On the far north-eastern shoulder of Italy hugging the Slovenian and Austrian boarders, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia is a region full of historic, political and cultural collisions. Its capital city is mariner’s haven, Trieste, and this makes it an important gateway for transportation and commerce between the east and west of southern Europe. Trieste is the most important centre globally for the trade of coffee and this has benefited the surrounding area hugely. Undoubtedly, this has furthered the regional interest in gastronomy, where simple, genuine ingredients reign alongside the region’s beautiful floral wines.
The other significant collision in Friuli is climatic. Here the Mediterranean meets the continental climate and cool air descents from the Alps creating unique weather patterns. This, combined with the indigenous olive cultivar Bianchera-Belica offers a potential for absolutely sensational olive oil. The Bianchera cultivar probably derives its name from the colour change from green to black (veraison), which occurs remarkably late and often never completes, even when super ripe. This in turn means that the fruit retains very high nutritional values and the polyphenol count is typically extremely high. The Bianchera cultivar lives well on the marly-arenaceous soils surrounding the gulf of Trieste and also on the limestone soils of the Karst plateau and has adapted to resist the cold temperatures brought by the bora producing true, cool climate extra virgin olive oil.
So the EVOO potential in this understated region is hugely interesting. Yet there are few people who take olive cultivation as seriously as the Parovel family, who we are thrilled to have discovered. Dedicated to olives and grapes since 1898, the Parovel family show a rare commitment to their groves surrounding the village of Caresana-Mačkolje. In this village, you can still find the old mill with millstones made of granite where all the growers of the area used to bring their olives to be pressed. Today, the current generation of the Parovel family have an immaculate Pieralisi line for cold pressing fully controlled by Euro Parovel. His sister Elena brings her passion for excellence and true love of her land to the business, which she runs with grace and dedication. Elena is also hugely community minded and has chaired the committee for the development of EVOO of Trieste since 2000 as well as working on a social farming project integrating disabilities in to the world of work. Elena is naturally enthusiastic, curious and loves baking bread… all rather wonderful attributes. We are delighted to share their exceptional olive oils with you.