“When there is olive oil, salt and bread in the kitchen, nothing is missing.”
Sayings are like this: a few words of popular wisdom that summarize great truths. In a country like Italy, famous for its gastronomic traditions, sayings about food could fill hundreds and hundreds of pages alone. That's right, olive oil - when it’s good quality - satisfies the palate and is enough to add flavour to anything.
Before talking about the reasons why there are oil mills all around Lake Garda, giving life to Trentino extra virgin olive oil, let's take a few steps back. When did we start producing olive oil? What are its properties and why is it an essential ingredient of the Mediterranean diet? And how is it possible that it can also be produced next to Lake Garda, among the green mountains of Trentino?
Olive oil. History and characteristics
Olive oil is not a recent discovery. Its first evidence dates back to 4,000 BC, when it was consumed in Armenia, Palestine and India. Initially, it was not intended to be eaten: it was used as a skin moisturizer, as a starter to light lamps and as a medicine to treat people. A few years later, the Greeks introduced the cultivation of olives to the Mediterranean area, while the Romans were the first to classify oil based on how it’s pressed.
6,000 years of history all agree on one point: olive oil truly has unique properties. By law, the denomination "extra virgin olive oil" is reserved for the product obtained just by pressing, and with a maximum acidity of 1%. Olive oil has excellent antioxidant and organoleptic properties, as well as immediate health benefits, both for cardiovascular problems and for its antibacterial function. Furthermore, it is high in energy and it is one of the foods with the best fat balance.
Protagonist of the Mediterranean diet
Olive oil is one of the great protagonists of the Mediterranean diet. This is partly because the Mediterranean climate is temperate, creating ideal conditions for the ripening of olives; partly because its fat quantity compensates well the other foods featured in this type of diet.
Garda Trentino, land of olive groves
Trentino is very well known for its apples and wines. So how is it possible to also find an olive oil right here that has no equal in the world? The answer is the Lake Garda microclimate, creating favourable environmental conditions to make the production of such a unique product possible.
This, combined with the wisdom of farmers who respect the rhythms and characteristics of the land, has brought great satisfaction to Garda olive oil: in 1998 the European Union awarded it the Protected Designation of Origin, while the municipalities of Riva del Garda, Tenno, Arco, Nago-Torbole are members of the national association Città dell’Olio (Olive Oil Cities). Also, did you know that Garda Trentino is the northernmost area in the world where olive oil is produced? It is not uncommon to see, between the green mountains, groups of men and women participating in the olive harvest.
The Oleeva oil we produce
The breeze that ruffles the leaves in the olive groves is the welcome that our garden gives us every morning. At Oleeva, holidays are lived among the olive trees: we like to say that this is a little Mediterranean corner near Lake Garda. However, for us olive groves are not just decoration: picking olives is one of the activities that gives us the most satisfaction, and it is a ritual that is renewed every year. The products we are happy to share with our guests come from the harvest: our olive tapenade, perfect for an aperitivo with an intense character, and our Oleeva EVO oil, which contains tradition, passion and memories of the territory in every bottle. In short, the flavour of your holiday on Garda Trentino. Two spoonfuls are just enough on the Trentino carne salada, and love will strike at the first taste.