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)

Pear, Almond and Olive Oil Cake

We love this recipe made with Williams Pears. When it is cooking, it fills the house with the comfort of cinnamon.

INGREDIENTS

3 Small Pears

3 Eggs

150g Soft Brown Sugar

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

80ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil, we favour something not too spicy but with a good luxurious texture such as Il Classico from Frantoio De Carlo in Puglia.

120ml Buttermilk, or you could use milk and lemon juice (100ml milk + juice of 1 lemon)

1 Juice of a small orange or clementine

100g Ground Almonds

180g Self-Raising Flour – gluten free alternatives also work replaced 1:1

A pinch of Maldon salt

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a round cake tin with baking parchment. Sprinkle the base with 2tbsp of brown sugar and a little cinnamon.

 

Cut the pears in to halves or quarters, peel and scoop out the core. Then place in the base of the cake tin.

 

Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, add in 1tsp cinnamon, the olive oil, the buttermilk and orange juice and combine.  Add the almond, flour and salt and gently whisk together until you have a consistent batter. Pour over the pears and bake for around 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

Turn upside down and leave to cool on a rack for a further 45 mins before serving. This cake works well served with Greek Yoghurt or Yoghurt Gelato.