The best oils – from your local Co-operative

June 11, 2014 by The Co-operative Food Great Olis

When I was growing up in the late 70s it was only our more sophisticated friends who used olive oil, and they went to interesting delis to find it (or even the chemist’s shop – really!).

It’s fair to say that many families, including our own, was only just making the transition from lard and dripping to the exciting new sunflower oils.

Now the supermarkets have whole sections laden with many different oils, and while olive oil is probably the most popular, you’re likely to find nutty rapeseed oil, palm oil, nut oils including walnut and argan, and expensive avocado oil all sitting alongside the usual suspects of sunflower and vegetable oils.

Each have their different uses and varying levels of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats, and even the most bland can be given a lift by infusing garlic, lemon, chilli or other strong flavours.

There are so many different oils to choose from now that you might feel a little lost staring at the selection, but fortunately the own brands deliver good value and flavour too. Your kitchen cupboard will benefit from having a few different oils – rather than using your best cold pressed virgin olive oil for frying save that for dipping a good bread into, or drizzling over a flavoursome salad.

A lighter colour oil will tend to have a lighter flavour, while the dark green oils often have a robust kick.

The Co-operative’s olive oil was praised as being nice and smooth with a fresh flavour by the popular chef and food writer Yottam Ottolenghi this week. Yottam’s recipes often seem daunting through their myriad of ingredients, but they’re well worth trying as the results tend to be exciting flavour explosions combining interesting ingredients that we might not usually consider bringing together.

Elsewhere in the press The Co-operative’s Truly Irresistible Cold Pressed Yorkshire Rapeseed oil was named as one of the best speciality oils in the Ideal Home magazine and it won a gold at the prestigious Grocers Awards. As I’m on the outskirts of York now, surrounded by beautiful fields of rape glowing in the weekend sunshine this seemed most appropriate to include. I’m going out to buy a bottle that I’ll use with tomorrow’s roast lamb. I’m looking forward to it already.

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