Thursday, July 30, 2015

Alligga Flaxseed Cooking Oil

The latest sample sent to me by SocialNature is Alligga Flaxseed Cooking Oil. Right now, you can get Alligga Flaxseed Cooking Oil at $3 off the store price with a coupon from SocialNature.

The information on the bottle and website basically touts it as a "do-it-all" healthy wonder-oil:
  • Sautéing (pan frying), stir frying, roasting, baking, topping, salad dressing, add/mix with food (condiment?), supplement.
  • It is Organic, non-GMO, Kosher, 100% Natural, and 100% Canadian.
  • The Alligga website also talks about the health benefits of Flaxeed Oil.
The taste was very surprising. Caveat: I have never tried flaxseed oil, and do not normally pursue buying special cooking oil for "health benefits".
When I tried it straight, or with a bit of bread as a dip, there was a BITTER aftertaste on the tongue. This, I assume, is the "great nutty flavour" they mention (more like "walnutty", I guess).

I also let my mom pan-fry a chicken thigh (with skin removed). She is old school and doesn't watch her oil use, so she just poured a couple of tablespoons of oil into her cast-iron frying pan. Chicken came out okay, but the bitterness was evident unless we more carefully drained the oil away.

I'll try it in baking another time, but for the moment, I would recommend you cautiously buy this if you are keen on preserving the flavour of your food.

If you are buying it for the health benefits, and if you don't consume a lot of oil straight (e.g., as a straight bread dip or flavour additive), then it should be fine. Otherwise, watch for the bitterness and address that somehow (use less, drain it away, add something to it?).

UPDATE (2015-Aug-2):
  • My mom tried it with baking (a loaf of bread) and it turned out okay with no bitterness.
  • She also tried pan frying chicken several times, and insists that the chicken comes out more tender. If you have a similar experience, I'd love to hear it as this "feature" wasn't mentioned on the Alligga website.
UPDATE (2015-Oct-1):
  • My mom says this stuff is growing on her. Initially she was put off by the slight bitter aftertaste, but now she says that everyone should have some bitterness in their diet -- it's some sort of traditional Chinese nutritional wisdom. She cites how she eats bitter gourd as well, so having some bitter from Alligga works for her and she's seriously thinking of buying it, except it's not carried in Superstore. Here are a couple of articles on bitter foods in Traditional Chinese Medicine:

2015-Jul-30 Alligga Flaxseed Cooking Oil
2015-Jul-30 Alligga Flaxseed Cooking Oil nutrition info

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