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)

Alternative uses for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive Oil has been used for over 8,000 years in many different ways.  The Ancient Greeks discovered its use as fuel, skin lotion, as a contraceptive, detergent, preservative, pesticide, perfume, adornment, a cure for heart ailments, to relieve stomachaches and against hair loss, flatulence and excessive perspiration, ah yes and of course, as a food. 

 

I recently came across a copy of ‘The Passionate Olive: 101 Things to do with Olive Oil’ by Carol Firenze and her suggestions for contemporary uses of extra virgin olive oil include shaving with it, polishing furniture, moisturizing your hands, loosening a stuck zip, protecting your frying pans, shining your pet’s coat, insect repellent, relieving muscle cramps, reducing the effects of alcohol (apparently 2 teaspoons taken before drinking prevents the alcohol from entering your blood stream so quickly).  I’ve got to tell you that I still have to try most of the above…

 

In our house, we only have (imho) the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil at our disposition and I say with confidence that its primary use is as an ingredient for food.  During the summer months we use it generously for salads and raw food where it meets the ripe fruit and vegetables, grains and pulses contributing to their detoxifying properties as well as enhancing the flavours.  We also use it to preserve the best of the seasonal vegetables that we enjoy over the winter months. Outside the kitchen, I occasionally use it as a moisturizer if skin is particularly dry or as an aftersun (also for the hair), as an anti-inflammatory, to remove the spines of sea urchins (they have a horrible fishing-hook-like barb that is really hard to extract without the help of the oil) or splinters, and thanks to Pliny, against seasickness where it is particularly effective if combined with raw ginger.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a completely natural, freshly pressed juice, so you can use it with confidence for all members of the family.