A family-owned outfit with roots stretching back to the 19th century, La Tourangelle is keeping alive the oil-making tradition of the Loire Valley, using traditional production methods at a 150-year-old oil mill in Saumur, France, and, since 2002, in Woodland, California, to create small-batch, minimally processed, flavorful oils that are rich in nutrition and impeccably balanced in taste. The product list runs into the dozens, including cooking oils from Avocado to Vegetable, and non-aerosol sprays such as grapeseed with a high burning point, and white truffle to brighten fistfuls of popcorn.
Flavorful oils are where the action on the palate is, fashioned by La Tourangelle from high-quality nuts and seeds that are first sourced, then dried, and then tossed gently in custom-made French cast-iron kettles before pressing to squeeze out pure, exquisite oil. Saveur hailed the Roasted Pistachio Oil as “intensely nutty” and recommended it tossed on warm boiled potatoes, while Cooking Light pegged Roasted Hazelnut Oil as “incredibly versatile” and “delicious,” noting it has higher omega 9 than olive oil as well as omega 6 and natural antioxidants. There are many more to crack open and enjoy including Roasted Walnut, Roasted Pecan, Roasted Almond, Toasted Sesame and Toasted Pumpkin – which Martha Stewart Living recommends drizzled on fluke crudo or quinoa – plus herb-infused oils such as garlic, basil, pesto, and Herbs de Provence.
Even with its pantry full, La Tourangelle continues to innovate, inspired by founder and CEO Matthieu Kohlmeyer’s passion for the environment and belief that cooking oil, so widely used, can be a vehicle for real impact on climate change. The company was a leader in upcycling, with blemished nuts used in production rather than tossed out, post-consumer recycled waste used for its tin cans and plastic bottles, and expeller pressed Vegetable Oil housed in 100% recycled PET, non-BPA plastic bottles.
Among new products this year is single-origin Regenerative Sunflower Oil. Landing first on the market via a pilot program with a pioneering organic farmer in Yolo County, California, the oil’s sunflower seeds were grown on 31 acres that have not had chemical amendments in two decades and instead relies on “regenerative” practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping, composting, animal pasturing, and a complete lack of tilling, with less energy and water, and no chemical fertilizers required for crops. Benefits go beyond the kitchen, with the sunflowers acting as a cover crop, adding nutrients to the soil while capturing carbon to keep it our of our warming atmosphere, and producing more nutritionally dense sunflowers.
What to do with Regenerative Sunflower Oil? The recipe page on La Tourngelle’s website has suggestions, from brushing onto a grill for Spatchcock Brick-grilled Chicken with Scapes and Garden Herb Sauce, to pairing with olive oil for Summer Salad with Vinaigrette, to frying Organic Sunflower Oil Potato Latkes, even combining with raw honey for a Plumping Lip Mask.
“Cooking is caring, and La Tourangelle is on a mission to make high quality cooking & baking ingredients that do just that,” said Kohlmeyer, who keeps in close contact with farmers and, in California, has an expatriate community of leading and Nobel Prize-winning climate scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and their families around his dinner table, where discuss lasting impact and change for future generations while dining on dishes dressed with La Tourangelle oils. “With a focus on promoting regenerative farming, artisan production methods and nature-friendly packaging, we want to empower cooks to make food that’s good for the table, community and planet. I am proud of the work we are doing, the products we create, and the role we play in helping to inspire people to cook like they care.”
Hawkins International is spearheading media relations efforts for La Tourangelle, with a focus on sustainability efforts and new product launches. For more information, please visit latourangelle.com