Grapes have seduced humans for centuries with their fabled red and white nectars. But they also offer something else. When pressed, tiny grape seeds produce a green-coloured oil with remarkable properties.
Grapeseed oil has a light flavour and contains a high level of polyunsaturated fat. It can also be heated up to 250°C (485°F), making it ideal for healthy cooking.
Use: The kitchen is where grapeseed oil comes into its prime. With a very high smoke point, the oil is easy to use in cooking and will make burnt oil a thing of the past. The nutty flavour works well in vinaigrettes with any type of vinegar, never overwhelming the other ingredients. Grapeseed oil is also commonly blended with more intensely flavoured oils. Grapeseed oil is an excellent substitute for butter or canola oil.
Production process: Wine production is a cherished tradition in France, Italy, Spain, California, Chile and now all over the world. Several events are held commemorating the annual harvest and every step of the winemaking process.
Lost in all the commotion, however, is a little secret: Once they have finished making their wine, the winemakers gather all the seeds, dry them and bring them to their local oil mill. There a somewhat arduous process begins. Since the seeds are so tiny and abrasive, powerful machines are required to crush them.
The process is very time-consuming, since the seeds contain less than 10% oil. Imagine the vast quantity of seeds needed to produce one drum of oil!