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Rapeseed sounds so wrong. Which is probably why, in America, the product it provides us with is most often referred to as Canola. Canola is only one kind of rapeseed, however, and the name is made up. Canola was developed in Canada and its name is a contraction of "Canadian oil, low acid." Rapeseed is the third most important source of vegetable oil in the world, after soybean and palm oil. During the past twenty years, it has passed peanut, cottonseed, and most recently, sunflower, in worldwide production. But it's used in lots of other products, many of them non-food-based.


The name, rapeseed, comes through Middle English from the Latin rapa, rapum, meaning turnip. There are 2 rapeseed species, Brassica napus and Brassica Rapa. Brassica napus is also called Swedish Rape, which I would file under "bizarre" if not for the fact that rutabagas are often referred to as swedes, and since a rutabaga is a kind of turnip, it's all starting to make a weird, ouroboros kind of psycho sense.

Since it appears that the rape plant is mainly cultivated for its seeds, one wonders (if one is me) just what they DO with all those turnips and rutabagas. Especially when you consider that something like 33 MILLION TONS of rapeseed was produced worldwide in 2002. Apparently, nothing, or at least nothing that I could find while researching. Rapeseed is related to cabbage and broccoli, and the mustard plants as well.

Rapeseed, when it's in flower, smells mightily. It smells oily and heavy, and fills your nostrils to the exclusion of all else. But, like it's doing now all over Skåne...when it's waist-high and flowering, a glowing, golden carpet of the most neon-bright yellow as far as the eye can see, who cares?


Cracking Me Up: Mea Culpa

Also Cracking Me Up: Innovative Products

(photos found via Google Image search)
mood: lethargic
music: Joan Osborne—St. Teresa


Now I'm a little home sick & this has triggerd some of my fondist memories of growing up on the Prairies. That's why, I love Skåne so much :) to me it's a taste of home.

What was that joke? The Swedish Pilot who says to another(english speaking pilot) "As you see, we are now flying over Swedish rape fields"

I have the same appreciation of the rapeseed. The fields around our village and on the way to work are blossoming into the neon yellow that just makes you smile. It's so cool! :) However that scent can be a touch overbearing at times.

a touch?! I find it ODORIFOROUS!


stunning photos Liz! But they make me yearn for Calgary 9where we mooved from not quite four years ago) Though southern Ontario indeed has some stunning scenery, you don't see many canola. Outside of Calgary, however, sometimes that's all you would see. Endless fields of sunshine yellow canola, a stripe of the Rockies, and the great, yawning blue, blue skies. Sigh.

xo Wee

oh! I should have put somewhere that I didn't take the photos, I found them on Google Image search. :) I'll edit my entry.


I here you :) All those years of traveling from Edmonton down through southern Alberta to Banff.

Oh, those pictures make me homesick! There's a fair amount of rapeseed grown on the Idaho prairies where I grew up (and I didn't even know there was another name for it before I went to college!). It's just gorgeous ...

Wow...thanks for this. I am reading my first Manekill mystery and rape figures heavily in it. Now I have a mental picture!

It's as though sunshine grew on the vine, and this were harvest-time. What a cheery vista! ;-)

Fred and I are both laughing ourselves silly over the Swiss Army Cellphone (although Fred says it would be even better with a rearview mirror). *g*

oh I like that: "sunshine on the vine!" :) As for that cellphone, I guess the last thing you need to worry about with it is radiating your skull! haha!

It's beautiful. Still in all,I'm glad it's called Canola.

Just came over to see these gorgeous pictures in their context on your site, Liz, and this place looks great. Right on, girl. So nice, and the rapeseed pix are super on here. I had been calling it mustard for years, until I did the touristic France in 2003, and we ended up actually looking the French word up. Rapeseed? I remember saying. Huh? What the heck is THAT?

We called them mustard fields for years too.

:) I didn't take these photos, but they were SO beautiful I had to share. It's exactly what it looks like round these here parts right now. I remember being mightily amused when I first heard the name, too. I thought for sure that I had heard it wrong! :D


Gorgeous photos (even if you didn't take them). :) There are few blogs that can match your always-descriptive prose about the landscape in your environment. Time and time again, I find myself thinking that you need to be doing some travel writing... ~Marilyn

Now, if I could only find the time/money/motivation/priority to do it! :D

*sitting with rapt (not rape) attention*

I LOVED this!!!! I was goonna do a similar post on flax but my flax book is buried in storage-- *sigh* one day I will-- in the meantime this was SO COOL!!! I think in my next life I'm going to study plants and fields and medicinal herbs . . . . . ~bluepoppy

Re: *sitting with rapt (not rape) attention*

Oh, I hope you WILL do it sometime!! I would love to read/see it! I love learning about plants and flowers and trees, especially trees.


Canola!? Thank you! I have been wondering what rapsolja oil is in English for ages! My Swedish-English dictionary is British and apparently it's called rapeseed oil over there.

Now I'm in the mood for a drive through Österlen.



this is amazing! i have visited your blog a couple of times before. I scratched around as I usually do not have a lot of time to read so many blogs. but i love they way you write. it is a refreshing break from the daily seriousness. and i hope to one day mail you an art page for your book

Re: rapeseed

Thanks very much for the nice comment. :) I've been traveling and had very little (read: none) computer access so couldn't respond until now.

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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