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)

Home Made Olive Oil Granola

A trip to Sweden last year made us remember just how good proper granola is, and how the supermarket variety is just never quite right (usually to sweet for our own tastes).  The natural solution: make our own!


We started using the recipe from Gail’s Bakery cookbook, and slowly adapted, first by adding some rye, putting the type of nuts or dried fruit we prefer, and finally swapping butter for olive oil.  You can make your own adaptations, just keep the amount of the type of ingredients in line with the recipe.


It takes about 40 minutes to make and last for over 3 weeks (the recipe makes 2kg of granola). It’s very easy and extremely tasty.


360g runny honey (the original recipe is for 180g honey & 180g golden syrup)

180g extra virgin olive oil

the zest of 2 lemons

1 tbsp natural vanilla extract

180g demerara sugar

pinch of salt

100 g rye flakes

350g jumbo rolles oats

230g mixed seeds (pumpkin and sunflower or others)

400g mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts or others)

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

290g mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raising, apricots or others)


Which EVOO to use?

We use Il Classico from De Carlo, which gives that buttery feel, and is not as pungent or overwhelming as others might be


Mix the honey, EVOO, lemon zest, vanilla, sugar and salt in a pan, and slowly heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cook for another couple of minutes then set a side to cool.


Put the oven on at 170. Combine the other ingredients, except for the dried fruit, mix well, then coat completely with the cooled honey and EVOO mix.


Spread across two baking trays with baking paper, and bake for 30 minute, stirring each tray about every 10 minutes, to make sure it does all solidify, but rather to make clusters.


Take out of the oven to cool, stirring from time to time, so it doesn’t all stick together (unless you want to make granola bars!). How clumpy you want to make it influences how much you stir (the less you move it around the bigger the clusters.)


Once cool, put in all in a big bowl, mix in the dried fruit and then store in airtight containers.