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.



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.



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.


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 Spring Soup

There is a very short period in the spring where all the quintessential vegetables of the season can be found in full flavour: fresh peas, braodbeans and artichokes overlap for a very precious few weeks, usually in April.  This would call for vignarola (you can find the recipe here), the roman spring vegetable stew, but we found in Gill Meller’s wonderful cookbook Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower an even more uplifting alternative, a simple soup of spring vegetables garnished with flowers.  The flavours of the spring elevate this simple fare to an incredibly delicious starter.

Since the book has only been published in 2020, we’d rather not publish the whole recipe – buy the book! – but for us the process was as follows:


Cut fennel and potatoes in small cubes and gently fry in olive oil, until soft. Add vegetable stock and bring to a slow simmer. Eventually add broadbeans, peas, courgette, as well as a few pea pods, and after two minutes add a few salad leaves and  some cut fresh herbs (mint, chives, fennel tops etc), a squeeze of lemon. Cook for a minutes more and serve. We added a few rosemary and wild garlic flowers to garnish and a drizzle of Pennita’s Selezione Alina, which added another amazing layer of flavour.