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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Oleocanthal

A phenomenal, naturally occurring compound in Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is an amazing anti-inflammatory.

I’m often asked why top quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil can prickle the back of your throat. It’s because of a naturally occurring compound called Oleocanthal. EVOO is the only cooking oil containing Oleocanthal and it has been shown to act as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) agent. Because of this, consumption of oleocanthal in your diet has been shown to reduce general inflammation in the body. That’s good news for all of us.

The quantity suggested in order to see the benefits is around 3-4 tablespoons per day (equivalent to a low dose of ibuprofen). This is perhaps more EVOO than you would think of consuming – you may need to work it in to a few more dishes… put it on your toast in the morning with avocado or tomato, put it over your soup or salad at lunch and integrate it where ever possible in to your dinner. But the benefits of taking something totally natural are of course huge.

Oleocanthal has also been shown to benefit arthritic pain and degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) as well as slowing its onset. It is also a compound of interest in cancer research due to its ability to inhibit the initiation of metastases of several cancer types. It’s still early stages from everything I’ve read but I’m sure anyone who has lived the horror of cancer would welcome news of anything that might help.

For a more in depth understanding, this article is pretty good: https://olivewellnessinstitute.org/article/oleocanthal-a-phenolic-compound-with-anti-inflammatory-action/

 

The concentration of oleocanthal varies from one Extra Virgin Olive Oil to another.  The highest values occur in oil where the olives are harvested early.  Certain cultivars also have higher concentrations naturally.  Coratina, Nocellara del Belice and Moraiolo all have particularly high values.

We’ve put together a box of oils with high polyphenol values for anyone interested in the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

https://www.frantoi.org/portfolio_page/to-your-good-health-box/