Walnutty Wonders: California Nut Festival

Tickets are set to go on sale for the snacky-good Chico party.

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PLENTIFUL USES: Nuts are the bolts of both the food world and the home decor scene, too. As far as food goes, they cover the gamut, showing up in candy, pasta sauces, and every sweet and savory thing along the way. But they end up in our decorations with surprising frequency. Yes, yes, holiday crafters do occasionally glue a bunch of walnut shells to a wreath, but they have a way of gracing tables all year long. (Don't tell fruit bowls, which serve a similar table-gracing purpose, but we rather like seeing a bowl of nuts and a nutcracker at a party, if only because it gives us something to do instead of making small talk.) Basically we're, erm, nuts over them -- too easy? -- and we're always happy to see them get the spotlight for the day. Chico honors its purveyors and growers of nutmeaty goodness once a year, at the California Nut Festival. It's ready to, erm, crack open again -- too easy? -- on Saturday, April 20.

ALMONDS AND EVERYTHING: A number of nut companies'll be on the grounds of the daytime gathering, including Ammin, makers of almond butters and sweets. (Can you just look at almond butter recipes all day on Pinterest? Yeah. We can.) A bunch of vineyards'll be pouring, too -- this is Chico, after all -- and makers of non-nutty foods will be around. Music, cooking demos, and a general hang-out atmosphere complete the scene. So, what's your favorite? Walnut, pine nut, peanut, cashew? Hazelnut, or do you say filbert? We'll go with whatever cracks easily and doesn't get everywhere when we've just arrived at a party and find our seat next to the nut bowl.

Tickets go on sale March 18.

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