discover: carpo

CARPO

She says: A new year in London always starts off with a little bit of detox and cleansing. For me, I’ve been trying to stay away from alcohol and other sweet and carb-filled indulgences. New year resolutions also prompt more frequent visits to the gym – I can’t resist those sweaty spin classes and empowering body combat sessions! Kapow! On the eating front, I always find it challenging to shop for healthy snacks. The grocery list usually consists of the same old carrot or celery sticks, hummus, raw almonds and seeds. Yawn!

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The concept: Just last Friday, I randomly stumbled across a new store located near Piccadilly Circus called Carpo. It’s brightly lit and packed with healthy delights including a wide assortment of nuts to various exotic dried fruits that I’ve never heard of! Growing up in Australia, I’m used to the run-of-the-mill macadamia nuts, dried banana chips, pineapple, apricots, mangoes and apples. At Carpo, I find everything from goji berries to weird and wonderful  small orange ‘super fruit’ berries from the grape family called ‘sea buckthorn‘ amidst shelves of colourful dried dragonfruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi and nectarines. The staff here are approachable & exuberant and better yet, they let you try before you buy! I explain that I am looking for a nice snackable present for a friend’s birthday as she too has been hitting the gym! There are pre-packed goodies like the photos below, or you can ‘choose your own adventure’ and mix and match, selecting whatever you like. The price you pay is determined by weight, with prices listed at 100g per product.  The guy serving me explains that Carpo originated in Greece by two brothers and they have now expanded, opening their very first store in London. Despite Greece’s economic woes, Carpo has still proven to be very popular among locals.

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The verdict: Don’t leave without a bag of dried strawberries, kiwis, cantaloupe and dried nectarine. The strawberries and cantaloupe are so juicy and intense in flavour and the nectarine and kiwi are a little sour and tangy, but require a bit of chewing! Better than artificial tasting and fizzy sweets that are often filled with pig gelatine to create a chewy texture, these snacks are moreish, all natural and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. If you’re craving something a little sweeter, try some of the salted caramel or red pepper chocolate! Conveniently located, I’ll be making regular visits whenever I’m feeling a little peckish!

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Address: 16 Piccadilly, London W1J 0DE
Website: www.carpolondon.co.uk
Twitter: @CarpoLondon
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CarpoLondon

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