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)

Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It’s a common myth that it’s not a good idea to cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  We read about this almost daily and it frustrates us hugely, so that’s a good enough reason to dig up some facts for you.

 

With our busy lives, it’s easy to try to cook too quickly at high heats and this has a real risk that we will burn our food, particularly if you cook with gas.  However, the smoke point of EVOO is extremely high – we’ve tested this ourselves a number of times and for EVOO of the quality we work with, it always comes in around 207°C (405°F).  It would be very rare that you would exceed this temperature either roasting, sautéing, frying or baking, so you need not worry.

 

In addition to this however, the smoke point is not the only consideration, a further concern is the stability of the oil during cooking and research has shown that even oils such as avocado oil (with a very high smoke point) are less stable than EVOO when heated*. Dr Simon Poole recently stated in an interview with the Olive Oil Times: “This research provides unequivocal and definitive evidence that should finally dispel the myth.  It shows that extra virgin olive oil is not only safe during heating at regular cooking temperatures, but is the desirable cooking oil when compared with others.  The production of potentially harmful polar compounds and trans fats was markedly lower in EVOO.”

 

Also worth knowing, the antioxidant level in EVOO remains the highest of all oils during cooking and it has also been shown that it can improve the nutritional content of the ingredients you are cooking.

So don’t be afraid to use your EVOO liberally either raw or for cooking – you really can’t go wrong.

 

* Research conducted by the Modern Olives Laboratory Services, Australia  https://actascientific.com/ASNH/pdf/ASNH-02-0083.pdf