces of lemon) as well as some preserved lemons and paprika, the most important thing for me was the fact that people asked if i would be there in the following weeks

as long as people like what i produce, i will continue to do so to the best of my ability, i will have to go back to the farm soon in order to catch up with work as well as preparing my next batch of preserved lemons

i am hoping to venture into producing on my farm hot chilli flakes, baby walnut candy, watermelon candy, seville orange candy, eggplant candy, quince jam, bergamut marmalade, as well as buying in carobs and carob mollasses which you should try blending one to three with tahin (sesame paste) and spread it on your toast for breakfast it will keep you going for the best part of the day

i have also enquired with some of the local ladies who make real pommegranate mollasses, this is made by boiling pommegranate juice over a log fire reducing it and adding salt as you go this is called black lemon juice in Turkey and is brilliant on salads and in stews etc, made in this way i  am told it has a 5 year shelf life

the only draw back is that it takes 12 kilos of pommegranate juice to make 1 kilo of mollasses, this will obviously be a lot dearer than the mollasses that i sell at the moment, which is commercially produced and only contains a small amount of real juice, my plan is to have 10 kilos made so i can bring it over and see what the response will be

see you all at whitecross street market soon


chateau carman october 2008

just returned from my farm in Turkey, where i spent a thoroughly enjoyable and hard working one month
i had my first two lots of guests stay for 2 weeks each
marge and eric stayed in the 2 bedroom apartment which has now been named margic after the two of them
and the 2 alans stayed in the main house
having them all as guests actually made it into a thoroughly enjoyable holiday for me
they would on most days disapear in their hired cars and visit beaches as well as historical places
i believe thay had a new experience in shopping at the turkish markets especially with the help of my sisiter in law who was visiting from Cyprus at the time
we would all gather around the swimming pool on most evenings and take it in turn to cook or we would all dine down by the lake at the alila hotel,   where they serve wonderfully fresh and very tasty food



olive oil and olives
i loaded all my produce onto the lorry for delivery to the uk, where once i recieve it i will start to package my olives which we have prepared in 5 different ways
i will also bottle my extra virgin olive oil which i infused one batch with freshly picked mandarins and the other batch with freshly picked lemons all from my own citrus trees
i have also produced and prepared   on the farm my own organic sweet paprika which has been prepared with pure olive oil and salt, this is also naturally sundried
i have bought in locally produce such as pine nuts, senna leaves, wild rosehip, wild oregano and frankincense
which i will be packaging and selling in line with my olive oil and olives

lemon produce
we have this year produced in th region of 50 tons of lemons on the farm, which we sell locally although
i have had 800 of my mandarin trees grafted into lemons
this will ensure that my crop in 3 to 4 years will be in the region of 150 tons
anyone in the market for lemons
i also spent quite a lot of time cutting down mulberry trees for their branches and using them to prop up our overladen olive and lemon trees
i will add some pictures soon
again many thanks to marge and eric as well as the 2 alans

food hero

This is a recent article that appeared on the tiscali (talktalk) website with the heading food heros, this makes me extremely proud thank you

The best olive oil you'll ever taste
We all have at least one, a "go to" supplier of amazing food, a neighbourhood restaurant where the cooking is fantastic and you don't have to sell body parts to afford a meal or a bar where they make life changing cocktails and you can always get a seat.

Well, now is the time to start spreading the love by sending us details of your secret treasures so we can share them with the rest of the country. Just tell us who they are and why you think they deserve recognition and we will do our best to make sure they receive the acclaim you think they deserve. I'll start the ball rolling by letting you in on my secret source for some of the most delicious olive oil and olives in the country sold not in a smart delicatessen or high street supermarket, but from the back of shop selling fuses, plugs and cables.

Mehmet Murat, owner of Embassy Electrical Supplies in London's fashionable Clerkenwell, is of Turkish Cypriot extraction and after inheriting olive groves from his parent's small farm in Lurugina, started selling the oil and olives from his small shop under the name Murat Du Carta. The venture was so successful that he purchased another property in Turkey and planted a grove of a further two thousand trees to meet demand.

In 2007, a passing journalist for New York Magazine discovered the shop and declared the oil "England's best". I can't claim that as, despite my best efforts I have not tried them all, but I can tell you that Murat Du Carta is stunning stuff, deliciously green and fresh, the perfect oil for salad dressings, drizzling over pasta or even just sopping up with chunks of crusty bread.

If you live in London, it is well worth popping into Mehmet's shop. He is always happy to give sample tastes and to tell you more about his oils. If you live further away, check out his website at or contact him at:
76 Compton Street

TEL: +44 (0) 20 7251 4721

The great olive oil fraud

Murat Du Carta / Chateau Carman

Producers of extra virgin olive oil, table olives and citrus fruit from our groves in Cyprus and Turkey

Tel 020 7251 4721




The great olive oil fraud


For many years now we have been led to believe that most commercially produced olive oils are the best and most pure available, unfortunately we were in some cases deceived

In previous years Olive oil from the supermarkets was all that was available to most of us, unless you was one of the lucky ones as I was to have 2 x 25 liter containers shipped to us every year from our own groves in Cyprus, we would share our gift with members of our family as they would share theirs


The rest of our produce would be sold off to the co operatives, who would ship it off to the commercial producers mainly in Italy for blending and repackaging  

Many olive oils sold in British supermarkets are blended from a variety of different oils and the acidity levels chemically adjusted in order that they can be labeled extra virgin olive oil


Some of these commercial producers have been found to have blended their oils with cheap hazelnut oil as well as or with sunflower oil

It is also a fact that they have been importing olive oil from Spain, Greece, Tunisia and Turkey, blending it and marketing it as superior Italian olive oil

They have also been importing olives from the other olive producing countries and producing olive oil and marketing it as superior Italian olive oil (please note that the best olive oil is made with olives that have been picked within 24 to 36 hours, I doubt very much whether they can pick and ship olives from countries such as Tunisia and press olive oil within 36 hours).


I urge you to read the articles regarding this great fraud by clicking on the links below


I have written this article so that people can see that they have not in all cases been buying the genuine item

Most genuine producers are finding it difficult enough marketing their genuine products at realistic prices

Bearing in mind the higher costs of looking after the trees, as well as the cost of packaging and transportation

in my case my costs of transporting my oil from Cyprus is in excess of £1 per liter, add to that the cost of looking after the trees, harvesting the olives , taking to the press, packaging and marketing etc.


How on earth are supermarkets in the UK able to sell for example a one liter stone capped glass bottle of olive oil labeled as extra virgin olive oil produced in Tuscany, Italy, which I have sometimes seen on special offer at £3.99

In my case it is not cost affective to get organic certification, although everything I produce is to organic standards, might it be an idea to create an independent organization of small olive oil producers, or is there one already in existence?


please rest assured that my olive oil is from my olive groves in Cyprus and Turkey where myself or members of my immediate family not only look after the trees but also pick the olives when they are green or turning purple and take to the press within 24 to 36 hours at the most


For those of you with any doubts, you are more than welcome to book a stay on my olive groves in Turkey and see at first hand, depending on the time of year the looking after of the olive trees or come Oct / Nov the picking and the pressing.


I then have the oil and my table olives transported to the UK where I sell it through my shop in clerkenwell as well as at whitecross street market and through the internet You are more than welcome to put my oil through any test you like; it is pure extra virgin single estate oil and only available from me directly

Regards mem



Nov visit to Cyprus and Turkey

just got back from first Cyprus, where olives were non existent this year apart from maybe just enough to provide for the immediate family
and then Turkey where we picked and  prepared over 3 tons of olives the size of small plums, after picking we select the black olives for the table where we wash and put into a container with dry salt and allow to cure,   and the green turning black olives for the table but in a different method where we cut each olive slightly lengthways 3 times and put into salt water and citric acid to cure
the olive oil that we produced in Turkey this year was naturally infused with freshly picked lemons and another batch with freshly picked mandarins you should have smelt the aroma at the press, we had all the locals committing themselves to doing the same next year, we should have our delivery by april 2008
we will be at whitecross street market on the first friday and saturday of december, our stall
will be open until 9 pm on the friday

my 84 year old mum who planted these
trees in Cyprus back in 1950 when she was
carrying me


i will be abroad until the 21st of oct

if anyone wishes to purchase any of our goods please note i will not be able to deal with it until i return on the 21st of oct 2007

i apologise for any inconvenience but will deal with it promptly on my return

getting better

friday the 5th and saturday the 6th is the best yet people are getting to know us and returning for repeat orders i am now offering free olives with purchases of our 1 liter and 2.5 liters of oil, so sales are up

we have now introduced our own green and black olives which rather than selling prepacked, we are now preparing and packing at the point of sale

we have also increased our sales of dried olive leaves, which people are buying for either making tea, or burning as an incense and more recently someone has purchased some for burning at the alter

the next whitecross street food market is the first friday and saturday of november, its getting better, so come and get a bargain

sunday the 29 july 2007

Really good atmosphere   at whitecross street , lots of tastings, lots of interest

sold a fair quantity of olives as well as olive oil   and pomegranate sour.

some of the comments as well as questions were as follows

1   your olives are too salty
2   are your olives cured in lye as my daughter is allergic to these olives
3   your olive oil is very light
4   is it organic
5   what olive tree is your oil produced from

6   why do you package your oil in plastic, does this not degrade the oil

1   this week i served up slices of orange and offered them as a taster together with my olives, people were amazed at the combination, but this is what my parents and relatives used to bring to the fields as their pack lunch, peasant food try it with my salty olives you will be amazed

when ;they were working in the fields harvesting whatever, depending on the season these are some of the food items that they would take with them, but there would always be olives and hellim, and they would all go really well with black salty olives

fresh broad beans, artichoke, cucumber, tomatoes, hellim, red melon, fresh bread, hard boiled eggs, radishes, kol rabbi, raw cauliflower and if they found any nettles in the fields well that was an extra treat     they would cut the tender part and peel the outer skin that would leave a tender succulent stalk which would also go with olives
so from now on you will see some of the above being offered as a taster on my stall

2   my olives are cured in salt and nothing else you can normally tell the salt cured olives as they go wrinkly,   the firm fleshed olives that you normally buy are cured in lye (another name for lye is caustic soda) they are then flushed and boiled for a few minutes, some people are allergic to this so beware

3   my olive oil is very light it is so light it is almost drinkable, it is also very fresh and aromatic

4   my olive trees are looked after by close relatives who spread natural compost from their herds of cows and sheep
they also prune the trees once a year and cut away the suckers, the groves are in a part of cyprus which recieves very little rainfall, we do not water them or spray them, they are hardy little trees

so they are grown to organic standards but i have no certification, this is partly due to the north of the island not being recognised as well as the recognised government of cyprus making it very difficult for the turkish cypriot community to get any certification or recognition or transport to the outside world etc, i have my oil and olives transported overland through Turkey

5     my olive trees are known as the cyprus olive tree, and yes there is such a tree

6   the pet bottles i use are of such a high quality it will not impair the quality or the flavour in any way whatsover,   in fact do not be decieved by some of the fancy bottles that are used to package oil nowadays
if you visit the presses during the appropriate months you will see most of the oil producers waiting there turn to have there olives pressed
you will see them transferring the oil to mostly 25 litre plastic jerry cans which are then taken away and allowed to settle prior to filtering and bottling

i hope the above information is helpful to you, see you at whitecross street market this friday and saturday

sat 28th july










saturday we sold three times the amount that we sold on friday, it was an interesting day with lots of interest,      lots of tastings and a lot of feedback from what we sold at the previous events

people were coming back and telling us how good our oil is, so thank you everyone

eric the master butcher was demonstrating how to butcher a pig, which he done with great expertise and speed oh and the band that was playing for us were superb, i feel it gave the event a touch of class

hope to see you there tomorrow (sunday)


lots of interest on the official opening of whitecross st market 27 july 07

lots of people tasting and making positive comments on the quality of the oil and olives a few made comments regarding packaging good olive oil in plastic (please note that the pet bottles we use do not impair the olive oil in any way ) we continue to bottle it in this manner because it is £2 per litre cheaper, so the saving is all yours although we do bottle our oil in quality dark green glass bottles

we have displayed our black dry cured olives with segments of orange,  please try our olives in combination with orange it really is a different taste

hope to see you there on sat and sunday the 28th and 29th

regards mem




Whitecross street food festival on the 27th 28th and 29th July

make a day of it

there will be plenty to see and most certainly piles of excellent quality produce to sample

here is your chance to sample our excellent olive oil as well as our black dry cured olives

or sample our pomegranate sour, an excellent alternative to balsamic vinegar

hope to see you there

i was quite pleased with our 2 days at the whitecross street food fair on the 6th and 7th of july, we sold a few bottles of oil as well as olives and pomegranate sour

i feel we are there to stay at the one monthly events, we made an impact and it is all about getting yourselves known and trusted

the 3 day event is on the 27th 28th and 29th of july when there will be some celebrity tv chefs on hand to show some of there cooking skills

i look forward to seeing you all there

nov 2006 olive oil finally arrived

i have now received my oil and black olives from nov 2006 produce , i have spent most of the week bottling and packing ready for our first appearance at whitecross street food market

i can assure you that the oil is superb and the olives are top class, i have added some olive oil to theses prior to packing as they are delivered dry

i am afraid that due to increased costs re production and transport we have had to raise our prices


my much awaited delivery of my olive oil has now arrived and i have started bottling, it is now on the shelves

at 76 compton st london ec1v 0bn (i hope you enjoy)

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