Stories

Cottonball

Click on a story below, and read about why people are raving about Cottonseed Oil.


  • Anthony’s Fish Grotto
    Fishing for the secret to d'lish fish and chips?  
  • The legendary Anthony’s Fish Grotto in San Diego, a family-owned chain of San Diego seafood restaurants, has been a popular destination for locals and tourists alike since they opened their first 18-seat diner in 1946.

    The secret may surprise you. It’s not the superior fresh fish or a secret sauce, but rather, the pristine cottonseed oil the fish and chips are cooked in. Anthony’s simply won’t trust any other oil with Mama Ghio’s family recipes.

    “Fish and chips is our top seller year after year,” says Craig Ghio, Mama Ghio’s grandson and co-owner of Anthony’s Fish Grotto. “So, as you can imagine, we’re serious about the oil we cook them in. Cottonseed oil doesn’t impart its own flavor, allowing the catch-of-the-day to taste like it should: fresh and flavorful.”

    The restaurant takes its fish and chips so seriously, in fact, that it’s experimented with various other highly engineered oils over the years.

    “We always come back to cottonseed oil,” says Ghio. “For us, it’s an irreplaceable ingredient, right up there with the quality of fish we select.”

    Anthony’s Fish Grotto’s cottonseed oil is provided by both Garden Banner and Ventura Foods.

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  • WISCONSIN INNOVATION KITCHEN – ANNETTE PIERCE
    What better praise could humble cottonseed oil receive?  
  • Tucked into the topsy-turvy hollows of the state’s southwestern corner, Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen produces healthy, sustainable food for the area’s small commercial producers, family farmers and native foodies. During the growing season, untold pounds of locally grown vegetables pass through its kitchen.

    That’s great news for Annette Pierce and her kitchen team. She and her talented daughter use pure cottonseed oil (CSO) to mix unforgettable salad dressings and roast hearty vegetables like asparagus and collard greens. Lately, they’ve been experimenting with dressings and marinades made from flavored oil mixes, including the singular jalapeno lime.

    Around here, cottonseed oil plays an even bigger role in the main course. Like Wade Fletcher of Hogz & Honeez, Pierce and her daughter love the versatility and cleanness of this cooking aid.

    “You can cook fish and chicken at the same time without mixing the flavors,” raves Pierce. The same goes for chicken nuggets and French fries, a perennial favorite of area kids.

    Despite its neutral flavor and a reputation for remaining unsullied for days on end, CSO isn’t totally without its own native flavor. In fact, Pierce loves how it subtly enriches the foods it touches without leaving a greasy—and unhealthy—taste in your mouth. “Cottonseed oil basically does the same thing as butter,” says Pierce, “without the butter.”

    It lasts a lot longer than butter as well. “We don’t even need to change it out after fish fry Fridays,” she says.

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  • HOGZ & HONEEZ – WADE FLETCHER
    The oil never picks up the taste of what it's cooking  
  • Whether they’re heading north to Lambeau Field for a Packers home game or south to Madison for move-in day at the University of Wisconsin, most folks pass through Beaver Dam on their way to somewhere else. That’s just fine with Wade Fletcher—as long as they stop into Hogz & Honeez for a bite and a beer.

    Fletcher’s joint is a “small town bar that serves great food,” he says. Since the place caters to an active crowd, including some of central Wisconsin’s most passionate bikers, the focus is on hearty portions that don’t skimp on the starch and protein. Steak fries, fried chicken and battered fish are the menu highlights here—and that requires the kitchen’s two commercial fryers to work overtime.

    To keep his hungry diners happy, Fletcher and his kitchen crew lean heavily on cottonseed oil (CSO). “Cottonseed oil touches everything that goes into our fryers,” he says, because it’s the only oil he trusts to preserve flavor. He raves about taking perfectly crisped chicken out of the fryer, immediately replacing it with a batch of fresh fries and watching diners gobble both up without ever knowing they’d been in the same vat.

    “It doesn’t matter what you put in the fryer,” says Fletcher. “The oil never picks up the taste of what it’s cooking.”

    For a busy place like Hogz & Honeez, cottonseed oil’s longevity is another huge selling point. In this part of the world, Friday night fish fries are serious business.

    “It’s our busiest day of the week,” says Fletcher. He can’t afford stale oil halfway through a busy springtime service. Fortunately, he reckons that CSO lasts nearly twice as long as any alternatives. That translates to a smoother operation and huge cost savings.

    Next time you’re in Beaver Dam, stop by Hogz & Honeez. If you like what you taste, you can thank that versatile elixir known as cottonseed oil.

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  • CENTO – MICHAEL PRUETT
    Who said the Old World can't learn new tricks?  
  • With a head chef who recently earned a coveted spot on the Best Chefs in America list and a genre-bending menu that offers a modern take on traditional Italian cooking, Madison’s Cento is on the upswing. Located within walking distance of Wisconsin’s iconic Capitol dome and bustling State Street, this classy eatery caters to politicians, businessmen, students and everyone in between.

    While its success can’t be attributed to a single ingredient, it’s clear that chef Michael Pruett’s culinary vision has a versatile centerpiece: cottonseed oil (CSO). The oil’s neutral, crisp taste doesn’t impart a greasy mouthfeel or distinctive flavor to cooked food. That makes CSO a great choice for searing cooked-to-order meats—everything from juicy cuts of steak to tender pork loins—and vegetables like asparagus, broccoli and squash.

    Despite its high-end pedigree, Cento finds room on its menu and specials list for a signature Wisconsin staple: fried fish. When it comes time to drop cod, whitefish or walleye into the fryer, nothing less than pure CSO will do. It keeps the focus on the fresh flavor of the fish while imparting just a hint of buttery goodness.

    “It’s simple,” says Pruett. “We want our fried fish to taste like fish. Cottonseed oil respects the flavor without adding unpleasant greasiness.”

    When you dine at Cento, though, you don’t have to wait until the main course to see cottonseed oil in action. Pruett’s authentic Italian vinaigrette uses a hefty amount of the substance to balance out the aggressive flavor of pure olive oil. In the presence of fresh greens, his vinaigrette practically pops off the plate without obscuring the pleasantly bitter flavors that make Cento’s kale and mixed greens salads so memorable.

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  • Arctic Circle
    The golden oil enhances flavor of Yukon Gold fries  
  • Launching a new french fry in the trans-free era is no spec-tater sport. Just ask Arctic Circle.

    The West Coast fast-food icon known for quality Black Angus burgers and over-the-rim real-fruit shakes went all out on its quest for a trans-free cooking oil that would bring out the flavor of its new Yukon Gold fries.

    After 30 days and multiple rounds of frying in various cooking oils to compare taste, color and oil lifecycles, Arctic Circle opted for a new zero-trans cottonseed-sunflower oil blend, Frymax® Sun Classic™, developed by ACH Food Companies, Inc.

    The cottonseed oil blend prevailed in both flavor and fry life, said Kasey Christensen, purchasing director for the chain’s 83 locations in eight states.

    “Cottonseed oil is well known to enhance, not mask, the flavor of food, and it certainly proved true in our own taste tests,” he said. “The blend also demonstrated a whopping 40 percent increase in fry life.”

    Now that’s a tasty spud.

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  • Better Made
    Chips and snacks are better made with cottonseed oil  
  • Detroit may be best known for autos, but quite another manufacturer is helping drive the local economy: acclaimed potato chip maker Better Made.

    Churning out award-winning potato chips from its Motor City plant since 1930, Better Made Snack Food, Inc. has relied on the same simple ingredients “since day one.”

    “We use only the highest grade of local potatoes, pure trans-fat free cottonseed oil and top-of-the-line spices to produce our quality potato chips,” says Michael Schena, president of Better Made Snack Food, Inc.

    And it has clearly been a recipe for success. In 2008, Maxim magazine bestowed the honor of “Best Potato Chip” on the Better Made brand, and in 2007, Food Network star Rachael Ray selected the family-owned company’s Salt & Vinegar chips as “best in the country.”

    Chip are more than 40 percent oil, and therefore a critical ingredient impacting flavor, Schena explains.

    “In our market, cottonseed is the standard oil used for frying and therefore consumers are familiar with the taste,” or lack thereof, he notes. “The neutral flavor of cottonseed oil does not overwhelm the potato flavor, and in fact, it complements potatoes perfectly.”

    Added benefits of cottonseed oil are that it does not break down easily in the fryers and it offers good shelf life, typically up to 11 weeks, he notes.

    Helping chip makers get more mileage out of their oil, it’s no wonder cottonseed oil is a favorite!

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  • Brown’s Chicken & Pasta
    Taste rules the roost at Brown's  
  • Brown’s Chicken, a celebrated fried-chicken destination since the late forties, hasn’t gotten its feathers ruffled over trans fats. That’s because the Chicagoland family favorite has fried plump, USDA Grade A chickens in nothing but cholesterol-free, trans-fat-free cottonseed oil since day one when Brown’s started back on the farm in 1949.

    “Quite simply, our customers have told us, ‘It Tastes Better,’ and we believe them,” says Frank Portillo, chairman and co-founder of the Chicago-based restaurant chain with 45 Midwest locations. “For nearly 60 years, cottonseed oil has been a key ingredient in making our delicious fried chicken.

    “Our ingredients are shopped for quality and value that will be taste apparent with every bite,” he continues.

    Chicken is only the beginning. The chain’s batter-dipped fresh whole mushrooms and fluffy corn fritters have created a legion of followers. With its neutral flavor, cottonseed oil is the perfect medium for frying these items, Portillo notes.

    With Brown’s commitment to such quality ingredients, including cottonseed oil, it’s no wonder Chicago fried chicken fans have exclaimed the great taste of Brown’s for generations.

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  • Buca di Beppo
    Buca serves up big flavor in Italian favorites  
  • The spirit of Italian tradition reigns in a big way at Minneapolis-based Buca di Beppo™. With 91 locations nationwide, Buca di Beppo offers a unique atmosphere with unforgettable food. Boisterous conversation. Bold flavor. Big servings. Buca does nothing in a small way.
    So when the successful restaurant chain – celebrated for its epic portions of authentic Italian cuisine served “family-style” – began its quest for a trans-free cooking oil, it did so with Buca-branded bravado.

    “We pulled out all the stops, researching the available options, Hvis du er en high roller, har du helt sikkert noen kriterier for et nett casino . conducting fry tests and performing internal blind food testing,” said Carron Harris, vice president of food and beverage. “First and foremost, the oil had to maintain food quality for guests. Secondly, it had to perform equal to or better than its predecessor. We needed the oil to stand up to the heat, and last.”

    Buca chose ConAgra Wesson’s Smart Choice cottonseed canola blend.

    “The cottonseed canola oil blend not only resulted in excellent food quality,” said Harris, “it demonstrated flavor stability and a long fry life that rivaled our old oil.”

    Now, thanks to cottonseed oil, when guests pass the platter at the Buca family table, they can enjoy the same big flavor, sans the trans.

    Buon appetito!

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  • Café du Monde
    What does it take to be named Louisiana’s official state donut?  
  • What does it take to be named Louisiana’s official state donut? “An unconventional shape and an unforgettable flavor,” reveals Burt Benrud, Vice President of Café du Monde, famous around the world for its French-inspired coffee and donuts – better known as beignets. Café du Monde’s beignets have been fried in cottonseed oil, paired with piping café au lait and served up at the 24-hour French Market hotspot for nearly 150 years.

    Café du Monde’s fourth generation owners count on cottonseed oil to continue the legendary flavor of its beignets, created from an old family recipe. “Cottonseed oil is part of the original recipe,” says Benrud. “If you want to maintain consistent flavor from one generation to the next, you have to adhere to your original recipe.”

    Café du Monde knows it can count on cottonseed oil for another 150 years. “People have tried to sell us on other oils in the past, but it detracts from the original flavor of our beignets,” says Benrud. “They just never tasted as good.”

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  • Cork’s Old-Fashioned Donuts
    Cork’s debuts tasty trans-free donuts  
  • Nothing but the center is missing from Cork’s Old-Fashioned Donuts. Unless you count the trans fats that were removed in a recent reformulation that left the donuts tasting better than ever.

    “Since switching to a trans-free donut fry, our customers have been commenting on how much better our donuts taste,” exclaims Paul Fraser, proprietor and chief dough operator of Cork’s in Albany, Oregon.

    After trying several trans-free oils with somewhat soggy results, the 25-year-old establishment scored sweet success with a new cottonseed-soybean oil blend from ADM’s new NovaLipid™ Zero/Low Trans-Fat oil line.

    “Since trying this product, we’ve never looked back!”

    In addition to improved taste, Fraser says the donuts are less greasy. “The oil is light and the donuts don’t draw nearly as much shortening. We’re ordering 35 percent less oil.”

    The cottonseed oil blend also offers a longer fry life and helps employees maintain a more consistent product quality – something Fraser describes as a “big challenge” in the bakery business.

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  • The Gruene Onion Grill
    Located on the outskirts of historic Gruene, Texas, the Gruene Onion Grill makes delicious food with the best ingredients. With its ever-changing seafood menu and Southern favorites, this fine dining restaurant, complete with adjoining martini bar, serves up food that is fresh, local and trans fat-free. Cottonseed oil has been the frying oil of choice […]  
  • Located on the outskirts of historic Gruene, Texas, the Gruene Onion Grill makes delicious food with the best ingredients. With its ever-changing seafood menu and Southern favorites, this fine dining restaurant, complete with adjoining martini bar, serves up food that is fresh, local and trans fat-free. Cottonseed oil has been the frying oil of choice since the restaurant opened in 2004.

    “When I opened the restaurant, trans fat was becoming a buzz word,” said Executive Chef and Owner Richard Decker. “Cottonseed oil was the only choice in my mind to maintain the flavor of the food that I cook while still being trans-free.”
    As executive chef, it’s crucial to Decker that the true flavors of the food shine.
    “The Pecan Crusted Chicken is one of our more popular dishes,” he said. “Customers order it to taste the combination of flavors, rather than the oil it’s cooked in. Cottonseed oil is neutral and doesn’t impart any flavor, that’s important to me.”

    From hand-shaken martinis to artfully-prepared duck a l’orange, the food and beverages served at the Gruene Onion Grill are of the highest quality. In fact, all of the food served in the restaurant is made at the restaurant, including dressings and desserts.

    “We don’t buy pre-made products,” he said. “We use the best ingredients so that the food we make on site tastes great. Cottonseed oil isn’t the cheapest oil available but it’s worth the extra cost. It is trans fat-free, has a longer fry life and the food tastes like it should.”

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  • House of Tsang
    Ethnic foods wok the talk  
  • David Tsang, a native of Hong Kong, started out on a culinary adventure more than 15 years ago. An avid food lover himself, David wanted to introduce the great tastes of Asian cuisine to people around the globe. He built the HOUSE OF TSANG® product line on the ideals of clean, authentic flavors, easy and convenient products and his desire to show others how simple it is to create great tasting, nutritious Asian food at home.

    Cottonseed oil, a staple ingredient in Asian cuisine, is used with two online casino canada of the most popular items in the portfolio — Wok Oil™ and Mongolian Fire® seasoned oils. The oil, in addition to other natural flavors, adds a splash of Asian zest to any wok, stir-fried or marinade dish.

    “When it comes to ethnic cuisine, people are looking for authentic flavoring above everything else,” said Amber Theisen, product manager, HOUSE OF TSANG Brand. “Cottonseed oil is the perfect ingredient for these seasoned oils because it pulls out those natural, Asian flavors as well as delivers a convenient and quality product.”

    HOUSE OF TSANG® products include a full line of traditional sauces, seasoning oils and stir-fry sauces.

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  • Kosher Nation
    Don’t Passover cottonseed oil – it’s kosher!  
  • From Yankee Stadium in New York City to L.A.’s star-studded eateries, kosher food is sweeping the nation. The core kosher market is expanding beyond the observant Jewish population to the mainstream. That’s because Kosher is often equated with quality.

    Long deemed a kosher vegetable oil by the Jewish community, cottonseed oil is regarded as a choice ingredient for kosher restaurants and food manufacturers, and in major kosher markets such as New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, Atlanta and Denver.

    According to Rabbi Zushe Blech, author of Kosher Food Production and administrator of EarthKosher Kosher Certification Services, it is estimated that more than 40 percent of the retail foodstuffs sold nationally in the United States enjoys a kosher certification.

    Cottonseed oil contains no animal byproducts and originates from the cotton seed rather than one of the five grains that are forbidden during Passover (oats, wheat, barley, rye and spelt) making it not only suitable for Passover, but for everyday consumption of traditional, kosher favorites such as latke, shallow-fried potato pancakes.

    Menachem Lubinsky, president of Lubicom Marketing Consulting, and editor-in-chief of KosherToday.com, notes that kosher-certified products are becoming increasingly popular with the mainstream consumer. “Kosher represents quality and safety,” he says. “More than 11 million consumers buy kosher products in the United States, and that number is growing annually by 15 percent.”

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  • Leal’s Mexican Foods
    The golden chips with the golden oil  
  • If you pit stop anywhere between Route 66 and the Lone Star state, be sure to ask for directions to the nearest Leal’s Mexican Restaurant. Hailed around West Texas and New Mexico as “true Mexican food,” Leal’s is most famous for its festive salsa and perfect tortilla chips fried in cottonseed oil.

    “We’ve used cottonseed oil for years,” says Sergio, one of six grown children of founders Jesee and Irma Leal who, along with siblings and other relatives, now help carry on the family business. “The flavor of our chips is never compromised. The flavor is what has made them famous!”

    What started in Muleshoe, Texas, and spread like flames from a chili pepper, is now a successful family restaurant chain that prides itself on using only the best local ingredients. “As native Texans, it’s hard to ignore all that local agriculture has to offer,” says Sergio. “We live right here in the Cotton Belt so cottonseed oil is a natural, local choice.”

    And while most of the Leal family is busy serving customers in the six Leal’s Mexican Restaurants throughout the region, Sergio Leal tends to their celebrated tortilla chips fried in cottonseed oil and turned out in Leal’s West Texas factory. “We use cottonseed oil for the same reasons many people do: neutral flavor, long fry life, easy filtration and its affordable” says Sergio.

    And though many people may throw caution to the roadside when it comes to enjoying ethnic foods, Leal’s takes healthy eating to heart. “Cottonseed oil is trans fat free and that’s a very big deal,” says Sergio. “We even print it right on the bag!”

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  • Riversmith’s Catfish and Chicken
    Riversmith’s catches on to cottonseed oil  
  • In 1976, Bob Corcorran opened a small restaurant to supplement his flooring career in Lubbock, Texas.

    Lucky for us, Bob was better at cooking than flooring and so began the culinary adventure known today as Riversmith’s Catfish and Chicken. Bob quickly expanded to keep up with demand for Riversmith’s southern Cajun favorites.

    In 2006, Riversmith’s decided the time was right to select a trans-free cooking oil. The winner: PLAINSMAN, a 100% pure cottonseed oil brand produced by PYCO Industries, located right down the road from the restaurant in the heart of cotton country.

    “Our catfish has never tasted or looked better,” says Alex Garza, general manager of the local hotspot. “Switching to 100% cottonseed oil has been a good move for us. We see the results every day in flavor and consistency. The catfish has a golden brown texture, and it looks and tastes the same at all times of the day, every day. Not only do we see better quality, we get more life out of the oil.

    “Plus, we’re proud to support local cotton growers.”

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  • Safeco Field
    Concessionaire hits homerun with trans-free eats  
  • Concessionaire giant Centerplate hit it out of the ballpark with their choice of a new trans-free cooking oil at Seattle’s Safeco Field.

    The Mariners’ long-time foodservice provider recently announced that 80 percent of the food sold at the ballpark would contain zero trans fat. A new trans-free cottonseed oil blend played a key role in that move.

    With Centerplate now rolling out cottonseed oil at major and minor league sports facilities, convention centers and entertainment venues nationwide, hungry fans can feel a little less guilty noshing down on their chicken fingers and fries, prepared in a more healthful oil.

    As for flavor? Says a spokesperson for Centerplate, “With the cottonseed oil blend, it’s been a tape-measure blast!”

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  • Saratoga Specialties Company
    The potato chip began as an ornery trick, but was an instant hit. Back in 1853, George Crum, credited with the invention of the potato chip, thinly sliced a potato, fried it in cottonseed oil and salted it after a customer complained that his fried potatoes were too thick. From that point on, “Saratoga Chips”, […]  
  • The potato chip began as an ornery trick, but was an instant hit. Back in 1853, George Crum, credited with the invention of the potato chip, thinly sliced a potato, fried it in cottonseed oil and salted it after a customer complained that his fried potatoes were too thick. From that point on, “Saratoga Chips”, now known simply as potato chips, were born.

    In January 2009, two Saratoga Springs, NY locals decided to bring the original chip back. Dan Jameson and Paul Tator reintroduced the Moon Brand Original Saratoga Chips, complete with a replica of the original 1853 Moon’s Lake House “Take-out Box” packaging and made with the three original ingredients: Yukon Gold potatoes, cottonseed oil and sea salt.

    “In bringing back the original Saratoga Chips, it was important to stick with the original recipe,” said Jameson, president of Saratoga Specialties Company. “Cottonseed oil is a key component to the taste and texture of the chip. Our chips taste fresh, have a nice crunch and don’t feel greasy –people love them. We are often told that you can really taste the potato.”

    Whether it’s the nostalgic packaging, or the taste of the chips, consumers can’t get enough. The Saratoga Chips have only been available a few months and expansion plans are already in the works.

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  • UTZ Potato Chips
    Utz Snacks delivers crunchy freshness  
  • It all started with Bill and Salie Utz’s pursuit for a fresher potato chip. After nearly a century, and millions of bags of chips, the popular Northeast snack food brand still delivers a satisfying crunch with every bite. Thanks to cottonseed oil.

    Lauded by Food & Wine magazine and Food Network star Rachael Ray, Utz chips have been cooked in America’s original vegetable oil since 1921.

    “We don’t mess with a good thing,” says Mike Rice, chairman, CEO and third-generation owner of Utz Quality Foods, Inc, Hanover, Pa.

    “No other oil pairs with potatoes quite like cottonseed oil,” he says. “It’s truly the gold standard in our industry. Our original chip formula – fresh whole potatoes, sliced and cooked in 100% pure, non-hydrogenated cottonseed – will never change.”

    Next time you reach for an Utz potato chip (there are 16 delicious varieties!), rest assured you’re biting into an all-American classic.

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