Rapeseed oil, mustard and herbs

At the food bloggers’ meetup we went around the countryside in Österlen, Skåne (Scania) visiting different food producers. The first stop was Gunnarshög’s farm, where we got to see how rapeseed oil is produced. I found this particularly interesting because I grew up around the wonderfully yellow and sweet smelling rapeseed fields.

Erik, our guide at (and owner of) the farm was really excited to tell us about his passion. He’s holding a rapeseed plant.

Rapeseed ready to be harvested (left) and the seeds when harvested (right).

The rapeseeds are harvested and then sifted to get rid of straw etc. The seeds are then dried until a certain water percentage remains and are then pressed for oil. (see above).

Freshly cold pressed rapeseed oil

The remnants of the seeds: rapeseed cake (or pellets)

After sedimentation and filtration the oil is ready to be bottled.

Did you know that rapeseed oil contains more Omega-3 and less saturated fats than olive oil? Rapeseed oil is sensitive to light and changes in temperature. Store in a cool and dark place (i e the fridge) and it keeps for twice as long as stored at room temperature.

At the end of our visit we got to sample all the different oils; the regular cold pressed oil and the flavoured ones. I particularly liked the dill and the wild garlic flavours.

Next stop was Petersborg’s farm, one of very few farms in Sweden growing mustard seeds. Most Swedish mustard is actually farmed abroad. Broadly there are two types of mustard seeds; yellow and brown. To make mustard you simply grind the seeds and mix the mustard powder with water and vinegar for the flavours to develop.

In the farm shop they sell their own mustards, for instance one flavoured with lavender, one with whisky and one really strong one.

The last stop was at Österlenkryddor (Österlen spice) where we got to try a raspberry and rosemary snaps (you know the shot we have with everything from herring to crayfish).

Many herb blends have funny local names. I ended up buying a jar of Greek oregano (for souvlaki) and a jar of lovage (works as a substitute for stock apparently).