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)

Supplements vs Ingredients

It’s amazing to learn that about half of the US population takes one or more supplements on a regular basis amounting to more than $35 billion each year*.  Many of these are self-discovered and self-prescribed, we often don’t even mention it to our doctor, but even if we did, they may not know about them because there are so many on the market, it’s really not easy to keep on top of the knowledge.

It’s important to remember that most supplements are not rigorously tested as a prevention or treatment for the conditions for which they are promoted. And that the supplement industry is not regulated in the same way that prescription drugs are, so the ingredients on the label may not be totally accurate.  It feels like a bit of a market.

 

If this is the case, then it’s comforting to look to certainties. Particularly if they exist naturally. We can up the intake of various vitamins and minerals naturally through our diet by focusing on certain key ingredients. We’re quite good at this when it comes to vitamin C for example, as we all know oranges, kiwi, strawberries are packed full and give us a natural boost. But we would probably do well to extend this knowledge and these long trusted natural remedies through our lives.

 

A great way to do this is by eating food that is in season – because of course it will have naturally higher values of the most beneficial components during that window. For example, lycopene that exists in high quantities in ripe tomatoes (the values are highest during the summer) gives us a natural sun repellent to protect our skin from UV damage.

 

So perhaps if we invested less on supplements and poured our attention and awareness in to the highest quality in-season ingredients, we would all become significantly healthier.

 

* information from Harvard Medical School

 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is great for you all year round of course and should be included in your diet for its natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is particularly good for you when just pressed as the polyphenol levels are at their highest. This coincides with winter, when your body most needs the protection.