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)

Superstitions in the Italian household

Italians are incredibly superstitious people. If you go to Naples you will see many little red horns hanging from the rear view mirror of cars and a black cat will literary stop all traffic until someone gormlessly passes the invisible line traced by the feline absorbing all the bad luck. Yet a spider in the house is a sign of good luck – ragno porta guadagno (spider brings earnings). We try to codify some of this Italian feng-shui

Rule #1: Have a fig tree in your garden. Not only the fruit is delicious, but it brings good luck to the house.

Rule #2: Don’t have 13 people seated together for dinner (the precedents didn’t look too rosy…)

Rule #3: Never say things are going well, because your luck might change (instead you can say “non c’e’ male – nothing’s wrong)

Rule #4: Don’t spill salt or olive oil (it brings bad luck). If it happens you can throw some salt behind each shoulder (or dab some oil behind each ear) to exorcise the bad luck.

Rule #5: If someone asks for the salt to be passed, put it on the table in front of them rather than passing from hand to hand (not knowing this can bring a few awkward moments when you are holding out the salt mill and the person who asked for it does not reach out, but is too embarrassed to say otherwise)

Rule #6: Never ever toast with a glass of water, unless you are child. And don’t cross arms as you toast (or as you shake hands, oddly).

Rule #7: Don’t put a hat on a bed or a chair (no… neither do we…)

Rule #8: If the situation doesn’t look propitious don’t touch wood, touch metal (or somewhere more private!).

If you happen to be at dinner party where there are 13 place settings, salt has spilt, someone left a hat on a bed, the brindisi is looking dodgy and there is no fig tree outside, don’t panic, because you can keep the malocchio (evil eye) away, by reciting this Napoletan song: “Aglio, fravaglie, fatture ca nun quaglie corna, bicorna, cape ‘e alice e cape d’aglio.” (Garlic, small fish, the magic will not happen, horns, double horns, sardine heads and garlic heads)