View Full Version : Camelia oil = tea oil cooking oil?

02-20-2012, 12:46 PM
I'm overseas at the moment - and still have a few more days over here - and I've seen a few ads for some local brand of "hot camelia oil". I can't read the Chinese text that goes along with it, so I have no idea what specific product is being promoted.

Wikipedia notes that: "Tea oil is a sweet seasoning and cooking oil made by pressing the seeds of the Oil-seed Camellia (C. oleifera), the Japanese Camellia (C. japonica), and to a lesser extent other species such as Crapnell's Camellia (C. crapnelliana), C. reticulata, C. sasanqua and C. sinensis. Relatively little-known outside East Asia, it is the most important cooking oil for hundreds of millions of people, particularly in southern China."

Now I'm guessing that ad is for cooking oil.

Is the camelia oil that is traditionally used to protect blades in storage the same as the tea oil cooking oil?

02-20-2012, 01:37 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_seed_oil this should clear it up..i would not use the knife oil to cook as i believe there is some mineral spirits or other non edible oils added to it. while i was looking online i noted many products proclaiming the health and beauty benefits of it ..

02-20-2012, 04:35 PM
Len, what are you bringing me? ;)

02-22-2012, 10:00 PM
I've just gone from a cold & wet place for the past 2 weeks - where above-freezing temperatures make you both hot and cold at the same time (and that's how I caught a bug that gave me a fever) - back up north to a place just cold & dry like the Canadian environment I'm used to and now feel *much* more comfy with :) I'll gladly trade lack of growing greenery for a much more comfortable environment.

What am I bringing ya? Hopefully not some new strain of cold virus ;)

I actually haven't gotten anything knife- or cooking-related here in China. It's just not a big thing here. Every home kitchen I've visited has been super tiny and super bare-bones. A well-seasoned & well-used wok, a spatula for the wok, a small pot or two, a dull cleaver and some bowls & chopsticks and that's it.

Knife-wise, if it looks like a cleaver, it'll do. Amazing how dull every knife I've picked up has been. Then again, if I went around visiting homes in North America I'd probably say the same thing about the chef knives and santokus ;)

02-23-2012, 11:43 PM
The most common and cheap (like $1) grinding stone available is a moderately crappy coarse stone in china. Not surprising that many people don't keep wickedly sharp edges on their cleavers. But visit the food stalls and you should be pleasantly pleased at the way they get on with it.

From what I tried to figure out, the only camelia oil available is called "tea tree oil" and is used for cooking. It is slightly different to the camelia oil in japan, which is c.japonica, but I've used it on knives before I could get the japan version and it seemed to do the job. I have since switched over though to japonica.

02-24-2012, 10:48 PM
What differences do you find between the c. japonica oil that you now use and the tea tree oil (c. ?) that you used previously?