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 to Eat like an Italian

Italy is full of quirks, there are many untold rules and etiquettes and you often get the feeling there is a strong national ‘way to do things’.  This applies to food with some serious rigour as you might imagine – food is not flippant for Italians.  Here we codify what it is to Eat like an Italian.

  1. Talk about food: Italians love food so much, they will talk about it whilst waiting for and eating their meals. They will exchange recipes; food stories and you often hear ‘my Nonna used to make it like this’. Food is what you talk about at the table.
  2. Mix it up: only because it’s labelled Secondo (main course), doesn’t mean you can’t have it as a starter. At the seaside for example we like to have a fritto misto as a starter, before a pasta alle vongole. If you want some cheese and cold cuts after your pasta, that is also ok.
  3. Don’t mix it up: don’t put salad or veggies on your plate of pasta. No one wants to taste amatriciana sauce on top of cicoria ripassata. Food is eaten as it’s served – individually by type.
  4. Food is seasonal and thus is should be eaten: don’t ask for asparagus in August, porcini in July, strawberries in November. Eat food when it’s meant to be eaten.
  5. No cheese on fish. Don’t draw scorn from the waiting staff and fellow eaters by asking for parmiggiano on your pasta alle sarde.
  6. A latte is a glass of milk; peperoni are bell peppers. The former is acceptable for adults only before 10am and the latter are a little difficult to digest on a pizza.
  7. Italians are very much in-touch with their digestive abilities and will openly talk about it whilst giving you tips on how to make Ziti alla Genovese (an onion rich traditional Neapolitan dish) easier to digest by salting the onions over night.
  8. Bolognese sauce doesn’t exist. It’s usually called Ragù and it is particularly good in Bologna. In Tuscany it’s just called sugo, because that is the default sauce.
  9. Food in Italy is hyper regional. Some classics have spread their wings (pizza, pesto, spritz), other have not. Eating like an Italian really means eating like a Calabrese or a Piemontese or Sardinian – each have their own food style and tradition. While you travel across the country, if you eat hyper local you are eating like an Italian.