Appetizers

Sometimes you feel like a nut – pistachio nut butter, that is

Use Sicilian pistachio butter as a dessert topping.
Use Sicilian pistachio butter as a dessert topping. apierleoni@sacbee.com

One of Sacramento’s most reliable shopping destinations for the holiday table is Cort Bros. Market, the source of eclectic and eccentric goodies of all kinds.

New is a line of nut butters, preserves, nougat candies and brittles from Vincente Delicacies of Sicily. Specifically, hazelnut and pistachio butters or “creamas”; blood orange, wild strawberry and prickly pear preserves; almond and pistachio nougats; and almond, hazelnut and pistachio brittles ($10 to $45, for the largest gift package).

The queen of the offerings is pistachio crema – thick, luscious and rich with the essence of pistachio flavor. It’s the paste of green Bronte pistachios blended with cream.

“They’re the rarest pistachios in the world because the trees are alternate-bearing and the nuts are harvested only in odd-numbered years,” said Corti’s store director Rick Mindermann. “They’re grown in groves on Mount Etna on the east coast of Sicily.”

What do you do with the nut-butter spread? “Warm it in the microwave oven and use it as a topping for just about anything, especially desserts,” Mindermann suggested. “It’s something you just have to taste and then use your imagination about what to put it on.”

Or just grab a spoon and go at it.

Corti Bros. Market is at 5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento; 916-736-3814, www.cortibrothers.com.

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe

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