Corti Brothers’ owner Darrell Corti, an internationally recognized food and wine expert, roams the world searching for extraordinary new grocery items for his food-crazy customers. According to Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters in a recent Los Angeles Times article, “Darrell . . . is an amazing person who knows everything about everything. Not just what it is, but how it’s produced from beginning to end.” Here is a small handful of the delightful and unique grocery items you will find at this remarkable store.
Monastery Creamed Honey
Check out the jams and preserves section of the store, where you’ll discover creamed honey, enlivened with tiny bits of organic orange peel, prepared by the Cistercian nuns of Redwoods Monastery in Whitethorn, California. Hauntingly fragrant, seductively sweet and very spreadable, this honey should be slathered on just-baked bread, with prodigious amounts of creamy, unsalted butter.
Moroccan Preserved Lemons
Bobbing gently in a pretty glass jar, whole sunshine-yellow Moroccan lemons float in a salty brine, just waiting to be plunked into your next exotic ragoût, dip or salad dressing. A common Moroccan condiment, tangy preserved lemons are an important ingredient in many of the nation’s traditional stews and tagines.
Grown in Greece, Xinomavro (which means “sour-black” in Greek) red grapes are crafted into this lovely soft wine. Recommended by Darrell Corti for its mature taste, good color, and “scented” flavor, this delicately fruity wine would be fabulous served with a cheese platter or a bowl of fresh pasta. If you like Merlot and Pinto Noir, you’ll enjoy Xinomavro wine.
Canned Lobster and Cognac Pâté
In a dusky-blue can adorned with a striking illustration of a lobster, this velvety-smooth pâté deserves to be smeared on your finest crackers and crusty French bread. Its subtle flavor, attractive cinnamon-orange color and seafoody fragrance would lend sophistication to a romantic dinner, a cocktail party or a lazy Sunday afternoon snack.
Italian Estate-Blended Herbed Salt
Sea salt is blended with wild-grown rosemary and sage to produce this gorgeous, heady herbed salt from the Marlunghe Estate in the Veneto region of Italy. A variegated moss green in color, the salt is exuberantly aromatic, and excellent when used to season grilled meats and fish; or sprinkled on baked potatoes, hard-boiled eggs or fresh-baked croutons.