In the days of the Supermarket and ‘fast food’ we can often get lost in a world of prices & variety. Sometimes it is important we take a minute to find out who and where our food came from. Who was it that picked our local berries, or who harvest the grains that go into our bread. There is something comforting & enjoyable about supporting local produce. Not only do you support local economy but you are tasting something that has come from your doorstep. Bennett & Dunn Cold Pressed Rapeseed oil have been a firm favourite of local consumers and restaurants in the county and beyond for over 5 years. With the product range expanding to some delicious dressings & flavoured oils, for Bennett & Dunn, the only way is up! With an exciting weekend at Ludlow Food Festival coming up, including a fantastic talk from Rupert on the Buy-From Shropshire Stage, we caught up with Rupert & Tracey Bennett to talk quality, family & Saturday Kitchen!
So tell our readers, Where did it all begin?
It all began with Tracey and myself watching Saturday Morning Kitchen. James Martin was raving about Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil. As I was already growing and harvesting Oil seed Rape (Rapeseed) on our farm near Bridgnorth, we decided to do some research, then went ahead and purchased a kitchen press. We needed to make sure our Oil tasted good and we were happy to know it was delicious.
For someone who may never have tasted Rapeseed Oil before, how would you describe its taste?
If you have never used Coldpressed Rapeseed Oil, it is something you need to try! Our oil has a yummy gentle nutty, creamy flavour. It compliments food, rather than overpowers it. You can use it to drizzle over fresh summer salads, use it as a cold dip for bread and it's also brilliant to cook with at high temperatures and still keep all its health benefits, unlike extra virgin olive oil which is most customers go-to store cupboard essential. Our oil is rich in Omega 3,6 & 9 so if you don't eat lots of oily fish it's a really easy way to maintain your Omega fat intake which is essential for heart health and general wellness.
This year’s festival is aimed at Ethical and sustainable farming, how do you feel your products adhere and help towards this?
Zero nasty chemicals are used in our production, it's just oil squeezed from the seed, that's why trading standards allow us to put 'Good for You' on our label.
We look after the environment by farming in a responsible way by providing good habitat for insects, small mammals and birds. We also are intending to use the leftover seed to create food for local wildlife.
What products would you say are your ‘ones to watch’ ?
We know how busy lives can be, we don't always have time to create tasty meals for our family so we have launched our new dressing & Marinades, a quick and easy way to add flavour to meat, fish, salads and vegetables for mouthwatering dishes. Come and try them and see which flavour is your favourite!
How has your journey been in getting Bennett & Dunn out to the consumer?
We spent a lot of time getting out there to the customer, restaurants, farm shops delis, and not forgetting our Great taste award and Bronze Winner 2015 for Best New Product at Ludlow Food Festival in our first year of trading. We now have brilliant award winning Chefs using our Oil, some of which are demonstrating at the Festival. It is a great boost for us, it's confirmation and reward for the love and care we put into every drop of Oil we produce. We also supply high end retailers such as the Ludlow Food Centre. Everyone knows they only stock great quality product.
We are so proud of the quality of our oils and to know that brilliant Chefs and foodies love our oil is wonderful. It's the fantastic feedback and being told it's a great product that keeps us going.
What are you looking forward to most about Ludlow Food Festival this year?
Meeting people who love Artisan food, care about where their food comes from and care about the British Countryside. Eat and drink till your hearts content.... You get all of that at The Ludlow Food Festival! Tracey and myself are looking forward to meeting some of our existing lovely loyal customers who bought our Oil at last years Festival and introducing our new Dressing & Marinades to those who haven't yet tasted them!
Tracey and Rupert will be exhibiting within the festival all weekend, they will also be taking part in a talk at the Buy-From Shropshire Marquee. Be sure to visit them and try their delicious and healthy alternative to Olive Oil!
Bennett & Dunn
Quality, Local, Delicious