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.



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.



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.


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 Olive Oil Carrot Cake with a slice taken out of it.

The Olive Oil Carrot Cake

This recipe was shared with me by a great friend (the best way to receive recipes!) just a few weeks ago and we’ve already made it twice!

In the process, we’ve adjusted down the sugar and reduced the vanilla essence to allow the main ingredients to sing out.


250g    Chopped Pecans

200g    Muscovado Sugar

75g      Brown Granulated Sugar

250ml  Extra Virgin Olive Oil – we used Faresse from Frantoio Ciccolella in Puglia which has a lovely buttery consistency but a good level of structure to carry the carrots and spice

4 large eggs

130g    Smooth Apple Puree

½ tsp   Pure Vanilla Extract

300g    Plain  organic (all purpose) Flour

2 tsp    Baking Powder

1 tsp    Bicarbonate of Soda

½ tsp   Salt

1 ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp    Ground Ginger

¼ tsp    Ground Nutmeg

¼ tsp    Ground Cloves

250g    Grated Carrots (about 4 large carrots)


For the Frosting

450g    Full fat Cream cheese

100g    Unsalted butter

300g    Icing Sugar

A pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 150C / 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread the chopped pecans on the sheet and toast for around 6-7 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Turn up the oven to 180C / 350F and grease and line 2 x 9-inch loose bottom round cake tins.

Whisk the muscovado sugar, granulated sugar, olive oil, eggs, apple puree and vanilla together until combined and no sugar lumps remain.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate, salt and spices together. Then pour the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula. Then fold in the carrots and pecans.

Pour the batter evenly between the two cake tins and bake for between 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool completely in their tins on a wire rack. Don’t try to assemble or add frosting until the cakes are cold.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together on a medium-high speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the icing sugar and a pinch of salt and mix for a further 30 seconds then raise to a high speed and beat for around 3 minutes until copleted combined and creamy.

Assemble your cake using the frosting between the layers as well as around the outside and top.

We finished with rose petals, but you could do so with pecans or other edible flowers.


This cake keeps for up to 5 days when refrigerated.