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)

In Conversation with Tim Spector

I was extremely fortunate to spend a couple of hours tasting our new season releases with Tim Spector in London this month.

For those of you outside the UK, it is an understatement to say that Tim is one of the leading medical minds in the world, applying his science and sensitivity to research and knowledge of the gut microbiome. He has published a number of award winning books, perhaps most notably Food for Life, which dives in to scientific detail of how to eat well – we can’t recommend this book highly enough, if you haven’t read it, it should be on your Christmas list

 

Through zoe.com, Tim and his collaborators have seen the most incredible results by figuring out how food affects us as individuals, it is a totally tailor-made approach that results in a personalised plan to best direct your diet, improve your habits and work towards goals that best suit you.  It is remarkable to see how adjustments to diet can result in such an improvement of energy, gut health, mood and overall metabolism. Zoe is only available to US and UK residents at present, but I have a feeling this will roll out further before long – there is a wait list already in place.

Tim is an avid consumer of new season extra virgin olive oil; he even has a few olive trees that he’s nurturing to produce his own house olive oil. On reading his book, it’s notable that extra virgin olive oil appears to be one of the only ingredients that has no negative implications for our gut microbiome and this is truly worth celebrating.  In addition to the 36 identified polyphenols, as a good fat it supports many of our needs, giving us a sense of satiety as well as aiding digestion.  So, it was fascinating to discuss monocultivar oils and the work we have done at Frantoi to pick out the very best each season, reinvesting focus on the seasonality of extra virgin olive oil in order to bring it to the table when the polyphenols are at their highest.

We will keep you posted as our conversations with Tim progress.  In the meantime, get hold of his book, it really is a great read.

 

Tim can be found on Instagram @tim.spector