There are around 800 different Olive Cultivars in Italy alone, many of which are used for Olive Oil. Similarly to grape varieties in wine, the Olive cultivar influences the flavour profile of your oil.  Different cultivars, depending on size of fruit, thickness of the skin, composition of the pulp can produce different yields, varying concentrations of anti-oxidants and overall different quality levels.



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)

Citrus polenta cake with pistachio

This delicious cake is the perfect weekend treat and keeps well over a number of days

• 200ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil – we use Il Classico from Frantoio De Carlo in Puglia
• 200g unrefined golden sugar
• 200g ground almonds (or you can do 100g plain flour and 100g ground almonds if you want it to be slightly lighter)
• 1 tsp good vanilla extract
• 4 eggs
• Zest and juice of 2 lemons
• 140g polenta
• 2 tsp baking powder
• A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Rub a small loaf tin with olive oil and then line with baking parchment.
Beat the olive oil and sugar together using an electric mixer until pale and light.
Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the lemon zest and juice, the polenta, baking powder and salt.
Spoon into the prepared tin. Bake for 45–50 minutes or until the cake is set and deep brown on top. Cool in the tin.
Glaze with 100ml lemon juice mixed with icing sugar and then sprinkle with crushed pistachio nuts.

Olive Oil Brownies

What we’re all looking for in a brownie is a crisp edge and a soft, chewy centre. Using a mild Extra Virgin Olive oil really does the trick. Give it a try.READ MORE

Olive Oil Banana Bread

Banana bread is always better made with olive oil because it helps it to retain the moisture. Store under a glass lid and it keeps for a few days. It works well toasted for breakfast and served with crème fraiche or natural yoghurt. READ MORE

The Olive Oil Carrot Cake with a slice taken out of it.

The Olive Oil Carrot Cake

This recipe was shared with me by a great friend (the best way to receive recipes!) just a few weeks ago and we’ve already made it twice!READ MORE

Olive Oil Garden Cakes

We discovered these cakes not that long ago but haven’t looked back. They are great because they’re not too sweet and are scented with just a hint of raw organic honey. The recipe is inspired by Teresa Cutter and in its original version can be found in her book Healthy Baking.