March 02, 1999
Nicola and Caroline Critelli hosted a free community press day at their frantoio January 23. Eager hobbyists braved inclement weather to pick and bring in several hundred pounds of olives which were combined into a single press. "I've never seen such perfect olives" raved Caroline on weigh-in. Unlike some batches of commercially
picked olives, each fruit was carefully picked, de-stemmed and seemingly polished to perfection. No bird pecks or bug bites or imperfect olives. Several varietals were represented and quantities ranged from 25 to 100 pounds. Most of the home growers were bringing in olives from the San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of Northern California. The anticipation mounted as the
olives were processed and guests were given tours of the frantoio. Finally a stream of fragrant golden oil came from the separator. Samples were passed around producing big grins on the expectant pickers. The combination of mostly Mission olives produced a mellow late harvest style oil with plenty of flavor. Nicola then had the unenviable job of splitting the oil so that each guest got his representative share from the olives brought in. In spite of hard work and no receipts the Critelli crew declared the day a success and are planning on a similar event next year.