You may have noticed the bright yellow field in this image from our trip to Castle Howard.
That, my friends, is rapeseed.
Yes, you read that correctly. Not grape seed. Rapeseed.
If you've ever been to England, particularly North Yorkshire (the route between Harrogate and York is nearly 50/50 green and yellow), you may have noticed them. Many countries in Northern Europe grow it as well.
Besides being nearly impossible to photograph, rapeseed is used mostly to produce oil. We love rapeseed oil, and use it more than any other. Similar in properties to olive oil, it can be used for sautéing, low-temperature frying, roasting, or just tossed over pasta (Rapeseed oil with mixed herbs is perfect for this!). It's lower in saturated fat than olive oil (yes, that's possible!) and doesn't have that olive-y flavor, which we used to buy the 'light flavor' olive oil for- but who knows what they add to it to get rid of the flavor? I don't.
Canola oil in Canada and The States comes from a genetically modified rapeseed plant, but the natural plant itself isn't popular due to a false urban legend that it caused cancer.
I've heard that the name didn't help its case, either.
Anyway, if you're ever in Europe in the summer, hopefully you'll get to see some of these beautiful fields- believe me, they're even more striking in person- that vast field of yellow in sunshine is NOT compatible with a digital sensor!
Better yet, hopefully you'll get to cook with some of the oil, and you'll understand why we love it!