Food Artisans, New Products, Recipes

With Love (and Flavor) from Tunisia: Introducing Onsa’s Oil


Khalil Gibran says that “work is love made visible.” The products made by the Mahjoub family are their love—for Tunisia, for its culture, for its cooking, for humankind—made not just visible, but eminently edible. They’re DELICIOUS!

Tunisia is a place few Americans have visited and it’s a cuisine only a handful have had the chance to experience. I’ve fallen in love with the food, the culture and the cuisine.

My beliefs about Tunisia have been hugely influenced by the Mahjoub family, who have become part of the ever-growing, extended Zingerman’s community. We sell Majid and his wife Onsa’s products on our shelves at the Deli and through Mail Order. We’ve cooked with it regularly at the Deli and Roadhouse, and I use it all the time at my house too!

Some of the other Mahjoub products we love

Literally, I could put every single thing the Mahjoub family makes on this list of great tasting foods to feature for the holiday—the exceptional harissa, the hand-rolled, sun-dried couscous, pickled lemons, naturally cured olives. Here, though, I’m writing about a special, newly arrived olive oil bottled especially for us, which you can currently find on the Deli’s retail shelves. It’s made from the same, unique-to-Tunisia chetoui olives that they use in their usual excellent oil. In a small section of Majid’s orchard, the olives are allowed to remain on the tree a bit longer to make for a very smooth, soft, buttery and beautifully delicious oil.

The label was designed by our own Design Director, Nicole Robichaud. Here I want to acknowledge her wonderful work—artistic, sensitive, creative, caring about the high quality food inside and the tradition and history of the Mahjoub family. Majid is more poetic. “It is simply sublime!” he says. “It makes me want to dip my bread in the oil, under the fresh shadow of an olive tree!”

As Tunisia tries to establish one of the few democratic states in the Middle East, I feel happy to help support their economy, their culture and their people. Vote for the Mahjoub’s, for good food, for Onsa’s excellent olive oil.  First time in the US and exclusive for us, we’re really happy to have it here!

Onsa’s Oil is currently being sold at the Deli. Ask for a taste next time you come in—we think think you’ll love it. If you don’t live nearby, we can ship it. Just give Mail Order a call: :(734) 477-6986. We’re happy to help!