Olives are bitter if they are eaten straight off the tree. If they dry out in the sun and become shriveled (but not rotten), the bitterness goes away, and they are delicious with a soft chewy texture. Olives are not naturally salty.
The olives pictured here are small, mostly green olives. They get an oil yield of 15%, versus larger black olives which yield 30% oil. However, the small green olive trees produce a reliable harvest every year, whereas the trees that grow black olives only produce a good harvest about every three years. Many Ikarians have both types of olives on their property.
Sticky notes are labelled with the name of the person whose olives are in that particular compartment. Some people have so many olives that they take up two full segments of the masher or more.
Fresh olive oil may be used immediately, but is better to let the oil sit for several months before using it.
The whole process would take about one hour, if unimpeded. However, after driving an hour in either direction and waiting in line behind all the other people ahead of us at the olive press, it ends up taking half a day. A reward well worth the wait!