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 Tomato

We are thankfully in the heart of Tomato season.  A moment that should not be underestimated in terms of how wonderful it can be.  I feel as if many of us have become used to eating tomatoes all year round and there’s something fundamentally wrong about this.  Not least because of the flavour, but also importantly because of what a true seasonally ripe tomato can give you.


Tomatoes are a major source of the antioxidant lycopene found in highest concentration in the skin of red ripe tomatoes (great for your heart health, thought to have an impact on prevention of abnormal cell growth and shown to protect against sunburn) as well as being a great source of vitamin C (an essential antioxidant – an average sized tomato provides around 25% of your RDI), vitamin K (great for bone health and blood clotting), potassium (good for your blood pressure) and folate (which is vitamin B9 – really good for normal tissue growth and therefore particularly good during pregnancy).


It’s near impossible to pick our favourite recipes with Tomatoes, but here are three that we are enjoying almost weekly at the moment!



Bulgur with tomato, aubergine and preserved lemon yoghurt


And very soon, sugo for the winter