California Nut Fest Is a Crunchy Springtime Must

The flavorful gathering is marvelous mix of delicious eats, wine-lovely sips, and sweet springtime sights.


COMING ACROSS A NUTCRACKER? Your mind might instantly leap, in beautiful ballet fashion, to December, when nutcrackers do definitely abound, both upon the stages of our local theaters and on the shelves of our stores, too. But the need for nutcrackers, as in actual devices that can crack nuts, also arises in the springtime, when a bounty of beautiful, shell-rocking nuts fill the farmlands of California, and roadside booths, and farmers markets, too. So is April actually more in need of nutcrackers than December? Ponder that not-so-deep question as you set a reminder to buy your ticket to the...

CALIFORNIA NUT FESTIVAL, a crunchy, spreadable, flavor-rich spectacular in Chico. The 2020 date is April 18, but tickets go on sale on Monday, March 2. What is this foodie festivity all about? Well, nuts: You can guess what snackable superstar is in the spotlight. The "agriculture-focused culinary event" is all about "... sampling and savoring nut-inspired dishes by local restaurants, caterers, and chefs," but there's more. Regional wines will be in the glasses you see, and beers, too, as well as a host of beverages. Beyond the sampling? There's an art show to admire, the Nutty Chef Competition, live tunes, and other dine-adjacent doings. And the proceeds from the day? Patrick Ranch Museum, the location of the affair, is the beneficiary (yep, it's a place to dig deeply into the Sacramento Valley's agricultural character).

A TICKET... is $30 in advance, and $35 if you buy it there. And nope, you don't need to show with your own nutcracker, since the nuts will already be cracked, cleaned, and adding kapow to a caboodle of great dishes. So, do nutcrackers belong in April or December? The easiest and truest answer is "yes to both months," and in all months where meals are made better by the crunchy oomph provided by a walnut or pecan or your favorite nut.

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