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)

The Green Kings: Artichokes

Carciofo (artichoke) season in Italy runs throughout the winter until the late spring. So in April, we try to take full advantage before they disappear again for a few months.
A member of the thistle family, artichokes are one of the most anti-oxidant rich vegetables you can find whilst being low in fat and high in fibre.  They are also loaded with vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, K and B9, folate, phosphorus and magnesium.  All huge immune system contributors.
There are many ways to enjoy artichokes, one of our favourites being a raw salad with either pecorino or parmesan, lemon juice, flat leaf parsley and plenty of aromatic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, typically one from southern Italy, such as Nocellara del Belice from the Librandi Family in Calabria.
Elizabeth Minchilli has a wonderful simple recipe for this: https://www.elizabethminchilli.com/2014/04/artichoke-salad/
Alternatively, try cooking either alla Romana or this pot roast version from ‘A girl and her greens’ @aprilbloomfield, which always turns out brilliantly