Declared "liquid gold" by chefs and winner of the Good Food Award, this iconic Lowcountry cooking oil is a flavorful and aromatic ancestor of sesame oil. This artisanal finishing oil is perfect on salads, greens, soups and vegetables.
Benne seed was brought to the US from Africa in the 1700s and grown by slaves. The use of benne oil in kitchens throughout the South led to it being adopted as a regional favorite at the time. After nearly 9 decades, benne oil was replaced with the cheaper refined cottonseed oil. Heirloom benne was revived from near extinction by the Carolina Gold Rice foundation in 2009. Southern chefs have sung its praises since then, but benne oil was not widely available to home cooks until 5 years ago, when Oliver Farm brought this deeply cultural oil to the public. Clay Oliver produces the oil from organic landrace seeds he gets from Anson Mills. Benne oil has a deep, complex flavor and is a perfect finishing oil.