Friday, May 18, 2012

Product of the week: Donegal Rapeseed Oil...

Olive oil is synonymous with the traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin; when you think olive oil it’s the hills of Tuscany that spring to mind but one Irish company is about to challenge that thinking. It came as a great surprise recently when I picked up a bottle of 'Donegal Rapeseed Oil' in the local Greengrocer in Castlemartyr, East Cork. Initially I thought the company were importing the oil but upon scanning the label further,  I was surprised to read that the origins of the oil come from the fields of Donegal.

In the north of the country, they experience longer daylight hours allowing the oil seed to mature slowly in the pod producing perfectly golden Rapeseed Oil. “The birds and insects that pollinate our crop actually come from the heather and wild fruit bushes on the Donegal Mountains and the benefit of all of this is captured in the oil” explains Thomas Hughes Marketing Manager.

Rapeseed oil works best with the Irish metabolism with Donegal Rapeseed Oil having the lowest saturated fat content of any other oil on the market. It only has 6% saturated fat content compared to most olive oils at 14% and sunflower oil at 10%. Donegal Rapeseed Oil has 11 times more omega 3 than olive oil with omega 6 & omega 9 contained in the oil. Furthermore, the oil contains high levels of Vitamin E which are all known to help lower cholesterol making it a natural 'functional food'.

Set up in 2008 by business partners Austin Duignan and Stephen Allen, the company has grown from strength to strength achieving numerous awards along the way including 'Great Taste Award 2011' and 'Bridgestone Best in Ireland 2011' awards. The oil is now stocked in numerous outlets around Ireland including Supervalu, Superquinn, Donnybrook Fair, Avoca and many more listed here.

Donegal Rapeseed Oil is used by many well known chefs including Neven Mcguire of MacNean House and Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy in Kinsale, Co. Cork. The oil retails at €6.99 and gives perfect results for that Saturday morning omelette!