Camelina sativa is an ancient grain, originating in Northern Europe and parts of Central Asia. Up until the sixteenth century, camelina was commonly used as the basis for a golden-hued culinary oil, but with the discovery of alternative oils and an international revolution in food production and preparation, camelina oil's acclaim began to fade. Interestingly, its lowered popularity can also be attributed to its high level of unsaturated fat, which makes it difficult to hydrogenate and render into margarine, a product which became increasingly popular in the 20th century.
In recent years, of course, food and "foodie" culture have seen the rediscovery and rebirth of many "Old World" foods, bringing our ancestors' diets to the fore and creating a new market for what we now call "ancient grains". These "ancient grains" never disappeared, but the term is used to describe seeds unrecognizable to the current generation, but common to generations past. These grains and oilseeds have remained untouched and unmodified by time, giving us a taste of the same seeds cultivated centuries ago.
The natural, nutty flavor of the camelina seed is as untouched by time as its nutritional properties, including an abundance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as Vitamin E. Add that to its shelf-stablity and high-heat tolerance and it's easy to see why camelina oil is making its triumphant return. More than just a name, "Three Farmers" refers to a trio of Saskatchewan farmers passionate about growing natural, healthy food and dedicated to providing a personal connection between producers and consumers.
Camelina oil's flavour can be described as earthy, nutty, and natural. The oil best complements root vegetables and gamey meats including elk, bison, lamb and duck, but the possibilities and combinations are truly endless. The oil blends brilliantly with other flavors: bonding with them rather than losing its own unique characteristics or overpowering other ingredients. Camelina's versatility is also reflected in its ability to hold up in the cold (ensuring that your marinades don't congeal in the fridge), as well as the heat (with a smoke point of 475°F). Due to its Vitamin-E content, camelina oil's shelf life is significantly longer than other cold-pressed, high-Omega-3 oils, easily lasting between 12 and 24 months.