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The fry’s no limit for rapeseed oil

There’s a bright future for rapeseed oil, as our green and pleasant land turns bright yellow once again.

Native rapeseed oil looks set to rival olive oil as a bumper UK crop is combined with an increase in demand from Europe.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the olive groves of Tuscany has long been considered the benchmark for both cooking and dressing. With its fruity characteristics and evident health benefits due to high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, it is scarcely a surprise that it is one of the most widely used oils in the world. However, the lack of a domestic olive crop in the UK means that we must import from abroad, at great cost to both the environment and our national GDP.

Healthy & Tasty

Fortunately, what Britain lacks in olives it more than makes up for in rapeseed, a vivid yellow crop related to the cabbage and turnip which can be seen in abundance in the British countryside during the April-June season. Rapeseed produces a beautiful, golden-coloured oil with a subtle nutty taste, and can be used in all the same ways as olive  oil. In fact, with its ideal 2:1 ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, it is considered one of the most heart-healthy oils in production. Rapeseed oil has undergone a recent surge in popularity, with top chefs such as Raymond Blanc and James Martin amongst its devotees. And given its health and taste credentials and its domestic provenance, is there any wonder?

International Appeal

It is not just in the UK that rapeseed has become the oil of choice – it is gaining popularity overseas too where olive oil’s demise is set to be rapeseed’s gain. Consumers in Europe feeling the financial squeeze have opted for cheaper alternative oils, which has had a dramatic effect on consumption levels. Figures from the Olive Council show prices of olive oil have dropped by 12% year-on-year in Spain, 5% in Greece and 38% in Italy. So if you are not already using rapeseed oil why not give this native oil a try?

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