"Cultures grow on the vine of tradition"
Virgil Criscola was an impressive man. He was a connoisseur of Walla Walla Sweet Onions, San Marzano tomatoes, dried salami, and he taught me and many others the intricacies of making traditional salsiccia italiana. Uncle Virgil was a technician in weights and measures; always being exact with his ingredients. He was detailed; his basement boasted spiral bound ledgers written in longhand, each one noting yields and sales transactions from his onion fields and roadside market. He was a pioneer in making capocollo, dried salami, and fresh sausage alongside his friends and family in the Columbia Valley, and he was a steward of Italian heritage.
Uncle Virgil passed away at the ripe age of 88 on 12/21/2012. He will be remembered this year at Cheney Farms as we take turns cranking the sausage press, sipping wine, and laughing at how magical the tradition of making sausage has become. I guarantee there will be many toasts and I hope a few roasts to the man who made Abe Froman and Jimmy Dean look like a couple of hillbilly sausage makers.
May the cultural traditions that have been carried like a torch by so many continue through the vines of the Criscola, Pontarolo, Fazzari, Onley, Bloom, and Chase families.
In Memory Of:
Virgil Eugene Criscola (1924 - 2012)
Daniel Fox Onley (1944 - 2012)