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Mar 13, 2013 08:55 AM

Sunflower oil with intense flavor

Hi everyone
I recently purchased a large container of organic unrefined sunflower oil, thinking that i could use it in baking & cooking since it's said to have a high smoke point. However, the oil has a very pungent sunflower taste that kind of resembles anise. I was wondering if this is normal cause i thought sunflower oil was supposed to be almost tasteless? I'm wondering if it's rancid or something (although it was produced this month and has a BB date of 2015.)

I baked chocolate chip cookies wirh it and the sunflower smell took over the house for a bit! Any ideas what to do with this oil?

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  1. Taken from the PPC natural market site
    "Unrefined oils

    Unrefined oils are filtered only lightly to remove large particles. Some, such as sesame or olive oil, may appear cloudy or have visible sediment after sitting. This does not compromise quality.

    Unrefined oils have more pronounced flavors, colors and fragrances than refined oils. Like unrefined whole grain flours, unrefined oils are more nutritious and have a shorter storage life than refined.

    Unrefined oils are best used unheated in dressings or with low heat sautéing or baking. Their natural resins and other beneficial particles burn easily and develop unpleasant flavors and unhealthful properties if overheated. If you choose to bake with unrefined oils, expect the flavor to be more pronounced."

    6 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      Ah I guess most other sunflower oils in supermarkets are actually refined, since they basically have no taste. Oh well, i guess it's hard to find an unprocessed oil with a high smoke point and no taste.

      1. re: heartsandminds

        I think that unrefined Safflower oil can be heated high enough for frying.

        1. re: chefj

          Oh i'll have to look for it! Hopefully it's available where i live. Thanks!

          1. re: chefj

            I use Safflower oil and haven't noticed a strong smell.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Yes, but you probably use a regular mass-market supermarket oil, which will have been deodorized in the refining process and thus tasteless. Try something like Eden unrefined low-heat safflower oil: it's a whole different experience.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                The Quote above is referring to unrefined Oils, which I would guess is not what you are using.

        2. Maybe it's the refined stuff that is tasteless. What kinds of claims did your supplier make about the taste?

          "This oil is good on salads as well as for cooking; pan-fried potatoes are my favorite. However, I want to emphasize that it has a fairly strong smell and taste, which may be too much for some people, but if you don’t mind extra virgin olive oil you shouldn’t have a problem with the sunflower oil either."

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            Honestly I didn't ask. I just assumed all sunflower oils were tasteless. Funny thing is the taste comes thru even more than olive oil.

          2. Real, unrefined sunflower oil has a definite taste, as do all unrefined oils: refined oils are deodorized and purged of their flavor. Regular mass-market supermarket brands of cooking oil are all refined. However, it shouldn't taste of anise, but have a delicate, sweet sunflower flavor that I find delicious. I wonder if you have one of the brands from the former Soviet Union that I occasionally see in corner stores: these are poor-quality oils to begin with, and then they're packaged in clear plastic (which is a great way to turn any oil rancid). I haven't seen a well-done unrefined sunflower oil on the market in close to a decade.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FoodAsMedicine

              Thanks for the info! It's actually a reliable organic brand, but the flavour is really strong. I called up the company and they seemed pretty proud of it, hah. I don't really use it in cooking anymore since I heard coconut is better and I love the flavour. Funny thing is, I started oil pulling and unprocessed sunflower oil is apparently one of the top recommended oils for that, so the container I had didn't go to waste ;)