Kagoshima company launches olive oil mayonnaise – Developed by master sommelier

PUBLISHED Jan 12, 2022

(From left) Manager Megumi Kumamaru and owner Nako Umekita

In December, Terukuni Olive Lab, a company that researches and distributes olive oil in Kagoshima, began selling its first independently developed product, Olive Lab’s Mayonnaise, at its store.

Nako Umekita, the store owner, is a master sommelier of olive oil and a judge for the International Olive Oil Contest (Olive Japan), which annually awards top prizes and medals from more than 700 varieties. She began developing mayonnaise that “people could enjoy without feeling guilty,” as some people avoid mayonnaise by believing that it has high cholesterol. “The basic ingredients for mayonnaise are very simple: eggs, oil, and vinegar. If these three ingredients are good, mayonnaise shouldn’t be bad for you. It took us two years to develop this olive mayonnaise after tasting it dozens of times,” she recalls.

The mayonnaise is made with extra virgin oil from the Spanish brand Melgarejo, which has won the top prize in the same contest six times. Apart from the oil, the mayonnaise is made mainly with ingredients produced in Kagoshima Prefecture and won the President’s Award at the competition held by the Kagoshima Products Association last year.

The mayonnaise is available in five flavors: plain, lemon peel, basil, black pepper, and yuzu kosho. “The plain flavor goes well with simple food such as boiled eggs and broccoli. The lemon peel is perfect for fried food such as fried shrimp, while the basil can be used to make Genovese by tossing it with boiled pasta,” said Megumi Kumamaru, the store manager. “The black pepper is good for meat dishes such as fried chicken and sausages, and the spicy yuzu pepper is recommended for chicken sashimi.” From next month, a gift box will be available in which customers can select three mayonnaise flavors of their choice.

In January, the company launched Olive Lab’s Spice Salt (540 yen), another original product following the mayonnaise. It is a blend of tea from Yushui Town and olive leaf powder from Minamisatsuma City and comes in two types: plain and cumin. On her personal Instagram, Umekita introduces breakfast ideas using the store’s products almost every day. Since the pandemic started, she said that the store has seen an increase in sales of olive oil.

The mayonnaise is priced at 864 yen each (100 grams). They are also available at the store’s online store.

  • Mayonnaise by Olive Lab

  • Spice Salt by Olive Lab