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)

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How EVOO changed my life: Yves Meijer

Yves lives in Esch, the second largest town in Luxembourg with his wife and twelve year old son. He has been working in the recruitment industry for the last 20 years following his studies in industrial and social psychology.

Yves’s parents already used EVOO when he was growing up but not to the extent he uses it today. His first encounters with premium oils began with his numerous trips to Tuscany whilst he was at university in Strasbourg. “I can still remember the first really expensive bottle I bought, which I considered as liquid gold in many ways and which came from Castello di Ama”.

Like many of us, Yves has a career where entertaining is a key feature. “I have to be at restaurants quite often and hence had increasing weight issues over the years. I recently totally changed my nutritional plan, getting away from carbs and giving preference to Mediterranean cuisine with olive oil having the main part. As a result, I lost considerable amounts of kgs in no time without doing any diet and feel better than ever”. Yves admits, “Extra Virgin Olive Oil changed my life!”

According to Yves, the food scene in Luxembourg focuses on a diverse range of international influences thanks to its small dimensions and proximity to other culinary cultures. National cuisine is rather neglected but there are a high proportion of Michelin starred restaurants and this is testament to the importance people place on great food. It is a tiny nation of foodies.

When asked about the most important features in an EVOO, Yves confirms, “honestly it is all about the taste. I can hardly think of a taste that is less tiring than great evoo and all the beneficial features for our health are a wonderful gift on top. Such a combination does not exist that often, does it?”

Picture from Yves’ kitchen. He loves to play around with fresh, seasonal ingredients and gives evoo a central role when preparing fish, meat, vegetables, cheese or even fruits.