Is that mustard seed, a fellow blogger from Egypt asked about the endless yellow fields of early summer? No, I said, its rapeseed remembering back 10 years when I’d wondered myself what the vast swaths of yellow crops were. Rapeseed has come along way since then, indeed a report earlier this year noted that sales are up 28% year-on-year to £7.6m and volumes up almost 9% [Kantar Worldpanel 52w/e 19 February 2012].
Yet many of us still don’t have it in our cupboards, preferring olive oil instead. The italian heavy weight has an amazing marketing story and while rapeseed producers are attempting the same feat, it’s bound to take time. And let’s face it most of us are creatures of habit, we run out of something, we buy the same thing again – simple.
So I was really intrigued when I was asked to try Manor Gold cold pressed rapeseed oil. I’m a big fan of buying local from small producers; they really do need shoppers support.
Manor Gold is produced just 14 miles away from where I live by Chris Edwards and his family on their farm in Hatton, Market Drayton. They only use their own harvested rapeseed to produce the Manor Gold brand, a nutty oil, cold pressed in the traditional way with nothing else added.
When the bottles arrived (I got two) it was like opening a bag full of sunshine with its vibrant golden hue.
I started simply by trying the product in its most pure form, with a rustic bread and balsamic vinegar. It doesn’t have the flora notes of olive oil but it certainly holds its own with the balsamic and tasted delicious. My husband, who could quite happily polish off a daily dose of oil and vinegar was also impressed – indicated by a nod and ‘mmmm’ sounds.
The attraction of rapeseed oil is threefold; apart from the fact that it’s grown in the UK, it’s also incredibly versatile and one of the healthiest oils around.
Because of it’s mild flavour it can be used in salad dressings and marinades but its also ideal for baking, roasting and stir frying due to its high smoke point, an impressive 240 degrees. I’ve used it in cakes, a big Sunday lunch and as a salad dressing, all of which worked perfectly and tasted great.
Rapeseed oil is also rich in Omega 3 and has half the saturated fat of olive oil.
They say its take around 16-20 times repeatedly doing something to form a new habit. Having used Manor Gold rapeseed oil now on a dozen occasions, I’m well on my way to adding this local producer to my shopping list.