A chat with the creator of Elaiasalata

Word has gotten out that our unique Elaiasalata dip is only made by us! We're often asked about it at in-store tastings, so we thought it was about time we share some of the questions and answers with you all. If you'd like to know more, we'd love to hear from you!

A chat with Elaiasalata's creator, Toby Green owner of Elysian Foods

How do you say Elaiasalata?Elaiasalata with crackers

It's easy, just break it down to:  
eh - lee - yah - sal - ah - tah

What is Elaiasalata?

'Elaia' means olive in Greek and 'salata' means salad in many Mediterranean countries. 'Elaiasalata' is a word we've created to describe our fresh, vegan olive dip which you can add to just about anything. 

How long have you made it for?

We started developing the new dip in 2019. With brilliant timing, we launched the product in early 2020 - just before we all went into Covid-19 lockdown!

How many food producers make it?

Haha, only Elysian Foods of course! As far as we can tell, our Elaiasalata dip is unique the world over. We've done some pretty extensive searching and haven't been able to find any comparable products - at least, not available commercially in supermarkets and the like. 

How did you come about making Elaiasalata?

When I first bought Elysian Foods back in 2017, I did lots and lots of in-store tastings. I'd be standing there with just two dips on my little table - Taramasalata and Tzatziki. It quickly became apparent that this limited our market somewhat - there are lots of people who are vegetarian (or who otherwise couldn't bring themselves to eat a dip containing salted fish eggs!). And there are a surprising number of people who are dairy intolerant - so can't eat Tzatziki. 
I decided that it would be super helpful to have a dip that was both vegetarian and dairy free. 
One day it struck me that the green olives have a very similar taste profile to the Tarama paste that we use to make Taramasalata. The olives have a very strong flavour and are very salty. I wondered what would happen if we swapped them out - and made the "dry mix" with Green Olives instead. The Taramasalata recipes uses onions but that didn't sound like a particularly tasty combo to go with Olives. We freshly marinade our olives with fresh lemons, garlic and Greek dried oregano. 
So, I decided to mix up the recipes and make a dry mix with these ingredients instead. 
We made our first batch in October 2019, and it was delicious! We put it in some bowls and took it around to our neighbours in the small industrial area in Park Road, Miramar (where we were based at the time). Everyone loved it! And I don't think that the recipe has changed since that first batch.

How do I use it?

Well, so many ways! You can use Elaiasalata as pizza and sandwich sauces, dips, coating when cooking chicken drumsticks, dollop on top of salads and boiled potatoes and so much more! Here's my own recipe I've shared with a few people over the years, try it out and let me know what you think. 
The recipe below serves 3-4, so feel free to adjust as required. A decent spoonful of Elaiasalata weighs about 40-50g, so a 200g pot of our dip should cater for 4-5 people. 
  • 400-600g fresh pasta - homemade or store bought
  • 200g pot of Elysian Elaiasalata
  • 1 x large onion
  • 1 x red capsicum (or a carrot if capsicum isn't to hand)
  • 100-150g fresh brown mushrooms (if available)
  1. Prepare the vegetables. Slice onion and caramelise. Thinly slice the red pepper and add to the onions when they're nearly done. In a separate saucepan, melt a knob of butter and add the mushrooms (washed and sliced) and cook for a few minutes until softened. Keep them separate until you plate up.
  2. Cook the pasta. While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta (best to follow the instructions on the packet if you're not sure about this step)
  3. Serve up. Place the pasta in a bowl, top with the caramelised onions/ capsicum and mushrooms. Add a good spoonful of Elaiasalata and hey presto, dinner is served!
For more ideas check out our recipes page.

Who stocks Elaiasalata?

You can find Elaiasalata all over New Zealand - from Northland to as far south as Dunedin and Queenstown (sorry Southland, as yet we don't have any stockists in the deep south). If you can't find our dips and olives in your local store then make sure to ask the staff in-store and send us an email (hello@elysianfoods.co.nz) and we'll do our best to get it on their shelves. 
You can check our Where to Buy page for your local stockist.

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