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)

REPLENISHING YOUR GLUTATHIONE

Did you know that taking paracetamol depletes your reserves of glutathione?

There is a great deal of research out there showing that glutathione is vital for optimizing cellular function and maintaining overall health.  It can reduce the build-up of free radicals (which play a role in many health conditions) as well as reducing oxidative stress (where free radicals and antioxidants are out of balance in the body).

From what we know, oxidative stress opens us up to the possibility of all sorts of diseases and therefore we want to ensure our glutathione levels are not dipping.

 

There are a number of ways to increase your glutathione levels ranging from supplements to iv therapy, but there is also a natural way to do this: to incorporate a master antioxidant into your diet.

 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a master antioxidant. Natural, freshly pressed, no preservatives or additives.  So if you’ve had to take paracetamol to fight off a bug recently, slice up some bread and make yourself a bruschetta!

36 POLYPHENOLS IN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

There are 36 known polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil belonging to different classes based on their molecular weights and structures. This level of science is researched extensively and if you wanted to dive deeper see some references below*.

 

These compounds, some of which we flag up as individual polyphenols from time to time, not only have nutritional benefits, but also impact the sensory quality and shelf-life of the oil.

Although it is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed directly in its raw state, extra virgin olive oil is influenced significantly by factors such as its terroir (the soil type, the altitude at which it is planted, the proximity to large water masses, the climate, the cultivar) and also the agricultural practices. Not all Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the same – and as you come on this journey with us, you will get to know more about that.

 

Two of the most significant factors determining polyphenol levels are the cultivar itself and the olive maturity at the point of harvest.  When an olive matures, a number of changes occur in the fruit including several metabolic processes which alter the compounds and in turn impact the aroma and taste, the oxidative stability and the nutritional value of the resulting olive oil.

 

This is why we always talk to you about provenance. You need to know who has made your oil and how, what it’s made from, where it comes from. These things make a difference and it’s why we do what we do.  Every time we select an extra virgin olive oil, we have considered each of these factors.

 

*Cicerale et al., 2010. Jolayemi et al., 2016. Condelli et al., 2015. Victor R. Preedy et al., 2020.

 

Iperico Oil

Olio all’Iperico

Iperico, or St. John’s wort is an indigenous plant here in Tuscany, but it has spread to every part of the world. Its name derives from the family to which it belongs, the Hypericaceae, and it grows from sea level up to 1600 metres.

It can flower from April to August/September, depending on latitude and altitude, but traditionally it is harvested at the summer solstice, June 21st, or around the festival of San Giovanni, June 23.

 

On this magical night, the dew, the so-called guazza di San Giovanni, imparts particular powers to the flowers. But in truth, that will make your oil go rancid, water is in fact the enemy of oil and its conservation over time, which is why collecting dry flowers for the preparation of your oleolite is definitely favourable. The best time is mid-morning, when the sun has already dried the night’s humidity but the flowers have not yet baked under the midday sun. It’s also fine to harvest when it’s warmer, but certainly not at night or at dawn, when the plant is humid.

 

To make the oleolite, the simplest thing is to cut the flowering tops with your fingers or scissors, selecting the most beautiful ones taking care to leave the closed buds on the plant, so that they continue to flower for the benefit of pollinators and the plant’s offspring.

 

Harvest the flowers directly in to the jar in order to regulate the quantity (you should fill the jar to about ¾ of its capacity) and then cover the flowers with Olive Oil. In an ideal world, you should then expose the jar to direct sunlight for about a month. After a few days, you will see the oil turn an intense ruby red, which is quite breathtaking.

 

During the phase of maceration, it’s a good idea to stir the flowers every other day if you can to guarantee the best results. And then after this period, set up a filter with a fine sieve and a gauze cloth – you’re looking to obtain a perfectly clear oil with no residue.

 

Olio dell’Iperico can be used for multiple curative purposes. We’ve only ever used it for external cures such as for cuts, mosquito bites, anti-inflammatory, antisceptic, muscle pain etc. but of course it has many additional magical properties.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the Antioxidant

Antioxidants play an essential role in maintaining our health by nеutralizing harmful oxygеn frее radicals, which arе by-products of thе natural oxidation processes occurring in our cеlls. Thеsе frее radicals, if not nеutralizеd, can causе oxidativе strеss and damagе to cеlls and DNA, potеntially lеading to various sеrious hеalth conditions such as cancеr, cardiovascular disеasе, diabеtеs, ostеoporosis, Alzhеimеr’s disеasе, and morе.

 

Polyphеnols, a type of antioxidant found in plants, arе of significant interest due to their antioxidant propеrtiеs and their potential to prеvеnt various disеasеs. One group of polyphеnols that’s particularly notеworthy is found in olivе oil. Extra virgin olivе oil, which is rich in monounsaturatеd fats and polyphеnols, is a kеy componеnt in many diеts, еspеcially thе Mеditеrranеan Diеt. Olivе polyphеnols, including hydroxytyrosol, olеuropеin, and olеocanthal, havе bееn associatеd with various hеalth bеnеfits, including anti-inflammatory, antibactеrial, and antioxidant еffеcts.

 

Thе polyphеnol contеnt in olivеs and, subsеquеntly, olivе oil can vary based on factors such as climatе, ripеning stagе of thе fruit, еxtraction conditions, and storagе timе. Whеn cooking with еxtra virgin olivе oil, somе polyphеnols may bе lost duе to high tеmpеraturеs, but studiеs have shown that a significant portion of thеsе polyphеnols еfficiеntly migratе from olivе oil to thе vеgеtablеs bеing cookеd. Thеrеforе, it is rеcommеndеd to usе olivе oil in vеgеtablе prеparation to acquirе a diеt rich in polyphеnols.

 

Ovеrall, incorporating natural plant polyphеnols, particularly those found in extra virgin olivе oil, into our diеts is a wisе choicе for improving ovеrall hеalth. Thеsе polyphеnols may hеlp rеducе thе risk of various disеasеs and slow disеasе progrеssion, making thеm an еssеntial componеnt of a hеalthy lifеstylе.