LOCATION AND CLIMATE

 

As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.

OLIVE MATURITY

 

Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN GROVE AND MILL

 

People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.

FRANTOIO DI RIVA BOX

This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

A lunch, a dinner and a lunch in Naples

24 hours is no way to treat a city of such vibrancy and cacophony that is Naples. But if you are short of time and you have to chose just one or two things to do, eating is always top of our list. And Naples is dream for the gastro-tourist!

First a word of warning: Naples is not an introvert city. It’s loud – extremely loud at times. It’s fast – coffee machines are quick, coffee cups clatter rapidly on the counter, vespas carry people and goods at speed, vendors make haste in yelling their wares, kids agile as they dribble a ball through the passing traffic to score a goal against an old door with an imposing cross on it. It’s fragrant – the orange blossom and the sea giving respite from the thousands of cars speeding everywhere. And changing, as the bubble tea shops, and poke vendors find space amongst the traditional sfogliatelle and giarre coming out of the bar. And delicious: so many things to taste, so many dishes and delicacies…

Given the task ahead, planning is necessary: we planned where to eat and sleep in consideration of discovering as much as possibile, spend some time looking out at the sea, and feel the flow of the city – our three meals were in the upmarket and sea facing Chiaia neighbourhood. Our first lunch was at the Pescheria Mattiucci – a fishmonger turned cosy restaurant, where Crudo di Mare – raw seafood takes centre stage. Their limited selection of cooked dishes, included the traditional Neapolitan dish Moscardini alla Luciana, which was sensational and pure joy. This little, loud, vibrant gem is unmissable.

Dinner had to be pizza. We chose 50 Kalò,  because they had won the best olive oil pizzeria in Italy, as well as being considered the 2nd best overall in Italy – and fourth in the world!. And it really is one of the best pizzas ever. Flavoursome and light at the same time, just total pizza perfection. And amazing use of different olive oils, to push in a whole extra layer of flavour.

After much coffee and sfogliatelle to regain balance, the final lunch had to be of a different pace, so we went to the Slow Food endorsed Friggitoria Osteria Mediterranea. A traditional seafood restaurant, with an incredible selection of deep-fried delicacies.

Our appetite satiated, we left wanting more time in the pulsating melody of this city.