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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Liguria’s Farinata

Made with chickpea flour, water and olive oil, versions of this dish have existed in the Med since greek civilisation and possibly earlier. Farinata as we know it today traces its origins to the aftermath of a naval battle between Genoa and Pisa in the middle ages. A boat laden with captured slaves, encountered a strong storm, breaking a few sacks of chickpea flour and barrels of olive oil, which mixed with the salty sea water.  As much flour as possibile was saved and this mix was given to the slaves, who, quite naturally refused to eat it. Left on deck, it dried in the sun and driven by hunger the slaves discovered that this Farinata was actually rather good.

Ingredients

300 gr chickpea flour

900 ml tepid water

8 tbsp of Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, we suggest S’Ciappau by Paolo Cassini

Method:

Sieve the flour in a large bowl, making a small crater in the middle. Slowly incorporate the water, making sure there aren’t any lumps forming. Let it rest for 2 to 4 hours, skimming any impurities that may rise to the top. Add 6 tablespoons of olive oil, a very large pinch of salt, mix well.

Heat the oven to 240°C, then pour the remaining oil into a large heavy based pan (one that can go into the oven, so definitely avoid non-stick), and place into the oven to heat up. As soon as it starts smoking, take it out and pour your mix evenly in the pan. You don’t want the Farinata to be too high – 3 cm tops.

Cook for about 10 minutes – the top should be crispy, while the inside still soft.  Add a bit of flaky salt and freshly milled pepper on the top. Serve hot.