Old Fashioned Olive Press In Sicily

At last year’s Presepe Vivente (Living Nativity scene) in Custonaci, Sicily, they presented an old fashioned olive press. For this antique method, ripe olives were placed in the round, stone trough, the horse was attached to the wooden beam, and when he walked in a circle, he pulled the round, upright stone press that crushed the olives to produce the juices.

This crushing is the first step of a process that takes place annually in late October/early November when the olives are ready to be harvested for oil. Today, the horse and stones have been replaced by engines and mechanisms made of stainless steel.

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