The choices for consumers in the marketplace today are astoundingly vast. Yet the rich variety of products available also entails variable quality. And when it comes to quality, there is no more important area than our food, where we should apply investing in the best, most wholesome and pure products. It is valuable today to pay attention to not only what we eat, but to the quality of our food, as well as who we choose to support with our resources. In this review, I will share with you about Maison Orphée, a company that excels in providing high quality oils and condiments.
About Maison Orphée
Maison Orphée is a family-owned company that is based in Quebec, Canada. For over 30 years, the company has been in the edible oil business, and is today considered a Canadian leader for providing high-quality, unrefined cold-pressed oils, as well as some condiments. To learn about the company and its products, visit the Maison Orphée website.
My first experience with Maison Orphée goes back several years now, to about 2010, when coconut oil was a relatively new staple in my diet. Maison Orphée’s organic, virgin coconut oil caught my eye at a new health food store, and upon further exploration I really liked what I learned. It was important for me to have a high-quality product that was also reasonably priced, and it was nice to support a local and family-owned company. I was also attracted to the overall look and feel of the company and its products, which came across as very classy and sophisticated. It seemed evident that this was no typical, corporately driven company, but one that took great care and pride in what they did and how they did it. Some time later I discovered and began to incorporate their organic extra virgin olive oil, and then their line of condiments into my meals. Several of their products have become some of my trusted favorites to date.
Maison Orphée Oils
Maison Orphée offers three distinct lines of oils: Classic, Organic, and Gourmet. The classic line focuses on several types of non-organic olive oil, as well as sesame and grapeseed oils. The organic line includes olive oil, coconut oil, as well as canola, sesame, and sunflower oils. The gourmet line has a selection of both organic and non-organic oils of various types and flavors, including olive oils, sesame, hazelnut, and walnut.
While the inclusion of oil in our diets today is a tricky subject and one that should be treated with utmost responsibility, it is good to know that this company does provide high quality choices for those who choose to consume some oils. Most of their oils are unrefined, which is highly desirable, and the company focuses on high quality extraction using the first cold-pressed method. Additionally, the oils are all packaged in glass, and dark glass at that for all of the liquid, unsaturated oils.
Out of all the oils that this company provides, I am personally most drawn to the organic extra virgin olive oil and organic virgin coconut oil for both personal use and for professional recommendations. These two oils have the most valid research behind them showing their various benefits for our health, weight, and longevity. They are also the least problematic when it comes to inflammation and other health concerns associated with unsaturated oils. However, for those odd times when we may wish to add some new tones of flavors to our meals, the gourmet line offers exciting variety for our palettes, and I personally found the hazelnut oil to be a delicious delight!
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Maison Orphée offers a selection of various olive oils that will, no doubt, be a real treat for the expert olive oil connoisseur. From delicate and fruity, to peppery and bitter, the flavors offer variety to suit all preferences.
Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of trying a few of their olive oils and enjoyed each one quite equally. I do not consider myself an olive oil connoisseur and generally find that the unique types of olive oils are most obvious with respect to their differences when tried on their own. Upon trying the Delicate olive oil, the Fruity Robust Italy olive oil, and the Peppery Spain olive oil, I noticed their subtle differences in terms of flavor and pepperiness (the natural throat burning that is usually associated with high quality olive oil). When mixed into a meal though, like my various whole-meal salads, I do not find their unique characteristics to be noticeable.
Therefore, personally I do not pick my olive oil based on its unique type, but rather based on its quality. I want my olive oil to be organic, extra-virgin, and pure, and extracted in the least nutritionally destructive way. From this perspective, I like what Maison Orphée offers and enjoy not only using their organic olive oils, but also recommending them to others. Just remember that if you choose to use any olive oil, it is most optimal to consume it raw, such as in salads or adding to your meal after it has finished cooking.
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Within the organic oil collection, Maison Orphée offers both a virgin coconut oil and refined coconut oil. Although their refined oil appears to be processed in a high quality way, without the use of any chemicals, I still only recommend the virgin coconut oil. Our food should be as wholesome and pure as possible, so if given the choice it is always best to pick the least processed option. Plus, the virgin coconut oil is also fair trade certified.
Either way, this oil is an excellent choice for any cooking that we would like to do. Saturated fats are heat stable and do not pose the same heath risks that heated unsaturated fats do, and as we also know today can be very healthful options, depending on their source. Of course it is always wise to stay within healthy parameters for optimal health and not subject our food to extreme heat or extremely prolonged heat. You can learn more about the health benefits of coconuts here, in a previous essay that I wrote.
Maison Orphée Condiments
Within the condiment line, the company offers mustards, vinegars, and salts.
The mustards from Maison Orphée are truly outstanding and amongst my top recommendations for those who enjoy mustard. There are three varieties to choose from: yellow mustard, dijon mustard, and old-fashioned mustard. Each one is exceptional, depending of course on what our personal preference may be. They are made with completely wholesome and pure ingredients that are organic and locally sourced. There are no additives, like sugars or colors, and no preservatives. They come in glass jars and are a pleasure to use and recommend. To top it off, the mustard plant and wholesome foods made from it offer excellent health benefits for all areas of our health.
Maison Orphée offers a selection of various vinegars, including balsamic vinegars, apple cider vinegar, and wine vinegars. The vinegars are certified organic and/or non-GMO verified. The health benefits of the right, high quality vinegars are widely known. Natural vinegars contain antioxidants and polyphenols (phytonutrients), which offer many health benefits for healing, prevention, and longevity. They can also help regulate blood sugar, boost immunity, optimize digestion and intestinal microflora, as well as aid weight loss. Natural vinegars, whether alone or in combination with a high quality olive oil (as mentioned above), are a superior addition to our meals, especially salads, compared to conventional salad dressings and condiments. By using vinegar alone on our salads or similar meals, we increase many health benefits, while removing destructive substances, like sugars, preservatives, and GMOs that are always associated with processed condiments, as well as the unnecessary caloric load of dressings and oils.
My top pick and recommendation from Maison Orphée is their dark Balsamic Vinegar. It is unpasteurized, comes from organic grapes, is double fermented, and aged for 3 years. It has no additives or preservatives and has a beautiful flavor. However, any of the vinegars offered can be good, suitable choices to bring an array of flavorful tones to our meals and valuable health benefits. So if we are going to use any vinegars, it is essential that we choose high quality, natural and pure options, and do not settle for highly refined or processed versions that introduce more problems than benefits.
Maison Orphée offers a selection of high quality, unrefined sea salts. There are coarse and fine sea salts, as well as plain and naturally herbed sea salts. The salts come from salt marshes off of the Atlantic coast of France and are hand-harvested.
Just like with all of our food options, a high quality, unrefined salt is essential for optimal health. Refined salts are stripped of their natural minerals and benefits, while they can introduce additives, like anti-caking agents and chemical residues from the refining process. Unrefined sea salt contains trace minerals, is alkalizing, and has a beneficial effect on our body (in responsible quantities) for maintaining the vital sodium-potassium balance, amongst other things.
My top pick and recommendation from the salt collection is the grey sea salt (fine or coarse). This option allows us to be diligent with our salt use, and add various herbs and spices as most appropriate to our meals.
Maison Orphée Cost & Availability
Availability: Being that Maison Orphée is a Canadian company, their products are most easily found in Canada, especially in Quebec and Ontario. You can find their products at major health food stores, as well as grocery stores. Check the point of sale for a location near you. You can also find their products online from the company directly.
Cost: Maison Orphée products are competitively priced for the type and quality of the products that are offered. A good organic virgin coconut oil will typically cost in the $10-$15 range for a roughly 440ml/16oz quantity. A good organic extra virgin olive oil will also typically cost in the range of $10-$15 for a roughly 500ml/17oz quantity. The vinegars, mustards, and sea salts are extremely well priced for the high quality provided.
For more information, enjoy the video below, which features a further overview of this company and its products: