21 Sep

Grapeseed oil a hot new offering for restaurants

By Elisabeth Kalfsbeek,

While it is produced in Europe and South America as a byproduct of wine grapes, grapeseed oil is fast becoming California’s hot new commodity for retailers and restaurateurs alike.

“The market has grown dramatically,” said Matthieu Kohlneyer of La Tourangelle, an artisan producer of specialty and organic oils, in Woodland. “A lot of chefs are switching to grapeseed oil because it has a very high smoke point and is good to cook with. It also works very well for salad dressing. It’s very flexible and can be used for a diverse amount of things.”

Still, grapeseed oil remains a specialty, almost elusive, product because there are fewer producers and therefore is not as widely available as other oil-producing seed, nut and bean counterparts.

“Twenty to 30 years ago people here were mostly buying basic vegetable oil,” said Kohlneyer. “Then more people coming from the Mediterranean were using olive oil because it’s part of their culture. Olive oil is a foundation of Mediterranean cooking and people have been using it for 3,000 years. Every recipe calls for it,” he said.

Now a staple ingredient, olive oil has acted as a gateway product. “Olive oil made people know oil can be flavorful or not, good or bad,” Kohlneyer said. “People are going beyond that and trying grapeseed oil or walnut oil, for example. They want to be more detailed. Oil is a specific ingredient, like spices. You can use spices for different dishes, and oil becomes the same thing,” he said.

Consumers are discovering there are many types of oil, not just vegetable. Oil has become an ingredient in cooking which is able to bring flavor and health benefits. Grapeseed oil is ideal for healthy frying, vinaigrettes, blending with more intense oils, sautéing, baking, fondue, stir-fries and is also an excellent substitute for butter and canola oil.

“Grapeseed oil is a top seller because it’s so easy to use, its flavor profile is not very strong and chefs can cook with it easily,” Kohlneyer said. The oil may be heated up to 485 degrees Fahrenheit.

“The best thing about it is that it has a neutral flavor,” said Tazzina Bistro General Manager Bev Gansberger. “When you infuse grapeseed oil with rosemary, lemon or garlic those flavors really come through, unlike with olive oil. I use it at home, but it’s too costly to use in a restaurant setting unless it’s a $50 a plate or higher establishment.”

Beyond taste, grapeseed oil has an abundance of health benefits as well. It is low in saturated fat and high in poly-unsaturated fat, or Omega 6, which works wonders for fighting heart disease and bad cholesterol. It is also used in skin products, massage oils, aromatherapy and cosmetics for its regenerative and restructuring qualities helping with skin moisture. According to wikipedia.org, grapeseed oil is especially effective for skin repair around the eyes and is known to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It may be used also as a lubricant for face shaving.

“I mostly sell grapeseed oil products to people who want a good daily moisturizer,” said Michael O’Connor of Woodland Nutrition. “Or to a massage therapist who wants to deliver moisture into the skin, or to deliver other oils into the skin, since grapeseed oil acts like a carrier.”

“In recent years there has been a growing awareness of the need to take control of what we put into our bodies,” stated Woodland Nutrition supplier Dennis P. Slavens. “It makes little sense to take such care in selecting the foods that we eat and then apply products to our skin that contain a spectrum of chemicals that are known to cause the same health problems that we seek to avoid with diet.”

The grapeseed oil industry seems to be following at the heels of olive oil, which is now a $600 million per year business, and California is at the forefront of reaping the reward.

As Kohlneyer said, “It’s more than just an oil. It’s an ingredient.”

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One Response to “Grapeseed oil a hot new offering for restaurants”

  1. F. Vasell Says:

    To whom it may concern.

    Dear Madam/Sir.

    We glad to have this opportunity to introduce ourselves to you, we are company establish in Holland, our activities are mainly sea food such as Caviar, and any thing in this regard, olive, Walnuts,Grape oil, etc, etc, As a director manager of this company i kindly requesting to send me your best quotation regarding your Grape oil and any other oil which you produce, quantity one container at the time. Please inform us size of package and the price related to the package.

    Direct phone.No. +31.622.036.648

    At your service for any further information.

    Sincerely yours.

    F. Vasell

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