How many olive oils can you name? After reading this review, you’ll be able to name one more. Citizens of the Soil has released a small-batch Greek extra virgin olive oil from their 2020 harvest. It’s full of flavour and a great addition to any kitchen.
On the 19th May Citizens of Soil hosted an online olive oil tasting with the owners and producers of the olive oil. Citizens of Soil was created by Michael and Sarah Vachon who wished to share their friend Maria Amargiotakis’ quality olive oil. Maria is from Dafnes, in Crete, from a village where olives and wine are paramount.
Citizens of Soil’s mission is for a more sustainable, fair and flavourful place. The name Citizens of Soil comes from the importance of the land in Greece in the production of olive oil. As Michael and Sarah explained, soil health impacts everything around us from biodiversity to nutrition to climate change. In addition, given Michael and Maria met on a boat in Greece, and that he and Sarah have visited Maria at her home a number of times, they also consider themselves global citizens. Hence the name Citizens of Soil.
I’ve never done any olive oil tasting before but it’s similar to a wine tasting. First, pour some olive oil into a glass, and warm the glass with your hand. This is important as the aroma builds and is released as the olive oil warms. Give it a swirl in the glass, put your hand over glass and inhale the smell. Take a good mouthful, rest it on the tongue then swallow. You are looking to have a tingle in your throat and palette. With this particular olive oil, we were looking for a pepperiness feeling and were not disappointed.
Citizens of Soil Olive Oil is made from 100% Lianolia olives and nothing else. It may appear cloudy but this is to due to keeping it unfiltered to preserve the flavour. In terms of tasting notes, it’s been described as like green apple, artichoke or avocado and goes into a peppery finish.
A seemingly odd pairing we were encouraged to add olive oil to our martini. This martini was comprised of Broken Clock vodka, Citizens of Soil Olive Oil, Asterky Bros Schofield’s dry vermouth, olive leaf, lemon oil and elderflower liqueur. Adding the oil gave a herbal, vegetable note. An interesting experience, it grew on me after a few sips.
We were also encouraged to try Citizens of the Soil olive oil on or with a number of savoury and sweet items, including olives, chocolate and ice cream. This olive oil is also recommended for cooking and roasting vegetables and meats as it enhances the flavour of the items.
Citizens of Soil starter pack includes a Single Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Refill Pouch for £30. A 500ml bottle is priced at £17.50, a refill pouch at £15 or monthly refill pouches are £13.50. This subscription can be cancelled at anytime.
Sustainability is a massive factor of the company’s ethos. As such their solid bottles with a spout are reusable and once you have used your olive oil you can reorder using recycle pouches. When you are finished with the pack you can send them back free of charge. Citizens of Soil also donates a percentage of their profits to environmental causes and soil regeneration.
Citizens of Soil olive oil is available through the company website and is available in independent retailers.
Written by Caitlin Neal