Food Focus - February 2019
Each month we’re delighted to provide a focus on the wonderful produce that makes Norfolk such a special foodie place. We are proud to be welcoming our friends at Feast Norfolk Magazine and Proudly Norfolk as guest writers. This month's feature is below...
STEPHEN NEWHAM FROM CRUSH FOODS TELLS US ALL ABOUT RAPESEED OIL AND ITS MANY USES
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Stephen Newham from Crush Foods and we produce a range of food products but are probably best known for our single variety cold pressed rapeseed oil. Grown and pressed in Norfolk, we now supply some of the finest retailers and kitchens in the county and beyond. We also produce a range of hand baked cereals which can be found on the breakfast tables of some top hotels, and is available in stockists also.
Where are you based?
We have a fab home at Salle Farms based near Reepham. We have a custom built facility where we produce all the products in our range.
How did you get started?
Crush started more than seven years ago with a dream to supply chefs and home cooks with a product that is fun, natural and British. From the early days of working with farmers to growing our chosen variety of rapeseed, we quickly gained traction with chefs and moved into retail products. Fast forward years of knocking on doors and shouting about rapeseed oil, we now feel we are starting to change people’s perceptions and understanding that rapeseed is the oil of choice in Norfolk and the UK.
Tell us about what you produce?
Alongside the cold pressed oils, we produce a range of infused flavours of this oil which complement the range and certainly tick the fun box for home cooking. Garlic roasted potatoes? Yum! We have launched a couple of new products recently: Cajun dressing, a spicy, creamy dressing ideal for salads or as a alternative to mayo, and Caesar dressing, made with real cheese and our cold pressed oil - this dressing is a classic we have given a Norfolk twist.
Where can we buy your products?
We sell into a range of retailers, from the historic Jarrold’s in the heart of Norwich to many other independent shops in Norfolk. You will also find a selection of the range in-store at Morrisons, East of England Co-op and online at ocado.com. We also have recently improved our online shop which offers the entire range and nationwide delivery.
Any future plans?
We have recently introduced the Crush Kitchen which is aimed at professional cooks and provides them with a zero waste oil delivery option. We supply the oil and collect the used oil which is then used to produce electricity within the county. This has gained huge interest since its launch and we plan to roll this out to more places this year.
How green is your company?
We are very aware of our potential impact on the planet and with this in mind we have one goal - zero waste by the end of the year. An example of this is that the by-product from the pressing of the rapeseed is used to produce power which is fed back into the grid and is certified carbon neutral.
I think we can guess, but where do you sit on the rapeseed oil/olive oil debate?
- Locally grown and pressed...
- Low food miles...
- Half the saturated fat compared to extra virgin olive oil...
- Non GM…
- High burn point...
- Ideal for all cooking styles…
Valentine’s Day is around the corner - what product would you recommend to cook with on the big day?
I would go for sweet potato chopped into wedges, drizzled with our cold pressed smoked chilli rapeseed oil and roasted in the oven until crispy. The rest is down to your imagination.
How has Norfolk Food and Drink been able to help you?
Norfolk is our home and we share this with a huge array of other passionate food and drink producers who all at some point will need a little bit of guidance or help raising awareness of what they do.This is what Norfolk Food and Drink does for us and will continue to do for us and others.