Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

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Organic Foods – Good For you and Good for the Environment.- Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Over the past several years we have made attempts to expand the amount of organic foods that we offer in each department. I have to say that it has been a difficult task for a number of reasons... For example, consider the following facts that are associated with foods that carry the USDA Organic moniker:

  1. By definition, organic foods are raised naturally so they contain no un-natural preservatives which means that many items have a relatively short shelf life.
  2. Couple that with the fact that organic products are more expensive to produce, and the certification process makes them more difficult to bring to market cost effectively.
  3. There has always been confusion on the part of the general public as to what the term organic means versus natural, or non-GMO.
  4. In the case of organic produce, the non-use of chemical fertilizers often means that the produce will not be perfectly shaped, so no perfectly round tomatoes or shiny, flawless apples. Unfortunately, for most consumers food appearance means more that taste or nutritional content.

So, you can sum up the hurdles to selling organic foods in a sentence: Organics are expensive, somewhat confusing, and need to sell quickly in order to remain fresh. For all these reasons, Prisco’s and other food retailers have had lots of pushes to support a wider organic assortment only to be faced with the need to pair back when sales cannot be sustained.

The truth is, we as food purveyors see the value and need to support organic food and we are determined to do all we can to help educate our customers on the benefits of organic food. We will continue to offer more organic items at affordable prices in the hopes that our customers who value organic foods continue to seek them out and purchase them. I’d encourage you to continue reading this week's blog, which provides a list of 10 great reasons to pick up more organic food every time that you shop.  

Oh, one more thing, we recently added several new organic items to our dairy department and in order to encourage folks to try them, we are offering a bonus of 50 Prisco’s Bonus Points on over a dozen different items including milk, eggs, butter, sour cream, creamers, and cottage cheese. Look for signs in our dairy department.

From our family to yours, Happy Easter. We will be open Easter for your convenience but on a shorter schedule so that our employees may spend time with their families. Easter Sunday our hours will be from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.


- Andy

Organic Foods – A Choice Worth Making!- Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Do you value good, wholesome and sustainable organic food? Here are ten reasons you should.

  1. Avoid chemicals - Eating organically grown foods is the only way to avoid the cocktail of chemical poisons present in commercially grown food.
  2. Benefit from more nutrients - Organically grown foods have more nutrients—vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients—than commercially grown foods because the soil is managed and nourished with sustainable practices and responsible standards.
  3. Better taste - Organically grown foods generally taste better because nourished, well balanced soil produces healthy, strong plants.
  4. Avoid GMOs - Genetically engineered (GE) food and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are contaminating our food supply at an alarming rate, with repercussions beyond understanding.
  5. Avoid hormones, antibiotics and drugs in animal products - Conventional meat and dairy are the highest risk foods for contamination by harmful substances. More than 90% of the pesticides Americans consume are found in the fat and tissue of meat and dairy products.
  6. Preserve our ecosystems - Organic farming supports eco-sustenance, or farming in harmony with nature.
  7. Reduce pollution and protect water and soil - Agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers are contaminating our environment, poisoning our precious water supplies, and destroying the value of fertile farmland.
  8. Preserve agricultural diversity - The rampant loss of species occurring today is a major environmental concern. It is estimated that 75% of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost in the last century.
  9. Support farming directly – Organic farms tend to be small family owned farms, not gigantic mega farms where the emphasis is on cost reduction and crop yield with little regard for quality, nutrition, or the environment.
  10. Keep our children and future safe - Putting our money where our mouths are is a powerful position to take in the $1 trillion food industry in America. Spending dollars in the organic sector is a direct vote for a sustainable future for the many generations to come.


Glazing your Easter Ham- Tuesday, March 20, 2018

When you glaze a ham it takes on an attractive brown color, and the glaze enhances the natural flavor of the meat. Glazing will also help avoid having the ham dry out during baking. We offer a ham glaze in the deli made by Boar’s Head, or you may choose to create your own from ingredients at hand or to invent your own unique recipe.

Start by baking your ham. The cooking time will vary depending the ham's size and whether there is a bone. If the ham is already fully cooked it only needs to be warmed through. Make certain that you use the right flavor combination in choosing ingredients for your glaze depending the ham you are preparing.

Sweet glazes are best with hams that have been wet cured and are not salty. Sweet glazes can be made from brown sugar, pineapple chunks, fruit juices, honey, maple syrup and even carbonated beverages or dark liquors like bourbon. Tangy glazes should be used on salty hams. These glazes include sweet ingredients, but also include savory ingredients such as mustard, pepper, hoisin sauce or vinegar.

Near the end of the cooking time for your ham is when you will want to apply your glaze. Remove the ham from the oven 30 minutes before it's finished baking. If you are cooking a raw ham, ensure that it's fully cooked before removing it. A ham is fully cooked when the internal temperature is 160 °F. Don’t guess or rely on cooking times from a recipe…use a reliable meat thermometer.

First you want to score the ham. This allows the glaze to penetrate the baked-on crust that the ham will have from having the layer of rind cooking for hours. Make a series of diagonal cuts 1 inch apart across the entire top surface. Turn the ham and make diagonal cuts in the other direction, forming a grid of diamond shapes. If you wish, press a whole clove into the ham in the centers of the diamonds or at the places where the lines intersect.

Generously apply your glaze with a pastry brush to the entire outer surface of the ham. Than return the ham to the oven and continue baking it until the glaze begins to turn brown and shiny. This indicates that the glaze has caramelized and the flavor has taken on a nutty, caramel flavor. Watch the ham while it is in the oven to ensure the glaze doesn't burn. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest 15 minutes before carving.


Will it be Ham or Lamb?- Tuesday, March 20, 2018

For some holidays it's a foregone conclusion as to what the main entree will be. For Thanksgiving who doesn’t have a turkey as the main meat? And, of course, it would not be St. Patrick’s Day without corned beef...and just about everyone serves burgers and brats for their July 4th BBQ. Easter, however, is a different animal (literally) all together.

Here in the US, most families serve ham but there is also a pretty large contingent of folks that have traditionally served a spring lamb as their main course for Easter Brunch or dinner.

By far the largest number of us will be eating some form of ham this Easter, but if your lineage is from central Europe near the Mediterranean, chances are your famly eats lamb for Easter. For a number of reasons, lamb has never caught on in the US where we eat on average less that a pound of it per year compared to Australia, another New World colony where lamb is one of the most commonly served meats with Australians consuming over 20 lbs. per year.

If you go back 150 years or so when our economy was much more agrarian-based, hogs were raised and slaughtered in the fall. What wasn’t eaten immediately had to be smoked and cured over the winter, and spring was the ideal time to go to the smokehouse and get a ham to serve at Easter dinner. Of course, in those days you served a whole ham and the ham was too large to consume in one meal. You’d have a number of ham dinners, ham salads, ham sandwiches and, eventually, ham and split pea soup. There is an old farmer’s saying that the definition of eternity is two people and a whole ham.

Regardless of your families’ tradition, we are prepared to supply you with the best quality ham or lamb for your Easter brunch or dinner, and we’ve also got all the timings to make it a memorable meal for all to enjoy.



Guinness Trivia for St. Patrick’s Day- Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When friends or neighbors meet on the street anywhere in Ireland, the second thing said after "Hello!" is, “Are you goin' fer one?”

“Goin'” refers to the local pub and “fer one” refers to a freshly poured pint of Guinness.

  • Pouring a glass or pint of Guinness is a skill. A “perfect pour” should take 199.50 seconds. This is the result of pouring at an angle of 45 degrees followed by a rest. This is crucial. Most Irish people would cringe if they saw anyone pour it any other way. After a pause, long enough so what’s in the glass is a perfect black, the rest of the glass is filled, again at a 45-degree angle. What is handed across the bar should have a creamy head and should be served at exactly 42.8F.
  • What’s the ball doing in the cans? The little white balls that clink around aluminum cans of Guinness are called “widgets” (patented by Guinness in 1969), and are filled with nitrogen-infused beer like you’d find on tap. When you pull the ring on your can, the change in pressure causes that nitrogenated beer to bubble out into the rest of the brew, creating a foamy head like you’d find on draught.
  • The Guinness Book of World Records was made to settle a pub argument. One November day in 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, former Guinness managing director, was out shooting with some friends when they began to argue over which was the fastest game bird in Europe. When reference books supplied no answer, Beaver decided that the drinking world desperately needed one volume that could single-handedly settle any pub dispute. Three years later, The Guinness Book of Records printed its first thousand copies. It has since been published in 23 languages, in 100 countries.
  • What color is Guinness really? At first glance Guinness is quite dark in color, almost black, but actually, it’s red. Hold your glass up to the light and you’ll see a deep ruby red. The company attributes this in part to the roasting of malted barley during preparation.
  • Guinness was first marketed as a health elixir. The first-ever national print advertisement for Guinness touts the stout as a “valuable restorative after Influenza and other illnesses,” and invokes doctors who commend the beer’s ability to enrich blood and cure insomnia.
  • According to a study conducted at Northumbria University in 2013, approximately 13 million pints of Guinness were expected to be drunk on St. Patrick's Day. On an average day, about 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed.


Savings all around this week, and much if it’s green- Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We started selling corned beef dinners for two this past week which includes colcannon and carrots, and we’ve had a tough time keeping up with demand. It seems everyone is at least a little bit Irish this week as the corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread and Guinness beer are flying off the shelves. Another popular offer this year in our deli are the reuben sliders. You can buy any number you wish but for convenience we have some packaged in fours and sixes in the case across from the deli.

In addition to the many St Patrick’s Day offerings, be sure to check out the beef and pork sale in our meat department. We are offering four USDA Choice Prisco Angus beef steaks: Porterhouse, T-bones, filet mignon and round steaks can be had at the lowest prices in years, and they are selling out quickly as some folks are stocking up. In our pork section you will find all-natural Prairie Fresh pork chops, spare ribs and country ribs, all under $3 lb.

MOST IMPORTANT - If you are saving Prisco’s Points, and we know that most of you are, act before we close on Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ve got two opportunities to rack up some meaningful points. Spend $50 or more and you not only get one point for every $1 you spend, but we are throwing in a bonus of an additional 250 points. Spend $100 or more and that amount doubles to 500 bonus points. That purchase alone will give you more than enough points to redeem for all but three of the awards being awarded this month. Check out a full list of point redemption items here. Remember, once earned, your points are yours until you spend them…they never expire. We offer twelve items to choose from every month and if you don’t see something you want, save up your points and get two or more items the following month.  

As our slogan says, “Prisco’s Points are free to earn and fun to spend”.


Have you had the pleasure of tasting a Peppadew Pepper?- Tuesday, March 6, 2018

This type of piquant pepper is originally from South Africa and was first discovered in early 1993 and introduced to market later that same decade. The name is a portmanteau of 'pepper' and 'dew'. Although the pepper is sometimes described as a cross between a pepper and a tomato, this description is not botanically accurate, and refers only to the resemblance in color and size between peppadew and cherry tomatoes.

The fruit is processed for removal of the seeds and reduction of the heat of the pepper to more palatable levels and is then pickled and bottled. The flavor of the Peppadew® fruit is sweet because sugar is added in the pickling process, with mild heat.

They are a juicy and delicious treat all by themselves, but people also enjoy stuffing them with cream or goat cheese. Another great suggestion is for pureeing them with almonds, garlic and olive oil and spreading them on crostini. You might also try stuffing them with our homemade fresh ground pork sausage and broiling them. They make a great addition to a tossed salad and recently we’ve been using them as a pizza topping with great success.

If you have never tasted these delicious little peppers (by no means hot, although they are bright red in color), ask for a sample the next time you are visiting our deli. You’re going to love them!



A case of cabin fever has hit me bad!- Tuesday, March 6, 2018

It’s been a long uneventful winter and I for one am so ready to see spring arrive. In fact, I’m almost ready to say I’d love to get out and cut my lawn. Actually, when I think about it, I’d much rather cut my lawn this week than go out to shovel the driveway one more time.  

I know that about one month ago, Punxsutawney Phil the ground hog saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter, so I’m hoping that this comes to pass and within the next two weeks we see much more sunshine than overcast skies and that the temperatures stay above the mid-forties. I’m also very much looking forward to having our snowbird neighbors return, because after the holidays when so many of them leave town for warmer climates it gets a bit too quiet around here.

I’m also very much looking forward to taking the cover off the outdoor grill and throwing on a few steaks and brats to welcome the warm weather grilling season once again. Truth be told, I believe I've caught a bad case of cabin fever, and while I’m in no way a public health menace I do believe that the fever may have warped my cognitive abilities this week when putting together our meat ad!

Oay, call me crazy, but I met with Dave Hatcher, our meat manager, and Dave Michaels, our store manager, and we decided to put together a beef and pork sale this week and next like we haven’t seen in years. For example, you'll be able to get our USDA Choice Prisco’s Angus beef porterhouse and T-bone steaks for less than $8 lb., and if you want the very but steaks we offer our rib eyes are going out at $12.99 lb. We also slashed $6 lb. off the price of our tender filets. For you pork lovers, we’ve got our all natural Prairie Fresh country ribs at just $1.49 per pound on all family size packages. If you prefer, we also have center cut pork chops and loin chops at $1.99 lb. I’d also invite you to take home a package of our homemade steak fajitas with all the veggies ready to cook and enjoy.

We have done our part and put together what I hope you agree is a very aggressive ad, so please take a moment to look it over and come in and fill up your cart with some huge savings.

Oh yes… I almost forgot! We have another good reason for you to stock up big this week. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we are offering two big Prisco’s Points Bonuses. For the next ten days until closing on Saturday 3/17, spend just $50 in a single purchase and receive 250 Prisco’s bonus points, or spend $100 and double that to 500 bonus points.

So there you go, two great reasons to head over to our store this week: The biggest meat sale in years and hundreds of Prisco’s Bonus Points to boot.

See you in the meat aisle.



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