‘Whatever your taste, we are proud to create it’ is their motto and Olympian Specialty Products (OSP) have been true to their passion for perfecting the most delectable of European tastes born from a heart-felt family tradition. For over 20 years Debbie Papadimitriou-Xanthopoulou and her family have been serving Melburnians hand-made products with an extra touch of quality.
“Most of the recipes we follow have been in our family for generations. I believe in years to come if we cannot hold on to these traditions they will be lost.
Only the best ingredients are selected to ensure these authentic Greek delights remain true to their origins,” Debbie tells Neos Kosmos.
“When we started this business with my brother Iakovos, our goal was to preserve and make traditional Hellenic flavours known to younger generations in the same way we have tasted them through our mothers’ and grandmothers’ recipes.”
Indeed, Olympian bakes using the same methods our ancestors baked in the Greek kitchens.
“Hence why I constantly get asked why your product tastes so homemade,” she enthuses. “Many of our customers don’t have the time to bake anymore; their daily lifestyles are so demanding.”
That’s where Olympian comes in. Even though the tsoureki (sweetloaf) is their trademark product, the family business is famous for its quality egg pasta, aka hylopites, made with free-range eggs, fresh milk and whole-wheat flour. The egg pasta is dried and then cut into small squares to be used mainly in soups, stews and meat dishes.
“In the kitchen, these delicious hylopites are often served topped with butter and cheese – typically myzithra – an unpasteurised cheese made from a combination of milk and whey,” she explains.
“We don’t pay attention to what the competition is doing. Our manufacturing processes are all about using the ingredients we use at home: fresh milk, real butter, fresh eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice, lemon and orange rind for natural flavouring and the list goes on.”
Olympian is also the only manufacturer of trahana in Australia. Trahana, which traces back to antiquity, is a fermented milk and wheat product, eaten throughout Greece, usually added to soups and stews, and is also eaten as a porridge. Initially, it was a way to preserve milk for the winter, when production was always lower, by mixing it with wheat and drying it.
“We are proud of both our sweet and sour trahana. It’s becoming popular amongst chefs and non-Greeks as an alternative to classic pasta.”
What started as a small production unit, with a four-item range has now expanded to over 10 different products, supplying major supermarket and food chains across Australia. A variety of breads, biscuits, rusks, pastas, flours, spices, chewing gums, and Turkish delight is available at OSP.
“We have a large range of dairy-free products for those who have allergies and people who honour Lent,” Debbie says.
“We love hearing from our customers and receiving customer ideas and feedback. We recently have received many requests for gluten-free products, and it is something our company is working on.”
For more information, head to olympianspecialtyproducts.com.au