It seems that Sunflower oil is new to the kitchen. Everyone is familiar with Olive oil and vegetable oil but we don’t know what to do with Sunflower oil.
Talking to Eastern Europeans at the markets they are very familiar with cold pressed sunflower oil. They say that Kricklewood Farm Sunflower oil is just like the oil they had at home. Wow! One would think that Sunflower oil came from Europe to North America. The truth is quite different.
Sunflowers are a native North American plant and it is believed that sunflowers were the first domesticated crop by Native Americans, even before corn. The Sunflower seed was an important part of the diet and the seed was squeezed for the oil to be used in making bread. Talk about a long history!
So why is sunflower oil better known in Eastern Europe than in Canada? In the 1500’s early Spanish explorers took this native exotic plant to Europe as an ornamental flower. In the 1800’s the medicinal and culinary uses of sunflower oil became known. Sunflower oil began to be commercially produced by 1830 in Russia. Sunflower oil was and is widely used in Russia and other Eastern European countries.
From Russia the sunflower came to Canada. As the sunflower was in important crop in Russia, the Russian immigrants to Canada brought it with them back to North America. The first sunflower crushing plant was built in 1946. The sunflower oil story has continued from there.
Not all sunflower oils are the same, however. There are different varieties of sunflower oil seeds and there are different ways of processing the seeds to get the oil. These different variations result in different oils.
Kricklewood Farm Sunflower Oil starts with an organic sunflower seed which is grown using natural farming methods. No herbicide or pesticides are used. The resulting crop is dried on the field and stored until ready to be pressed. The seed is cold pressed. This means that the seeds are slowly squeezed without added heat until the oil is released. The only heat used is from friction as the seeds are slowly squeezed together. The temperature is monitored to ensure a high quality oil. We let the newly pressed oil settle so that the fine particles of the sunflower seed float the bottom. We lightly filter the oil to remove any additional fine particles from being bottled.
The result is a pure and natural unrefined oil with a sunny sunflower seed taste. It has a light nutty and buttery flavour which is delicious used raw or in low heat cooking. Drizzle over steamed vegetables, toss with pasta or use in a salad dressing. Enjoy great flavour when sautéeing, roasting and baking.