As with most things great in the specialty food business, the story of Yandilla Mustard Seed Oil starts out with a family. Through a series of adventures, Kaye—a native of Australia—wound up in Nepal, where she met and married Micky Weatherall—an English expat whose family had lived there for years. They married and raised a family in Nepal.
Upon retirement in 1981, they returned to Australia and bought a small property in the town of Yandilla near Wallendbeen, NSW—an area that was just starting to commercialize canola crops. Micky, raised in Nepal, craved the spicy mustard seed oil of his childhood, but Australian health agencies categorized the existing mustard seed oil as “not fit for human consumption” (due to the presence of high levels of erucic acid).
Micky looked around and decided that Yandilla might be a pretty good area for farmers to grow mustard seed specific to oil. He took his idea to CSIRO (the Commonwealth equivalent of the USDA). They agreed and he started a seed breeding project.
One of Yandilla's mustard fields (photo courtesy of Yandilla Mustard Oil Enterprise)
Within three years—using the simplest of Mendel plant crossbreeding techniques (no GMO cat whiskers in this seed!)—he had developed a food grade, low erucic acid, spicy mustard seed. Local farmers were enlisted to grow this proprietary seed, and a new artisanal industry was born: Yandilla Mustard Oil Enterprise, located in Wallendbeen, New South Wales, Australia.
Kaye Weatherall and her grandson (photo courtesy of Yandilla Mustard Oil Enterprise)
Sadly, Micky left us years ago, but Kaye is still at the helm of the production at Yandilla and has now integrated a tea room onto their property. Vivian, her son—who lives in Sydney—helps with marketing and sales.
Yandilla Mustard Seed Oil is a fantastic, literally one-of-a-kind ingredient that adds both mustard and wasabi flavors to any dish in which it is used.