Product Type: Flora Oil / Vinegar
Newest Review: ... replacement for vegetable oil when roasting potatoes or vegetables. I haven't tried Flora Cuisine for baking purposes, mainly because I d... more
Je Cuisine Dans La Cuisine Avec Cuisine
Member Name: jo1976
Date: 07/09/13, updated on 28/11/13 (93 review reads)
Advantages: Healthier cooking oil, end results taste good
Disadvantages: Chilled format, comparatively short shelf life
I had heard of Flora Cuisine due to the TV advertising campaign featuring Vernon Kaye but I only tried it as a result of a recent Bzz campaign. Being a 'Bzz Agent' means that I regularly get sent free products to try and discuss with other people. (Anybody interested can sign up online at www.bzzagent.co.uk)
Armed with my vouchers, I headed to Tesco to buy some of this new cooking 'oil', under the familiar Flora brand name. I must admit that it isn't the easiest item to spot in store but I did eventually find it in the form of a yellow and green plastic bottle, lurking amongst the butter and spreads in the chilled aisle.
Flora Cuisine is supposed to be a healthier replacement for oils and fats - even having less saturated fat than olive oil which is my usual oil of choice. This new cooking oil, a combination of linseed, rapeseed and sunflower oils, is also a source of omega three.
Despite coming in a chilled liquid format, Flora Cuisine is versatile enough to be used for everyday cooking including baking, roasting and frying. The bottle features simple instructions for the best way to use this stuff and I found it easy to use as a substitute for olive oil when frying my usual foodstuffs or as a replacement for vegetable oil when roasting potatoes or vegetables.
I haven't tried Flora Cuisine for baking purposes, mainly because I don't bake very often. I was also put off by the inconvenience of having to translate the quantities of Cuisine needed for particular recipes. There are, however, a few recipes featured on the Flora Cuisine website but there wasn't really anything that caught my attention.
When used for frying, the dry pan has to be pre-heated initially and a small amount of the runny yellow Flora Cuisine then added to the hot pan. I was a little put off by the appearance initially as it looks like really runny margarine when it first hits the pan! This soon melts away into a clear, bubbly liquid and there is very little aroma, aside from the smell of the food cooking. I found the results to be excellent and comparable to using a good quality olive oil.
I have used it to fry everyday items such as chicken, stir fried vegetables, onions, bacon and sausages and found the Flora Cuisine heat and cooked quickly. I was pleased that there was no noticeable in difference in taste either so I could substitute this without worrying about my kids complaining that their dinners tasted different. I have also used the Flora Cuisine to roast potatoes and, again, found the process and results comparable to using a regular oil. The potatoes were left with an attractive golden brown colouring and were exactly the right consistency.
The only real drawback to this product is the one feature that makes this different from other cooking oils. I find it a bit of a hassle storing it in the fridge and instinctively reached for the bottle of olive oil which always sits on my worktop. My husband also kept forgetting to use this as it was out of sight in the fridge. Being a fresh chilled product also means that this has a much shorter shelf life than most oils.
I thought I had got a bargain initially (especially using my Bzz Agent vouchers) as I purchased this product on a Buy One Get One Free offer. Unfortunately, the use by date was really short - around eight weeks from the date of purchase- and there was no way that I could have used two 500ml bottles during that period so I ended up giving one away. As it was, I struggled to use the entire bottle before the use by date so I'm not convinced that I would get the best value for money at the full price of £1.98 per 500ml.
I can't fault the taste or the ease of use but, for me, the chilled format and comparatively short use by date means that this isn't particularly convenient. It is pretty telling that, despite liking the end results of all the cooking I did using Flora Cuisine, I haven't gone on to re-purchase since the Bzz campaign ended.
Summary: Good results but the chilled format is inconvenient and limits the shelf life
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