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 and Hazelnut Slaw

There is something seriously good about a crisp, refreshing salad on a cold day. It livens the tastebuds and contrasts so brilliantly with the richer flavours of the season. Serves 4.


1 grapefruit

1 orange

250g red cabbage

150g fennel

150g celeriac

250g beetroot



2tbsp red wine vinegar

3tbsp lime juice

75ml extra virgin olive oil. I like to keep this steely so Ul’ka from Frantoio Parovel works perfectly, or Riva Paralello 46 is also an excellent choice.

1 tbsp soy sauce

Finely grated ginger to taste

2 tbsp light muscovado sugar

2 small red chillies

75g hazelnuts with their skin

Mint and coriander leaves


Firstly, make the dressing by combining the vinegar, lime juice, olive oil and soy in a bowl. Then to this, add the finely grated ginger (I would do this to your taste, I like quite a lot of ginger especially at this time of the year) and then the sugar. Finely chop the chilli and stir through. Then in a pestle and mortar, break up the hazelnuts and add to the dressing with the coriander and mint leaves torn roughly. Set aside.


Peel and remove any pith from the grapefruit and orange and separate the segments with a sharp knife. Then add in to the dressing.


Finely shred the fennel and red cabbage. And matchstick the celeriac and beetroot. Turn all of this through the dressing, seasoning as required. Set aside for around 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to merge and add a few whole hazelnuts on top when you are ready to serve along with an additional spin of extra virgin olive oil.


If you are preparing this for a Christmas meal, you may wish to alternate the hazelnuts with spiced cashews, which are very easy to make, just mix some ground spices together and turn through the cashews with a little olive oil – roast briefly in the oven or carefully fry off on the stove top in a heavy pan.