Meet the producer - Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil
Words by Hans Ulrich Obrist Photograph by Anders Schønnemann Styling by Nathalie Schwer
The future’s looking extremely bright for Adam and Jennie Palmer. The couple live on a farm in a remote and gorgeous area of East Yorkshire with their young family - charming Charlie is three, and baby Ivy Beatrice was born in mid-September - and their business, also fairly young, is flourishing.
The future’s looking extremely bright for Adam and Jennie Palmer. The couple live on a farm in a remote and gorgeous area of East Yorkshire with their young family - charming Charlie is three, and baby Ivy Beatrice was born in mid-September - and their business, also fairly young, is flourishing.

They formed Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil in 2008, planting around 50 acres of the crop, which is so riotously acid yellow when we visit in mid-June, it hurts the eyes. So why is rapeseed their crop of choice? “I think you’ll get the same answer from virtually any rapeseed farmer you ask,” says Adam. “We started out looking for cheap fuel. It’s what every farmer needs. But then when you start growing and harvesting the rape, you realise what an amazing crop it is, and what potential it has as a food product.”
Beloved by leading chefs everywhere, including our very own James, rapeseed oil is healthy – masses of Omegas 3, 6 and 9, antioxidants aplenty and half the saturated fat of olive oil – has a high burn point, and is delicious and extremely versatile: as the Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil motto, emblazoned on the back of all the company t-shirts, says, you can use it to ‘dip, drizzle, roast, bake, fry’. As well as their basic range of coldpressed extra virgin rapeseed oil, the Palmers have developed a range of dressings and flavoured ‘deli oils’.

One of James’ favourites is the cold-pressed extra virgin with black pepper – perhaps because he was the inspiration for it. “I’d made some of my own, using the Palmers’ basic oil, to drizzle on strawberries,” he explains. “They really liked it, and have ended up adding it to their range of products. I use it at the Pipe and Glass, along with their basic oils, for deep-frying, dressings, bread – everything, really. I also use their lovely mint and balsamic dressing.” Such is the demand for the Palmers’ range of oils, that their farm at picturesque North Breckenholme, Thixendale, can no longer supply enough seed – they’re having to buy in from neighbouring farms.
But they like to keep things local – all of their seed is sourced from within a ten-mile radius of home. It’s what makes the flavour special, Adam insists. “Our policy is to buy from the Wolds,” he says. “I believe it’s the chalky soil round here that gives the oil that special flavour.”

The Palmers also like to keep things in the family. The business has the couple at the heart of it, but other staff members include Adam’s mum and dad Esther and Ben (who, when he’s not helping out his son and daughter-in-law on the farm, works in a very different oil industry, captaining a tanker for Shell), Ben’s sister Siobhan and Adam’s childhood friend Lucy. “I think Matthew’s the only one who’s not related!” says Adam. And goodness knows they need the staff – business is booming, and a glance at the Palmers’ website shows that they set themselves a punishing schedule of food events, shows and markets around the county and beyond.
For more information on Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil, and where to find the Palmers, please visit: www.yorkshirerapeseedoil.co.uk


PUBLISHED :October 2013
TAGS : MEET THE PRODUCER
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