"The taste of cold pressed organic rapeseed oil is so outstanding that many top chefs around the world have taken to using it in various dishes in place of the traditionally coveted extra-virgin olive oil."
If you are lucky enough to throw your gaze over the green fields of Ireland’s countryside in the springtime, you would notice that the beautiful shades of emerald have become punctuated by plots of shimmering golden crops. These patchworks of vibrant blooming yellow, dancing harmoniously in the breeze are one of Irelands oldest indigenous species; the rapeseed flower.
The rapeseed plant has a tremendously long history and the species has been cultivated by humans, first in ancient India and Japan, for over 4000 years. In the meantime however, other popular cooking oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil came to dominate the market, leaving the wonderful taste and magnificent nutritional properties of rapeseed oil massively underappreciated.
However rapeseed oil is back with a bang – leading consumer research group Kantar Worldpanel reported that the demand for rapeseed oil was soaring at a rapid rate throughout 2016. More and more people are discovering the unique flavour and nutritional profile that make rapeseed oil wonderful alternative cooking oil. The demand for rapeseed oil is so large that rapeseed oil has now become the fastest growing vegetable oil in both Ireland and the UK.
But what is all the hype about? One reason is that until recently most of us have thought that vegetable oils are somewhat unhealthy – a cheap and rather foul tasting cooking oil that is pressed using heat and chemicals and often generically labelled as ‘canola oil’. Something that you suspect your local chipper is buying by the gallon but would rather not investigate for fear of the truth.
However, in the past couple of years, Irish farmers have adopted an innovative ‘cold-pressing technique’ similar to the methods used to produce olive oil. These oils are vastly different to their highly processed cheaper counterparts. They have unique flavour profiles and are incredibly healthy.
The rich fertile soil of the Irish countryside allows for the growth of a very nutritious rapeseed that outshines many of its competitors. Rapeseed oil has the lowest saturated fat content of any cooking oil – with approximately half of what is contained in olive oil. Additionally rapeseed oil is rich in healthy fats such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as well as being a good source of vitamin E which gives the oil a potent antioxidant effect.
"Rapeseed oil has the lowest saturated fat content of any cooking oil – with approximately half of what is contained in olive oil."
The taste of cold pressed organic rapeseed oil is so outstanding that many chefs around the world have taken to using it in various dishes in place of the traditionally coveted extra-virgin olive oil. It compliments cooking without overpowering the flavours of the dish. It is delicious used in salads, dipping sauces, marinades for meat or vegetables, drizzled into soups and stir-fries and just about anytime where you would want to replace butter and where the taste of olive oil would be too intrusive.
Rapeseed oils’ continued meteoric rise in popularity is no coincidence. You would be pressed to find an alternative type of cooking oil that offers the same versatility, unique flavour profile and health benefits that are contained within a bottle of rapeseed oil. Inish Bia is proud to support the passionate farmers of Drumeen Farm in Co Kilkenny who grow, press and bottle one of the finest certified organic extra virgin rapeseed oils in the world. So what are you waiting for? Why not try a fresh taste of Ireland in your cooking and experiment with 100% Irish rapeseed oil - from the golden fields of Kilkenny direct to your door in Singapore today.
Looking for a recipe for your rapeseed oil - check out this version of egg fried rice from BBC Food!