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)

Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse

This is a wonderfully indulgent end to an evening that I highly recommend.

First discovered at Morito (we lived on Exmouth Market for many years) and then we’ve adapted it over time. Chocolate and excellent extra virgin olive oil make a winning combination and if you go for great quality of both ingredients, it raises this to a ten out of ten dessert.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 8

200g        dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids is usually where I go)

100ml      extra virgin olive oil – Puglia is the best region to go to for this because of the luxuriant texture of the oils. De Carlo il Classico is a great choice.

4                large eggs

½ tsp        Flaked maldon salt

50g           caster sugar

METHOD

Prepare 8 espresso cups on a tray and make space in the fridge for them.

Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie and make sure to remove it just before it is completely melted. Stir in the final little pieces to dissolve. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then stir in the olive oil to combine. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites adding a pinch of maldon salt until they have firm peaks. Set aside.

In a third bowl, large enough to take everything, whisk the yolks, sugar and ¼ teaspoon of maldon salt until pale, thick and about double the volume you started with.

Then pour the chocolate-olive oil mixture in to the beaten yoks and fold together to mix completely. Add a third of the beaten egg whites and fold in vigorously, almost whipping the mixture to keep it light. Now fold in another third of the egg whites and once incorporated, add the final third and fold in until there are no white streaks visible.

Spoon the mousse in to your espresso cups, no need to be too perfect and transfer to the fridge. For the perfect consistency, either refrigerate for 20 minutes and then serve or put in for an hour and then allow to come back to room temperature over 40 minutes before eating.