Italian Market Heaven, Volume 1: Corti Brothers


As the sign says, Corti Brothers has been around since 1947, and as local, ethnic market goes, Corti Brothers is It, in my book. Well, now, I shouldn’t be too hasty. Thanks to a historically high number of Italian immigrants and Italian-Americans in Sacramento (mostly from Lucca, at least according to my anecdotal research), this town supports more than its fair share of Italian markets. Because I care, I hereby volunteer to visit all known Italian Markets and fawn over them accordingly for your reading enjoyment. And Corti Bros gets the first treatment because I was hungry before class this evening and that’s where I ended up.

You can do all your shopping at Corti Bros – it’s not like the place is solely a collection of large hanging hams and netted provolone. They have, like, oatmeal and Prego pasta sauce too. But what sets this apart from your average small town, resisting-the-super-sized-Safeway invasion holdout, is the outstanding collection of deli items, imported goods, and, perhaps most importantly, booze. I mean vino – am impressive array of domestic and imported bottles as well as a wall of harder-to-find liqueurs


(Note: that article implies that limoncello primarily comes from the south of Italy. Good stuff gets made in the north too. Just saying). There’s a shelf of limoncello which every one – especially any self-respecting Italian American or Italiophile should have on hand, preferably in the freezer – in all kinds of fancy bottles. Rows of pear liqueur with whole pears in the bottle. Sherries and brandies and ports. You could pass a lot of hours just wandering the booze aisles.

Also a highlight, the deli counter which will give you lunch for one or stacks of fresh proscuitto e mozzarella for a party (snag a cantelope and some pears on the way out, then wrap the proscuitto around slices and let it all melt in your mouth)


I had a “Tuscany” sandwich – Italian style fennel salami on a sourdough roll (that brought a new level of crusty to roll-dom) with sundried tomato and olive oil, red onion and gruyere.

So next time you need groceries and are feeling adventurous, nostalgic, Italian, or just in the mood to support local business, shop Corti Bros and pray that they never decide to update the decor or change the signage.


3 Comments so far

  1. Jamus (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 11:34 pm

    When you go, ask for help with wine. They’ll find the perfect pair for whatever you’re serving and in your price range.

    Darrell Corti, as they say, knows more about wine than anyone in the world.

  2. TT (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 7:03 am

    I looooove Corti Bros. If you’re looking for something really special in the wine/cheese/deli department, go there. But, if you’re looking for something special in the fruit/veg department, go somewhere else (like, Ikeda’s in Davis); in comparison to everything else they carry, CB’s produce is a let down.

  3. cd (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 8:08 am

    Good point. Though, passing through the produce section yesterday, I will say at least it looked worlds better than Trader Joes.

    I’ve heard great things about Ikeda’s – but going all the way to Davis? Seems counter to the positive aspects of fresh produce. Any good standing produce markets (as opposed to farmers markets) in town?

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.