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Oil Infusion, a History

by Bethaney Wallace on Jul 12, 2012

The use of oil on any number of methods dates back centuries; oils have been used to help cure ailments, to flavor and cook foods, curing meats, and more. Whether used by chefs, monks, homemakers, or doctors, the substance has been on the short list of home supplies, perhaps since its invention. With only a few drops, oils were on their way to helping solve issues of all kinds. Now as manufacturing, packaging, and shipping abilities have greatly increased, those uses have only continued to rise and expand.

Later on, as oils’ reputation as a cure-all was further shared, the substance began showing up in alternative and more sophisticated forms. It was flavored, scented, and given even a heftier load of uses. Just by slightly changing oils’ makeup, people learned that dishes could be more flavorful, could smell much better, and could taste great – all with the help of oil infusion.

In the Beginning

Unlike today, home kitchens didn’t have access to multiple herbs and spices. Only a few ingredients were kept on hand, and oftentimes they were expensive or hard to come by. To remedy bland-tasting meals, people would practice infusion methods to add layers of flavor through their cooking oil. Herbs were collected or purchased, and then mixed with oils to allow for tastier dishes year round (so long as said flavored oil would last), not only when access to herbs was available.

How it Works

There are several ways to infuse oils, either with flavor or scent. One such method requires the oil (vinegar, or other liquid) to be heated to a boil and then mixed with herbs, botanicals, flowers, or other herbs and spices. The heat in the oil then absorbs the tastes and scents, and is generally left to sit for a few hours. Next the oil is strained of its infusing agents and bottled for future use.

While this method is quite effective, it’s also both time consuming and laborious. No one wants to deal with hot oil, especially considering there are much easier options available.

Another method to infuse oils is done with a mixing container, such as Zing Anything’s Salad Zinger. This type of product allows the oil to come in contact with fresh ingredients as they are being chopped (with the grind cup), so they can readily absorb juices, aromas, and flavors. The Salad Zinger also keeps these ingredients separated, which is the essence of true infused oils.

Of course, above all, infusing oils is delicious! Use your Salad Zinger to make tasty, healthy salad dressings and marinates to add with any meal. Just choose ingredients, add oil, vinegar and Zing them up! Enjoy your dishes now with an array of new flavors.

To start Zinging today, check out the products tab above.