What are probiotic foods?

yogurtBy definition, probiotics in their simplest form, are microorganisms that are believed to provide a number of health benefits upon consumption. A vast array of debates counter this view but the general view has continued to be that probiotic foods improve the health and functioning of the digestive system and enhance longevity.

This idea was first suggested by a the Nobel laureate, Elie Metchnikoff, who found that certain microorganisms replaced the harmful bacteria in the gut and therefore, contributed to overall improvement in heath. He found that the local Bulgarian peasants enjoyed a healthier and longer life and this had a direct connection to their regular consumption of yogurt.

In the Indian context, the most common example of probiotic foods is Dahi or yogurt. Ancient Indian wisdom and Ayurveda both seem to suggest that regular consumption of Dahiaids digestion and is especially useful when one is suffering from an upset stomach or when under medication. Even today, several medical practitioners prescribe a course of Lactobacillus to help the body cope with the digestive sluggishness that antibiotics may cause.

A few common benefits of probiotics are as follows:

Improvement of digestive system

Regulation of blood pressure

Reduction of inflammation

Increased efficiency of Central Nervous System

Increased tolerance of lactose products

Here are a few tips on incorporating probiotics regularly in one’s diet:

Include yogurt in at least one meal everyday—eat it with fruits for breakfast or make Frozen Yogurt (provide link to the recipe below). Or simply dilute with a little water and add mint and salt for a tasty mid morning drink. The butter milk left after extracting homemade butter is also an excellent source of probiotics. (Provide link to the first article on this page.)

Increase your intake of naturally fermented foods such as Kimchi and Sauerkraut. These make excellent sides or sandwich fillings, too.

Eat (or better still, make your own!) Sourdough bread. This kind of bread is made from naturally occurring yeasts rather than from commercial yeast and this helps to break down the proteins in the wheat better, making the bread easier to digest for people suffering from gluten sensitivity.

In the winters, make yourself a batch of Kaanji—a fermented drink made from carrots (usually seasonal black carrots, but red will also work well in combination with a few beets) and mustard. This is easy to do and makes for a delicious and refreshing drink.

Make idli and dosa the traditional way—by allowing the batter to ferment slowly overnight as opposed to adding fruit salt or soda bicarbonate to hasten the process.

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All you need to know about Chestnut Honey



How much do we think about honey apart from knowing that it is made by honeybees and has some health benefits? Here are a few things that work in favour of the Olea Europaea Chestnut Honey:

Chestnut honey is exceptionally high in antioxidants and has distinct anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help battle infections.

Apart from being a great choice of sweetener for baked desserts, chestnut honey also works well in savory food. Try using it in a marinade for roasts with warm spices such as dried ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and chili—potato wedges baked in this marinade are absolutely irresistible!

High fructose content in chestnut honey implies a very slow crystallization as compared to other honeys.

While we look for a golden-amber colour when buying most honeys, in the case of chestnut honey, the darker the better it is. The OleaEuropaea Chestnut Honey is a rich dark brown with caramel tones, making it a carefully curated product, one that we are very proud to share!

Chestnut honey also contains trace minerals and iron and Vitamins B and C. These help regulate respiration and strengthen the gastro-intestinal tract. This, in turn, strengthens the immune system and promotes overall health.

Honey must, ideally, be kept away from pasteurization and heat as this destroys its natural nutritive properties. Chestnut honey is raw, unpasteurized and untouched by heat thereby retaining its healing properties and its distinctive aromatic flavour profile.

Chestnut honey pairs very well with ricotta, gorgonzola and other mature cheeses. Simply drizzle some on top of the cheese and arrange on a cheese platter surrounded by fresh figs, red grapes, pears or apples. Candied oranges make a great addition to the platter as do toasted nuts such as pecans, walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts.

Use chestnut honey in deep flavoured desserts such as a chocolate cake or mousse, coffee-flavoured desserts, or in plum tarts. A hint of fresh thyme or rosemary will accentuate the floral notes of the honey in fruity desserts.

Simply drizzle some chestnut honey over toast slathered with salted butter or even nut butter, and you are in for an indulgent tasting yet perfectly healthy breakfast!

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How NOT to store Extra Virgin Olive Oil

extra virgin olive oil

Olive Tree – Extra virgin olive oil

As gourmands, most of us now gravitate to the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for most of our cooking. It is a flavour profile that we have grown fond of and accustomed to either for reasons pertaining to an evolved palate or for health benefits. But, are we storing our premium extra virgin olive oil correctly? Let’s find out.

Extra virgin olive oil has three primary enemies—heat, light, and oxygen. If a bottle of olive oil is exposed to either or all of these, the product runs the risk of oxidation and eventually, turns rancid. The moment you find that your extra virgin olive oil does not slide smoothly down the back of your throat with a fresh, citrus hint and a light peppery heat but creates a scratchy irritation, you can be sure that the oil is no longer fit for use. Extra virgin olive oil, depending on the manner of its extraction, bottling and storage, can last in good condition for anything from two months to two years. However, once it comes into your kitchen, storage becomes the key determining factor.

Clearly then, the shelf right next to the stove where pretty glass bottles catch the sunlight in a picture perfect frame is not the perfect spot to store your olive oil in. Then, what is?

  • Extra virgin olive oil should be stored in a dark bottle (solid, ceramic bottles are best although dark glass bottles work just as well, too) to prevent light from passing through. The Olive Tree Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a first press olive oil and comes in a dark green bottle to help contain its freshness.
  • Store your bottle of olive oil in a cool, dry, and dark cupboard away from your stove and away from direct sunlight where it runs the risk of heating up.
  • Refrigeration of olive oil is not mandatory nor does it improve the quality of the oil but it does not hamper it either. So, if you live in a climate that is particularly hot for most of the year or if your kitchen is bright and sunny for most of the day, it might be best to store the large bottle of cooking olive oil in the refrigerator and bring out small amounts for everyday use.
  • Avoid transferring your olive oil into a plastic container as odors from previously stored food can seep into the olive oil. It is also important to avoid reactive metals such as copper and iron for the storage of olive oil.
  • Finally, NEVER re-use olive oil if it has been used for frying as it is not just unhealthy but will also ruin the flavor.

Extra Virgin olive oil benefits from early use. While it is true that it can last up to two years if stored correctly, the fact is that olive oil tastes best if used within a year of its pressing and is at its freshest peak if used within the first few months.

Bon appetit!


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Top 5 tips to identify good Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive tree extra virgin olive oil


With more olive oil brands screaming their benefits from the aisles than you can count, it is becoming imperative to identify the factors that make good olive oil and understanding how to choose the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil for your kitchen. Olive Tree gives you the top tips to identify good olive oil from the bad.

  1. When buying Extra Virgin Olive Oil, look for the words “first pressed” or “cold pressed”. Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is extracted without the use of heat or humidity thereby retaining the healthy antioxidants from the olives themselves and without destroying the nutritive value of the oil.
  2. Treat extra virgin olive oil more like a fresh fruit juice than a bottle of wine when considering its bottling date. Unfiltered extra virgin olive oil is not meant to age like wine but should instead be consumed as close to the date of bottling as possible.
  3. Good extra virgin olive oil will taste grassy with hints of citrus, a little pungency or  bitterness from the presence of antioxidants, and you feel a little heat at the back of your throat as the oil slides down. If you find that the olive oil tastes rancid, mouldy, meaty, or a little like used oil, it means that the olive oil is past its prime.
  4. While a lot of articles recommend looking for a vibrant green when purchasing extra virgin olive oil that could be slightly misleading. Several top quality extra virgin olive oils range in the green-yellow spectrum from a vibrant grassy green to a straw yellow but rate equally in terms of their flavour profile. In fact, professional olive oil tasters use dark blue colored glasses for tasting so as not to be influenced by the colour of the oil.
  5. Look for the region of origin. If the packaging suggests that the oil was “packaged in Italy,” it does not necessarily mean that the oil was pressed in Italy, too. Read the label or talk to the store about the origin of the oil. Olive Tree Extra Virgin olive oil comes from the Tuscan seaside, which allows for optimal maturity of flavour at the time of the pressing, making it one of the freshest and most flavourful first pressed, unrefined extra virgin olive oils available in the country.


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Bread Baking is an art…

Molino Farina di grano tenero “00”

Freshly baked bread from Molino Farina di grano tipo “00”

Bread baking is an art. Good quality flour with medium-high gluten content, warm water & fresh yeast yields superior quality bread. The base recipe stays almost the same, though a number of toppings, flavoured oils and other ingredients can be added to give the bread character and taste.

Creating artisan breads using quality flour and ingredients with the right processes results in exceptional products. A combination of both, Farina di grano tenero “00” and Semola Rimacinata or on their own, can be used for making breads and desserts. Both the flours are superior in quality, taste and texture. Farina di grano tenero “00”has a fine grind and is a soft-textured flour while Semola Rimacinata is grainy & slightly yellow in colour. Recipes for breads often vary according to chefs, the type of raw materials and atmospheric conditions. Irrespective of the type of bread, the primary ingredients- flour, sugar, salt, yeast and oil play crucial roles. The process begins by sieving the flour to eliminate foreign material, if any. Next, the sugar and yeast are combined and left to activate, by a process known as proofing. Proofing is a natural reaction that occurs due to the process of combining sugar and yeast with water, which results in the production of carbon dioxide and causes the bread to rise or ‘proof’. Proofing however, requires the right temperature i.e. about 22-25 degree Celsius and the bread should be left undisturbed during this process. Next, add the salt and flavouring ingredients like rosemary, sundried tomatoes, olives etc., then knead. Shaping the bread is the next part- a good baker will never over- work the dough so keep the folding process simple. Make sure to eliminate any air by flattening the dough before folding it. This will knock off the extra air and the resultant bread will have no air-holes or spaces after baking. A good bread is always kneaded a little under, so the final rolling happens while finishing the bread, which avoids over-kneading.

Finally, finishing with good quality olive oil and leaving covered in a warm place to rise are vital steps. After the initial proofing (or two), knock back and shape as desired. The next proofing (final proofing) is followed by dusting flour on the surface, making slits (for baguettes) and other final touches to the bread before baking. Lastly, steam baking or dry baking takes place and it is cooled completely before slicing the fresh, light and crisp loaves of artisanal breads. Sourdough bagels and baguettes are rustic crusty breads with large pores, while brioche, challah and Kaiser Rolls have a rich texture due to the addition of butter and eggs. Others like pita bread, breadsticks and straws have a crisp exterior & doughnuts and pretzels are sweet confectionery bread stopped with flavoured syrups, chocolate or marzipan after being baked/fried.Country breads like tartine, Pugliese and Pain de genzanoare some well-known artisan breads enjoyed all over the world.


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Spinach, Tofu and Sesame Stir-Fry


1 tbsp olive oil

250 gms silken tofu, cut in small squares

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tsp grated or minced fresh ginger

Soy sauce to taste

180 gms baby spinach, rinsed

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp sesame oil

Mori-nu Silken tofu

Mori-nu silken tofu stir-fried with spinach and sesame


Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet or wok and add the tofu. Stir-fry until the tofu is lightly coloured, three to five minutes and add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute and add soy sauce, to taste. Add the spinach and stir-fry until the spinach wilts. Stir in the sesame seeds. Remove from heat.

Using tongs, transfer the spinach and tofu mixture to a serving bowl, leaving the liquid behind in the pan or wok. Drizzle with the sesame oil and add more soy sauce, if desired. Serve with rice, other grains or noodles.

Visit olivetreetrading.com to purchase / for more information on our products.

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Italian saying- Rice is born in water, but dies in wine.



Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of the world, Italy offers some of the most premiumvarieties of rice. Oleo Europaea Italian rice is sourced from the Pavia region of Italy, the best produce of flawless quality. Owing to the mineral-rich soil, good weather conditions and environment-friendly agricultural practices adopted in Italy, Italian rice is unique, has an earthy aroma and is versatileand truly delicious. Rice forms an important part of the health-friendly Mediterranean diet, too. The rice fields in the Pavia region extend over vast areas, since rice is the king of Pavese gastronomy. The lush rice fields, spread over acres of land,superior quality rice growing in one of the most picturesque landscapes in the world, is truly a sight to behold. Pavia is situated higher than the surrounding regions, thus it is protected against floods, owing to superior quality rice all along. The result is a perfect wetland area, which is well-irrigated and blessed with suitable climate & fertile soil.

Italian rice, available in a number of variants is used for different preparations, using local ingredients to enhance its taste. Grown in mineral-rich Pavean soil, Oleo Europaea Italian rice has a higher nutritional value as compared to regular rice- high in antioxidants, packed with Vitamins A and C and is easy to digest. This rice is also an excellent source of fiber.

Oleo Europaea brings to you 4 different types of classic Italian rice- Riso Arborio, Riso Carnaroli, Vialone Nano Riso and Riso Venere (Italian black rice). While Arborio is a short, fragrant, pearly grain variety, used traditionally for risotto, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano have their own specialties. Carnaroli is termed as the “king” of Italian ricefor its capability of producing the creamiest risottowhile Vialone Nano is best paired with earthy, robust flavours. Italian black rice or Riso Venere, known for its blackish-purple hue with a sweet, nutty flavourand works brilliantly in cold salads, risotto and other Mediterranean preparations.

Apart from risotto, there are several other variations you can do with Italian rice-

  1. Add a handful of Carnaroli while starting a batch of minestrone and continue cooking. The rice will cook with it, lending its starch and thickening the soup alongside.
  2. Arborio cooked al-dante will result in a rich final product- buttery & delicious. Add it to stir-fried veggies along with cubes of silken tofu. A wonderful, creamy side dish!
  3. Italian black rice works great in salads. Add it to any cold salad, with a flavour-packed dressing of your choice, to make it a gourmet wonder; or simply drizzle with white truffle oil.
  4. Vialone Nano is delicious in a rice pudding. Our pick? Cook it in creamy coconut or nutty almond milk with a hint of cinnamon to take the dessert up a notch!

Olive Tree Trading’s selection of Italian rice varieties are sourced from Pavia, ensuring that only the best of Italy reaches your kitchens. We also ensure that all our products are studied, checked and understood to the minutest detail to bring you only the best, from across the globe. Here’s hoping our ingredients sprawl their way into your kitchen & soon turn into your preferred pantry essentials!

Visit olivetreetrading.com to purchase / for more information on our products.

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A note about our Chairman – Mr. Suku Shah

Suku Shah

Mr. Suku Shah – Chairman & MD of Olive Tree Trading


Food is serious business, it should be, it feeds our families, it feeds our economy, and both of these are reason enough to put only the best of the world, on every discerning table quotes Mr. Suku Shah – the man behind this ideology.

Welcome to Olive Tree Trading, we make the finer things in life accessible.

It is uncanny that the concept of Olive Tree itself began at a dining table, when a five-star hotel told Suku Shah that if he wanted better Olive oil, he would need to import it himself. So he did!

Although coincidental then, the company actually stemmed from a need for India’s growing epicurean interests according to Mr. Shah. Except, what began with a simple bottle of Olive oil over fourteen years ago is today an ever-expanding range of ingredients that make every homemaker, restaurant, and chef proud.

In a sense, the company is an extension of Suku Shah’s tastes, and values. Every customer here is a personal guest, to whom he would only serve the finest. Every product from our range also has a place in his home states Mr. Shah.

We truly believe that what you eat is what you are. That is why only reputed products with a conscience hang from the branches of this Olive Tree. We study each product, its ingredients, and manufacturing process before bringing it into our product portfolio. That is how we can guarantee it. We intentionally set our benchmarks high to meet today’s ever evolving, wellness-oriented lifestyles. Needless to say then, high sugar and sodium foods just don’t find a place here.

Our exclusive, dedicated, customs bonded warehousing facility ensures that each product is handled optimally; to keep the quality as fresh as the manufacturer intended, and as enjoyable as the consumer desires. Right from sourcing, to storage, to delivery, Olive Tree ensures that the freshest and the best products reach each of our customers and culinary partners, because we share their commitment to superior quality and refined tastes states Suku Shah proudly.

India’s tastes are expanding. Not just in depth but width too. We at Olive Tree are at the top of this dynamic cultural convergence through our food. We are constantly promoting new tastes, and pioneering culinary concepts. Over the years, we have satisfied some of the most refined palates, fulfilled culinary experiences, and evolved menus across cultures.

You will find us in kitchens across the country. With our fully functional online store, chefs are just a click away from any ingredient they need. From organic to exotic, no recipe is lacking of the perfect ingredient any more. Browse through our expanding product portfolio, and discover the joy of cooking with the finest.



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Cool off with Caffeine


Summer’s call for refreshing cocktails and martini’s to allow you to relax and give your body the much needed rejuvenation.Use Olea Europaea’s Nespresso compatible coffee capsules to give you perfect smoothies and milkshakes on the go! Pick from Premium Lungo, Ethiopian Single Origin, Dark Roast Italian or Choc – Hazelnut. Use it in our espresso coffee machines to give you perfect flavour and a rich coffee experience in minutes! The machine uses a single coffee capsule to give you a shot of dark, earthy espresso. Our efficient milk frother ensures a luscious, velvety foam- either hot or cold!

Espresso martini

This delightful and playful espresso martini combines sophistication with fun. Vodka combined with a shot of strong espresso and dressed with rich hues of coffee liqueur, makes this martini like no other. The creamy, delicious, full-bodied taste and aroma of a shot of pure espresso does wonders to this otherwise simple drink.



  • 1 shot espresso made using Olea Europaea’s premium coffee capsules
  • 60ml vodka
  • 30ml coffee liqueur (Any of your choice)


  1. Chill martini glass with ice before mixing ingredients
  2. In a shaker, combine ingredients with ice and shake until chilled. Dump ice from glass.
  3. Strain into glass and serve!

Coffee milkshake

A rich, creamy coffee milkshake, guaranteed to cool you during the scorching summer! Using condensed milk, instead of regular sweeteners, gives the cold  coffee a smooth texture. The coffee ice-cream further enhances the taste and creaminess of the drink. For added flair, top with creamy foam and garnish with chocolate shavings.

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  • 2 shots strong brewed espresso (made using Olea Europaea’s premium coffee capsules), chilled
  • 120ml Silk Almond/Soy milk
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 3-4 scoops coffee ice cream


  1. Prepare a strong brewed cup of espresso by combining boiling water with espresso and dissolve espresso. Chill in refrigerator or freezer until cold.
  2. In a blender, combing chilled espresso, milk, condensed milk and coffee ice cream. Blend until smooth. Serve in a chilled glass.

Old fashioned espresso

This simple yet traditional drink uses whiskey and bitters and is easy enough to prepare for any party! Add an Olea Europaea twist to this by pouring fresh espresso, brewed at the last minute to truly enhance the flavours.



  • 2 shots espresso, made using Olea Europaea’s premium coffee capsules
  • 30 ml whiskey
  • 10 ml simple syrup (1 part sugar to 1 part water)
  • Dash of bitters
  • 1 lemon peel, for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
  2. Stir about 30 seconds; strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Twist lemon peel over cocktail and add to drink.

Coffee smoothie

Start your morning with this vegan drink that’s packed with bananas, honey and almond milk. We can’t imagine a better way to greet the day!

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  • 1 espresso shot, made using Olea Europaea’s premium coffee capsules
  • 1 small banana, peeled, cut and frozen
  • 120 ml Silk Almond Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Olea Europaea Honey
  • Couple of ice cubes
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. In a blender combine espresso , banana, almond milk, and honey. Cover and blend until smooth. 2.Gradually add ice, blending to desired consistency. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

 Affogato Al Caffé

A yin-yang culinary affair- deep, dark espresso and simple white vanilla gelato, resulting in the impressive affogato. Add 120ml of liqueur, such as sambuca or amaretto, to take it up a notch!

Olea europaea's nespresso compatible coffee capsule


  • 3-4 scoops vanilla gelato or ice cream
  • 2 large shots of strong espresso made using Olea Europaea’s premium coffee capsules


  1. Arrange 12 small glasses on a tray. Fill each with 1/4th cup gelato or ice cream.
  2. If using gelato, freeze until firm for about 30 minutes.

Iced Americano

The result of topping espresso shots with water produces a thin, delicate layer of froth, giving the coffee depths of flavour. The final brew is served on ice, making it a wonderful substitute to traditional iced coffee. The coffee has no milk or sugar. The result? An ideal way to cut down calories without giving up the robust espresso experience. Add sweet peaches/lemon slices to perk it up.

Untitled 5


  • Ice, Water, Brewed Espresso.


  1. Espresso shots are topped with water to produce a light layer of crema, then serve over ice.

Use your own imagination and creativity to create beverages with coffee. Be it with chocolate or cream, coffee blends sinfully well with almost anything. For a dairy-free, vegan and lactose-free alternative, choose from Olive Tree Trading’s range of Almond or Soy milk by Silk.  We also offer a wide range of biscotti, honey and jams to elevate your coffee experiences. Order now!

Visit olivetreetrading.com to purchase / for more information on our products.


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Cooking with international ingredients

Olea europaea , el olivo, olive tree

Food shows, blogs, celebrity chefs and gourmet stores today showcase a variety of gourmet ingredients from prunes to dried barberries, foreign mushrooms, spice mixes or unusual fruit, a new creation is discovered everyday.The passionate home cook may come across these ingredients but may flinch at the thought of using them- Will I like it? Is it healthy? How should I cook it?

Cooking with foreign ingredients need not be intimidating orinvolve complicated techniques. Make things simpler by picking one ingredient and understanding it completely. How does it taste raw, its aroma, texture, colour, foodsyou could pair it with etc. This way your senses get a better chance of familiarizing with the new product and allow you to work with it better.

Olive Tree Trading offers an assortment of premium ingredients- gluten-free, vegan and healthy alternatives, carefully selected and imported from the finest regions, guaranteed to delight you.With a variety of premium ingredients, you will be spoilt for choice!

Quinoa, a gluten free and healthy gourmet product is a grain crop, known for its edible seeds. The ‘super food’ has twice the amount of fiber as compared to most seeds and grains. The mild flavour and crunchy texture makes it a tasty and versatile option. Olive Tree offers a variety of white, red and black quinoa to choose from. There is nothing that you cannot do with quinoa- bake it, sauté, steam, fry, grill or simply cook it with butter and herbs and serve as an alternative to rice. Quinoa is cooked like rice, in water until it turns soft and the water is absorbed. The ratio of water to quinoa is generally 2:1.

Truffle, a variety of unique mushroom is rare to find and is one of the most valued ingredient in the culinary world. The oil extracted from these mushrooms is known for its wonderful flavour and aroma. It is only a finishing oil and not a cooking oil. Truffle oil works very well with most Italian and Mediterranean dishes and the key with this ingredient is- a little goes a long way! The usage is limited to a few drops because of its value and concentrated taste. Sprinkle sparingly over pizza, potatoes, dips  or bread for a fabulous flavour; instead of regular olive oil. Olive Tree is soon introducing black truffle sea salt to add rich, earthy hues to your dishes and mushroom and truffle cream, a true gourmet delicacy.

Artichokes are edible flower buds, which are green, thick and consumed as a snack in Mediterranean countries. Artichokes are packed with nutrients, fibers and are great for health. They can be cleaned and boiled in water until soft, then added to salads, meats, pastas, dips or simply eaten as chips. Serve a portion with a side of risotto or grilled chicken for a quick dinner. For a hassle-free experience, use Olive Tree Trading’s Artichoke’s in olive oil or artichoke hearts, which can be used straight out of the jar!

Lastly, don’t forget to experiment with your ingredients. Mix and match, substitute and combine flavours you like; you will be amazed with what you come up with. Cook away!

Visit olivetreetrading.com to purchase / for more information on our products.

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