Highwood Crossing Organic Oils

We had the chance to have a little chat with Tony Marshall, the man behind Alberta's Highwood Crossing (along with his wife, Penny), and he told us all about this tasty, local crop. Read on, below:

BARBECUES GALORE: Thanks so much for chatting with us here at Barbecues Galore, Tony! Can you tell us a little bit of the back-story behind Highwood Crossing?

TONY MARSHALL: Highwood Crossing is the name of our organic family-farm and food processing company. The farm was started in 1899 by my great-grandfather W.B. Thorne. The name "Highwood Crossing" refers to a shallow portion of the Highwood River that runs beside the farm. In the early days, before there were bridges or paved roads, travelers would cross at this narrow portion of the river - hence the name "Highwood Crossing".

BG: When did canola oil come into the picture?

TM: Cold-pressed organic canola oil was the first product we made when we started adding-value to the crops we grow at the farm... that was in 1996 and it's been one of our top selling products ever since. Of all the items that we now make, the cold-pressed Canola Oil is probably our best-known "signature" product. 

Bottles of Highwood Organic Flax and Canola OilsBG: What, in your opinion, sets Highwood Crossing's canola oil apart from other oils produced around Canada? TM: We were the first company in this part of the world to make cold-pressed, organic oils. Our Canola Oil is a truly artisan product that reflects the conditions and "terroir" of the land where it was grown and made. It's unique for the following reasons:

  • Certified Organic & non-GMO;
  • Made in small batches - fresh each week - to order;
  • Locally grown and made in Alberta;
  • Packaged in non-reactive dark glass bottles;
  • Unrefined & unfiltered;
  • Contains no additives or preservatives;
  • Slowly cold-pressed in a light- and oxygen-reduced environment;
  • Made in a nut and peanut-free facility.

BG: What's your favourite way to use canola oil?

TM: We love the fresh taste and vibrant colour of our oil, so we tend to use it a lot in salad dressings and lightly drizzled over fresh tomatoes. Think of it as Canada's answer to extra virgin olive oil - and use it accordingly.

BG: How about in grilling: best use of canola oil on the grill?

TM: Unlike commercially refined canola oil that is processed under high-heat, our oil is slowly cold-pressed at low temperatures. We take this extra care because delicate, unrefined oils can be easily damaged by exposure to high heat. For this reason, we suggest that our cold-pressed canola oil be used after grilling as a finishing oil - lightly brushed onto to meat or fish and gently drizzled over grilled veggies. It can also be used as the oil for a finishing marinade or glaze that is applied at the end or after grilling.

BG: On another note, you guys, being located in High River, were pretty badly affected by the flood last year. Can you tell us a bit about that and how things are coming as far as repairs?

TM: Our home and some farmland near Aldersyde - as well as our organic processing facility in High River - were all flooded in June of last year. Since that time, our team has been working hard to rebuild and repair all the damages that were caused by the flooding. Since the floods, we have been working out of a temporary location at our farm and hope to be back up and operating in High River in the very near future.Oil being poured over a salad

BG: Thank you so much for giving us the low-down on your tasty, tasty product! Anything you'd like to add?

TM: Visit our website for lots of recipes and ideas on how to use our products!  

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