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)

Florence Fennel Pickle

There is something deeply satisfying about opening the cupboard in winter to find a jar of something delicious you preserved with care during the autumn.

Fennel is a flowering plant of the carrot family, a hardy perennial herb known for its yellow flowers and feathery leaves. The Florence Fennel or Finocchio, is a selection of this and has a bulb-like stem base which is extremely delicious raw but the season, of course, doesn’t last forever, so it is a great root to preserve.

This is a lovely light pickle, great with smoked or oily fish or in a winter salad, or for a festive lunch where cold meats or fish are a feature. It is an adaptation of the recipe by the wonderful Pam Corbin aka @the_pam_the_jam in the River Cottage Handbook of Preserves, which we love.

INGREDIENTS

Salt

1kg Fennel bulbs. Trim and slice finely, keeping a few of the fronds

1lt Apple Cider Vinegar

15 g Peppercorns (black or pink both work)

75g Granulated white sugar

Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

3 bay leaves

1 tsp celery or fennel seeds

4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We use S’Ciappau from Paolo Cassini in Liguria because it has a wonderful delicate sweetness that compliments the fennel hugely.

Makes 3 x 340g Jars

METHOD

Bring to the boil a pan with 2-3lt water. Salt well. Add the fennel and blanche for no more than a minute. Drain and refresh under cold water, then pat dry.

Put the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, lemon zest, bay leaves and celery or fennel seeds in a pan and bring gradually to the boil – then leave to boil for about 10 mins until you have reduced the liquid to a syrupy consistency.

Pack the fennel in to 3 wide-necked, sterilised jars putting a few of the fronds between the slices. Remove the vinegar syrup from the heat and carefully distribute via the 3 fennel jars. Then pour the extra virgin olive oil in to each jar to seal the surface. Close the jars with vinegar-proof lids.

Use within 12 months