Ok, so it appears that I’m on a scent trail. Wednesday it was basil. Today, it’s cilantro (or coriander – your choice of what you call it). It’s another herb staple at our house and at Wisconsin Farmer’s Markets and produce stands.
But I reached for a different version of it — a cilantro flavor-infused cottonseed oil, named Fresh Cilantro by Acala Farms in Barneveld. Another Wisconsin-made option on the shelves at Metcalfe’s, it drew my attention because of its cilantro flavor and the fact it’s made with cottonseed oil. Turns out, the Acala Farms oils, owned by Botham Brands, debuted in 2012.
Botham Brands is owned by Sarah and Peter Botham and is the parent company for their other interest: Botham Vineyards & Winery. But, I digress.
The Acala Farms site shares all the reasons it favors cottonseed oil instead of the usual olive oil options: “heart-healthy, have a high smoke point, exhibit intense flavors, with no oil taste and, they’re just plain fun to use. They are also Non-GMO, gluten-free, Kosher, Vegan and certified pesticide-free.” They claim they’re the first to introduce both plain and flavor-infused cottonseed oils.
All I know is that I tasted the Fresh Cilantro and am hooked. It’s light, not oily; and the scent and taste of cilantro is almost as good as having a bunch under your nose. I sampled it by dipping bread, but am already envisoning making bruschetta with tomatoes or guacamole; using it in soups; or frying my eggs in it. In fact, that’s what Acala Farms wants you to do — play with it and find your own possibilities. If you need a little inspiration, however, they offer recipes on their site.
Now if cilantro seems too tame for you, they also have Fried Shallot, Hot Habanero, Jalapeno-Lime, Smokey Chipotle, Fresh Roasted Garlic or Pure Cottonseed Oil. Just read on their Facebook page that Sarah will be at the Market @ Sequoya Commons in Madison (from 4:30-6:30 pm today) if you want to try their new fall flavors: Curry Spice, Toasted Cumin and Chili Cumin. [Hurry, quit reading this! :)]
Otherwise, you can buy or find where the oils are available on Acala Farm’s site.
And, if you’re wondering if the cotton used is grown in Wisconsin: no. Wisconsin is home to the company’s HQ. You’ll have to head to the cotton belt for the ingredients!
Have a great weekend!