Olive oil and chillies


Sorting through belongings in a relative’s house while I was away I came across this reminder of a time when, in Britain, olive oil was bought in these tiny phials ‘for medicinal and household use’ and chilli peppers were used as a substitute for mustard plaster as a remedy for coughs and colds.  It seems strange to me, when I buy olive oil by the litre almost every week and use it liberally in cooking every day.  And although I don’t like hot chillies, I eat paprika peppers almost as often as olive oil.  I’m going to keep these souvenirs of the past.

7 thoughts on “Olive oil and chillies

  1. That’s quite funny – I remember in the 60’s when olive oil came from the chemist – people warmed it up and put it in their ears for earache!

    Good job Elizabeth David encouraged British people to cook with it 😉

  2. Great post. I remember my first experiments at cooking with those little bottles of oil, and how dreadful they tasted.In the 1960’s I remember discovering the wonderful shop Roche Bros, in Old Compton Street, who sold golden Nicoise oil, rocket, unpasteurised Reblochon and all the wonderful things that formed my love of France and all things French.

  3. You can still buy Olive Oil B.P. from Boots the Chemist in the UK. It costs 15.90 pounds per litre (sold in 100ml bottles at 1.59) It is “for external use only”. I doubt if it is extra virgin cold pressed…..

  4. Wonderful bottles! I remember the Boots Olive Oil…luckily my parents used to go to the Italian shops in Soho for ours, but I do remember that it was very expensive and we weren´t allowed to “slosh” it!

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