In my previous life as an engineer, I worked about 4 blocks away from Zanotto’s on Naglee. It was like being home away from home! Now returning to check it out for The Grocery List, I wasn’t disappointed- if anything, I found its Italian product selection expanded, its sandwich stalls more appealing than ever, and the pasta vault? Sheer genius!
The Pasta Vault is the best thing about Zanotto’s: a room completely dedicated to pasta and sauces and all the beauties of Italian pasta dishes! They have the best selection of the most unusual pasta shapes available in the area- ziti, cannelloni, paglia e fieno, and also a wonderful selection of unusual and original sauces: Rustichella plays the lion’s share here, but also De Cecco and Cipriani!
At Zanotto’s you can also shop for hard-to-find items, like a flour flavored with truffle by Urbani Tartufi, a honey with truffles, the truffle sauce by Tartufata, and the green peppercorns in brine, necessary to make delicious Filetto al Pepe Verde.
The selection of balsamic vinegars and extra-virgin olive oil is as impressive as you’d expect from a specialty store like A.G. Ferrari- quite extensive on both fronts, they import some smaller extra-virgin olive oil producers that I have never seen elsewhere, and while I haven’t seen a bottle of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, the vinegar selection is quite high-end and varied. They even carry Saba, the sweet must sauce that Beretta uses on grilled radicchio!
I am not going to list all items that are pretty commonly found in Italian stores around the Bay Area, like Amarene Fabbri, their charcutery counter with prosciutto, pancetta and salame, or their amazing selection of organic meats. They have on the shelves the Mexican cream that so closely resembles what in Italy is called panna da cucina, cooking cream- thicker than whipping cream to be used in sauces. I will mention their selection of polenta flour since it’s quite extensive (not as much as at Draeger’s, but pretty good!). You will find the express flour, as well as the regular one and the polenta taragna.
The sweet tooth is accommodated with a huge selection of jams from Hero and Orofrutta, torrone Sperlari, and even candies all Italian children in my age group grew up with- milk-rich Galatine!
Zanotto’s Family Market
1970 Naglee Ave
San Jose, CA 95126
38 South Second St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Filed under: The Grocery List