Extra virgin olive oil is one of the typical natural products of Lake Garda.
Ancient olive trees cover without interruption the soils of the shores around the lake climbing up the mountain slopes where they give way to alpine vegetation.
Mainly on the shore of the lake that goes from San Vigilio to Malcesine, the olive tree is present in such quantity as to give the name to this region of “Riviera degli Ulivi”.
Lake Garda, thanks to the typical climatic conditions of the Mediterranean area, is the last region in northern Italy where the olive tree is at ease and produces quality fruit.
Since Roman times olive oil has been produced on Lake Garda and until before the advent of tourism on our shores, the oil was the only source of income for the people of the lake.
Nowadays, the rhythms of life and work leave almost no room for a rural life and, given the high cost of labor, the plants are no longer given the attention and care of the past and most owners of olive trees are satisfied with collecting the necessary to produce the oil of family needs.
Garda oil is produced from small olives, which unlike olives for food purposes contain little pulp and lots of oil.
Over time, the oil production process has evolved considerably with the main aim of optimising costs and preserving oil quality.
Thus, by crushing the olives under stone wheels and turning them around a vertical pin by draught animals or people, and pressing the mixture obtained from slow wooden presses, we have come to powerful shiny steel machines capable of quickly grinding and separating the oil from the pulp of the fruit in a very short time and always within 24 hours of delivery.
Garda oil has natural characteristics of such qualitative value that it is one of the finest oils in Italy.
A very low degree of oleic acidity, a good balance between bitter, fruity and spicy that at the right maturation harmonize, so as to enhance and complete the flavors of any food to which it is added.
Olive oil is fundamental in the culture of Lake Garda and is the main fat for cooking or seasoning raw, present in almost all local recipes, from appetizers to desserts.
Garda Oil at the Restaurant Menapace
We too, the Monese-Menapace family, originally from Garda and Pai, have been cultivating olives for generations.
At the end of the summer season we spend the time necessary to harvest the olives of our fields. The oil we produce is used by our family and our restaurant where we try to enhance it in our preparations and making it known to our customers.