The Scottish rapeseed oil company with a charitable touch

Oiling the Wheels

Cullisse Rapeseed Oil is the brainchild of Robert Mackenzie. Sylvie Docherty investigates

Cullisse Rapeseed Oil is the brainchild of Robert Mackenzie. Sylvie Docherty investigates

The Cullisse brand was founded by Robert Mackenzie in 2011 following a trip to Kenya, during which he became involved in a charity called Farm Africa and was inspired by their cold-pressing techniques. On his return to Scotland the newly qualified solicitor chose to go back to the family farm, also called Cullisse, in Easter Ross. His dad, Ken, and brother Peter do the day-to-day farming of the rape seed while Robert takes care of the pressing, bottling and labelling, and the entire operation is carried out on the Cullisse farm. The simple, stylish bottles – designed by a third-year student of Edinburgh College of Art – are now stocked by shops across the UK, and have attracted some high-profile customers including Yotam Ottolenghi, Nigel Slater and Heston Blumenthal.

Promoted for its health benefits, rapeseed oil contains 50 per cent less saturated fat than olive oil and has nine times the Omega 3, 6 and 9 content. It is cold pressed in a similar way to virgin olive oil, but has a more versatile nature when it comes to cooking. It can be heated to 230°C, but works as well for salad dressings and dips as it does for roasting potatoes. As to the oil’s flavour, Robert evocatively describes it as ‘subtle tones of nuttiness and summer grassiness, hints of garden peas fresh from the pod, and creamy butter undertones’. Looking to diversify the brand, Robert has introduced his Mixed Pepper & Spicy Marinade – an aromatic oil flavoured with cracked peppercorns, star anise, cloves and smoked sea salt – and further additions are in the works.

Keen to give something back to the organisation that initially inspired the Cullisse enterprise, Robert donates 20 pence from each purchase of his rapeseed oil to Farm Africa.

Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil

CCS Estates, Cullisse, Nigg, Highland, IV19 1QN

Set up by Robert Mackenzie using oilseed rape grown on farms near Tain by his father and brother, Cullisse is a cold-pressed rapeseed oil intended for use as a dipping, drizzling and cooking oil. It's the base ingredient for other products forming the…