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

My Account

Search:
All-American Blueberries- Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Native to North America, blueberries have been around for more than 13,000 years – so they have deep roots in our country’s history. Today, we’re still reaping the health benefits of blueberries, and are discovering they have more to offer than our ancestors could have ever imagined.

The North American blueberry season and harvest runs from April to late September. Blueberries are very low in calories (only 80 in a full cup) and they are packed full of health benefits so don’t hold back, enjoy your blueberries. Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C and are high in manganese. Vitamin C is necessary for growth and development of tissues and promotes wound healing. Manganese helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein. 

Blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease and adds bulk to your diet, which may help you feel full faster.

They can be used as a natural food dye, and legend has it that early American colonists boiled them with milk to make gray paint. Perfect blueberries are dusty blue in color, so don’t rush off to rinse that dust away until you are ready to eat them as this will speed up the spoilage process.

In the early 20th century, people didn’t think blueberries could be domesticated, but Elizabeth White, the daughter of a New Jersey farmer, was determined to grow a flourishing industry for cultivated blueberries. In 1911, she teamed up with USDA botanist Frederick Coville to identify wild plants with the most desirable properties, and crossbred the bushes to create vibrant new blueberry varieties. Coville and White harvested and sold the first commercial crop of blueberries out of Whitesbog, N.J.

 

If the cows could talk, they’d tell you: The milk at Prisco’s is the best!- Tuesday, December 12, 2017

We carry two brands of milk at Prisco’s, both of which we are proud to offer. The first has been a part of our product lineup for as far back as anyone here can remember…Oberweis milk. As many of you know, our family business was started almost 100 years ago in 1926 by our Grandfather (and for most, of us Great-Grandfather) Tony Prisco. One year later, in 1927, Peter Oberweis of Aurora, IL became co-owner in Big Woods Dairy -- the predecessor of the Oberweis Dairy.

No one today knows for certain when that first Oberweis Dairy delivery was made to Prisco’s, but we know for certain that we’ve been selling Oberweis Milk and Ice Cream at our store for generations. Oberweis is a premium product that is as close to nature as one can imagine. Simplicity is at the heart of every bottle of Oberweis milk because less processing leaves more room for flavor and delivers a healthier product that's better for your family. That means no artificial hormones, like bovine growth hormones, are permitted on Oberweis farms, and no added preservatives or antibiotics are ever found in their milk. They gently heat their milk to the minimum temperature to retain the most nutrients. They call this gentle pasteurization, and you'll taste the benefits! Healthier, tastier, fresher milk -- that's what has made the Oberweis name the most trusted in dairy since 1927.

If you haven’t yet tried Oberweis milk, or perhaps you are a loyal user of this brand, you will be happy to know that through December 26th you will earn 25 Prisco’s bonus points with every 1/2 gallon bottle you purchase.

Our other brand of milk is a relative new comer to Prisco’s. This past summer when our primary wholesales unexpectedly went out of business, we found ourselves scrambling to find a second source of milk as the Centrella brand was no longer available. We know that a basic staple like milk is a key component for any grocery store, and we were not about to take any brand that came along because our store’s reputation rests heavily on the brands that we offer. After a great deal of investigation and product testing, we settled on our new milk brand, farmer-owned Prairie Farms. We chose Prairie Farms for several reasons: 1) We like supporting a farmer-owned co-op as opposed to large corporate-owned entities. 2) We found Prairie Farms quality to be well above average, and 3) we found that the folks at Prairie Farms were pleasant, helpful, and eager to assure us that we would receive great service and only the freshest possible milk as often as we needed it delivered.

It turns out that our faith in Prairie Farms was well justified as we recently learned that the Prairie Farms dairy was awarded 42 awards at the 2017 World Dairy Expo Competition held in Madison, Wisconsin. Prairie Farms competed in 27 categories and took home nearly 50% of all the awards given out -- far more than any other dairy in the competition. Here is one more interesting piece of trivia about Prairie Farms milk that you may not know just yet: If you make it a habit to buy your milk at Prisco’s, you will be graciously rewarded for your loyalty. That’s right, by registering for our customer appreciation program called Prisco’s Points, we will keep track of every gallon of Prairie Farms milk that you buy, so long as you remember to identify yourself at the register. Then, over time, each gallon not only earns you Prisco Points (1 per $1), but when you buy your 10th gallon you will receive credit for a FREE gallon on your next visit.

Not a member yet? Register here!

 

All About Brie - One of the world’s greatest cheeses- Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Brie is one of the best known French cheeses and has seen a surge in popularity in the United States over the past couple decades, with peoples’ perception of it transitioning from “this is a luxury food” to “this would probably be great on my grilled cheese” mainly in the past ten-fifteen years or so. This is largely due to the tremendous increase in availability and variety of Brie cheeses, which has brought prices down and enabled more people to experience Brie, as well as experiment with it.

While it may have only taken off here in recent times, throughout its history Brie’s popularity in Europe has been immense. In fact, it was dubbed the “King of Cheeses” (or “Queen”, depending on whom you ask) not long after its creation in the Middle Ages, and was often given as tribute to the Kings of France… And if you have ever encountered a perfectly ripened, quality Brie, it’s easy to understand why it was so strongly favored.

Types of Brie

[info courtesy of Wikipedia.org]

Brie de Meaux - Brie de Meaux is an unpasteurized Brie. It is manufactured in the town of Meaux in the Brie region of northern France. It was originally known as the "King's Cheese", or, after the French Revolution, the "King of Cheeses," and was enjoyed by the peasantry and nobility alike. It was granted the protection of Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) status in 1980, and it is produced primarily in the eastern part of the Parisian basin.

Brie de Melun - This Brie is considered to have a stronger flavor and more pungent smell than Brie de Meaux. It is made with unpasteurized milk. Brie de Melun is also available in the form of "Old Brie" or black Brie. This Brie also has AOC status.

International Bries – Bries are now produced all over the world using a variety of methods and ingredients, including herbs, but what always remains the same regardless of country of origin is Brie’s development and texture...

Brie is classi?ed as a "bloomy rind, soft-ripened cheese," which indicates that it ripens from the rind inward, forming a thin white skin with that velvety "bloom." When perfectly ripe, it should be creamy and ?avorful, not runny or pungent. It should bulge slightly when cut but not collapse or pull away from the rind.

Serving Brie

A wheel of Brie is a quintessential party food due to its unmatched ?avor and elegant reputation. However, in order to maximize its flavor and texture, be sure to remove the cheese from the refrigerator approximately 30–45 minutes before serving.

Once brought to room temperature,

1)     Slice the Brie into bite sized pieces.

2)     Serve the Brie with a crusty bread or a plain crackers, or with light-colored fruits, such as pears or grapes.

3)     For the full experience, pair your Brie with wine. Acidic, herbaceous, dry whites like Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) or Sauvignon Blanc work well, as do champagnes and sparkling wines.

Though Brie is pure heaven on its own, as part of a cheese course, or with cool, fresh fruit, it takes on an equally delightful character when heated. Try baked Brie (see below) for a more traditional take on the cheese, or experiment a bit by incorporating it into a grilled sandwich or homemade macaroni and cheese. Brie in puff pastry is also delicious, and it lends itself perfectly to fondue as well.

Baked Brie

1)     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)     Place the Brie on a glass pie plate or some other decorative oven-proof plate.

3)     Bake the Brie for 10 to 12 minutes, until the center is soft.

4)     Serve sliced with fruit, crusty bread, or crackers.

Recommended toppings for Baked Brie

  • Slivered almonds
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Apricot preserves
  • Raspberry preserves
  • Caramelized pears or apples

Other Brie recipes

Baked Brie with Spicy Kiwifruit Compote

Lemon Pepper Chicken & Brie Flatbread Pizza

Tuna, Broccoli and Brie Casserole

Ripe Olive and Walnut Brie Torte

Baked Brie in Pastry

 

Cod – A Good Choice in Seafood- Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cod Fish has been a staple of the human diet all throughout history and the cod has had an immeasurable influence on modern western civilization. Approximately 10% of the world’s fish catch is cod.

In the United States, two similar but different cod species are harvested commercially: the Atlantic cod native to the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific cod, which can be found throughout the northern Pacific Ocean. Both of these cod species are part of a group of fish species often referred to as “groundfish” because they usually live on or near the ocean floor. Some other species in this group include pollock, haddock, hake, ocean perch, and flatfish.

The majority of cod currently landed in the United States is Pacific Cod. This fishery takes place off of the west coast of the U.S. and Alaska with the majority of landings from the Alaskan fishery. Pacific cod are harvested with trawl nets, long lines, and traps. Atlantic cod ranges from the Mid-Atlantic U.S. states through New England and the northern waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Canada, Greenland and Europe. Atlantic cod populations are currently believed to be low and strict management measures have been implemented to rebuild the population.

A cod surviving to a year old has virtually no predators from then onwards, other than man. It takes about three years for the cod to reach a weight of five pounds. Some codfish have been known to grow to the enormous size of 150 to 200 pounds. These days, however, a cod of over 10 pounds is considered a large cod.

Cod is a low fat, flaky white meat fish that is a good source of protein, phosphorus, niacin, and Vitamin B-12. A 3 ounce cooked portion of cod has less than 90 calories and one gram of fat, and 15 to 20 grams of protein. Its mild flavor puts it on the list of the top 10 fish favorites compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Preparation

Cod is flavorful on its own and doesn’t need a lot of added ingredients to make a tasty dish. Brush the fillets with olive oil, broil, then spritz the fillets with lemon juice for a quick and easy meal. Try baking fillets topped with tomatoes and low-fat cheese or mixing flaked cod with mashed potatoes, an egg white and seasonings for a cod cake. Cod also works well as a base for other flavors, so try giving it an Asian twist by topping it with a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, scallions and a touch of orange juice.

 

 

"Everything that's old is new, and everything that's new is old."- Tuesday, October 28, 2014

- Stephanie Mills – American R&B singer

This clever saying coined by Stephanie Mills is the cornerstone of what I wanted to Shout Out about today. I’m known at Prisco’s as the craft beer and hard cider guru, two subsets of the adult beverage category that are growing leaps and bounds annually and two topics that I love talking about. However, there is another adult beverage that is very new to almost everyone I speak to about it but ironically, it is believed to be the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man. I’m referring to mead, also known as "honey wine" which dates back thousands of years before Jesus Christ performed his miracle of changing water to wine at the wedding feast of Canna.

Made from fermented honey and water, sometimes with added yeast, mead is produced using countless styles and variations—from dry to sweet and anything in between, including sparkling. This is done by tinkering with the ingredient proportions and the fermentation process. Just as a wine’s notes are dependent on the terroir of its grapes (how a particular region’s climate, soils and terrain affect the taste of wine), the flavor of a mead changes based on the flowers that honeybees use to pollinate.

A little about the history of mead

The earliest evidence of mead production dates back to 9000 BC from pottery vessels in northern China. Historically, mead was something of a global beverage: it was consumed by Greek gods on Mt. Olympus, by the Vikings, and by African bushmen. In fact, mead was consumed before men knew how to harness the mead making process; mead fermented naturally on its own when a beehive combined with rainwater and yeast in the air. The great anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss suggested that the invention of mead marks a critical passage in human evolution, the transition "from nature to culture," as he put it.

The term ‘honeymoon’ can be traced to the medieval tradition of drinking this honey wine for a full cycle of the moon after marriage. Mead was thought to be an aphrodisiac, and if it was consumed by newlyweds, offspring would hopefully soon follow. A bride’s father would often include enough mead in her dowry to last for a month.

Throughout the ages, across the globe, mead has been celebrated as a source of health and happiness, of strength and inspiration, the preferred drink of poets and scholars, warriors and kings. Though mead faded from prominence after the Middle Ages, many European monasteries continued to make it, most famously the Holy Island of Lindisfarne off the coast of England. Craft mead is now poised to make a comeback, although it hasn’t yet been commercialized on a large scale. There are at least 165 meaderies in the U.S., according to the American Mead Makers’ Association (AMMA). Why is mead so alluring now? It possesses a mysterious, ancient aura, and it’s also not widely available in bars, making it more of an exclusive drink for those in the know.

So just what is mead?

There’s a lot of confusion about what this stuff actually is. Is it a wine? Is it a beer? Sort of. Not really. Yes and no. The most basic mead recipe contains just three simple ingredients: honey, water and yeast. We usually think of wine as fermented juice, with no water added, so in that sense mead resembles beer. But beer is made with grain, which must be malted and mashed and lautered (separating the sweet wort from the mash) and sparged (rinsing the grain of residualsugrs) — a complex process which has nothing to do with making mead. In the end we might have to conclude that mead is its own sweet thing. Technically, mead is classified as wine by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates alcohol sales and labelling in the US. This means that mead has to be labelled as "honey wine", which doesn't help combat people's perception of the drink as being as cloyingly sweet.

Don’t be thrown off by the word honey. Mead is not necessarily sweet, there is a great proliferation of not only dry meads but also meads flavored with fruits, herbs, and spicy peppers.

But what about taste?

OK, so it’s not nearly as important to know what mead is as to know how it tastes.

It’s true that mead tends to be on the sweet side, but just how sweet is a matter of preference and choice. As with any other wine, you can ferment mead until it is bone dry. But chemically speaking, the sugars in honey are very simple. If you ferment them away entirely, you risk losing all the flavor. The challenge for the mead maker is to find the right balance, the sweet spot, if you will, to preserve the delicate, mellow character of the honey, without being too sweet.

What if I don’t like sweet wine?

If you’re curious about mead, I would ask that you set aside your feelings about sweet versus dry and let the mead be mead. Let yourself be open to the possibilities. You might be surprised at what you find.

Start by pouring a small amount of a mead that sparks your interest. Swirl your glass and take in the aroma with your nose. What do you smell? Flowers? Fruit? Fresh herbs? Or perhaps something you can’t identify, but some earthy rich scent. Now let the taste buds explore as you take a small sip and let it roll around in your mouth over and under the tongue. How does it feel in your mouth? Thin, full, smooth, rich? How does it taste? Buttery, acidic? How would you describe the aftertaste? Warm, lingering, vaguely lemony?

What has led to mead’s recent surge in popularity?

Ironically, most people credit the credit with the resurgence of the mead business with the very popular craft beer movement "I was a home brewer, and at first I liked mead because I had never had it," says Brad Dahlhofer of B Nektar meadery in Detroit, Michigan. "Every home brewer has the same dream of, 'Hey what if I could sell this? Wouldn't that be great?'" says Dahlhofer.

After he spent months making batch after batch of mead, perfecting his recipe, he realized that mead was "kind of an untouched category", and that no-one, at least back in 2008, was really doing it commercially. So when he and his wife, Kerri, were both laid off of their jobs in Detroit's car industry during the recession, they decided to take the plunge. Today, B Nektar is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, US meadery, shipping 1,100 cases a week across the country.

Brad and his fellow mead enthusiasts, however feel that things are just getting started in the craft mead industry. Twenty five years ago, craft beer garnered a mere 1% of the total beer market but today it’s over 8%.

Mead can be enjoyed in a variety of ways – chilled, iced, at room temperature, or warmed. These variations change the flavor, mouth feel, and personality of the mead. Meads can easily substitute for and surpass your favorite red or white wine and they pair well with fish, meats, vegetarian meals, cheeses, and desserts. Bottom line I think mead has a distinct and interesting taste which I find most enjoyable. It’s delicious! But don’t take my word for it. Try some for yourself!

Hope you enjoy – check out our wide selection of featured meads in today’s online ad. http://www.priscosfamilymarket.com/specials/department_id/8

 

- Andy

Playing with Craft Beer Led to a Career- Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The dream of most kids in their 20s: Go to college, earn a degree, work in the big city, make a good buck, grab life and wrestle it to the ground; become invincible. When the bottom fell out of the job markets in the late 2000s though, recent college graduates and job-seekers were faced with a monumental hurdle: beat out experienced candidates that were willing to work for inexperienced salaries. So how do you get through a tough time like that? Well one way is to find a hobby to keep insanity at bay.

In 2010, I graduated with B.S. Marketing with an emphasis in Market Research from Northern Illinois University. While NIU provided a fantastic education and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, finding the right fit in a corporation proved to be more difficult than expected. I received a taste of the corporate life while consulting for a Fortune 200 company in 2009, experienced true entrepreneurship while helping a friend launch his own company in 2010, and accumulated Dean’s Honors each semester while studying in the upper-level business program. Yet through all the interviews and resumes sent, something didn’t feel right during the job hunt.

While working part-time and job-hunting full-time after graduating, I was handed our craft beer section by my brother Pete, who left the company for a career more-related to his studies. At the time we sold about 20-30 different craft beers, mostly from Windy City Distributing. Pete had called up Dan Schnarr (who is still a close friend of Prisco’s and now regional manager for Lagunitas Brewing) and brought the likes of Lagunitas, Two Brother’s and Buffalo Bill’s to Prisco’s.

After exploring the section for a few months and writing a few orders, a few customers noticed me hovering in aisle 2 more often. One of these was Steve Warrenfeltz, owner of Kiss the Sky in Batavia (if you haven’t checked out his shop yet and you love music, get in there!) Steve asked me for a beer that made me wrinkle my nose, Gumballhead by this brewery Three Floyds. I swear no less than 4 days later, a sales rep from Louis Glunz Distribution walked in the door with sales catalog. Browsing through the book, I got entranced by the names and descriptions of beers like Ichabod by New Holland, Vanilla Porter by Breckenridge, Chimay Cinq Cents, and Founder’s Dirty Bastard. The packaging was entrancing and the descriptions made me salivate, even though I really didn’t enjoy beer, and when I did, it was PBR or Miller High Life. The second-to-last page of the book I found a beer that made me do a double-take, Gumballhead. And, as they say, the rest was history.

I’m pretty sure I almost gave my Uncle Rob a heart attack the next week when I made the Glunz delivery crew change their shirts from hauling so much beer. Gradually I expanded the craft beer set, stealing space from the stacks and stacks of the domestic giants. A few of the neighborhood beer geeks started coming in and chatting. Really, the way I got so into the craft beer scene and brewing was our awesome customers. If they asked for the beer, they got the beer. I think my beer sales reps thought I was nuts. It took a little while, but pretty soon our selection caught on and Prisco’s became the hidden gem for beer lovers. We now boast over 700 beers, ciders and meads on the shelf.

There is one advantage the small, family-owned stores the big-boxes will never be able to touch and that’s listening to the customers. We listen to our customers and try our very hardest to make sure they are happy. Their happiness is our happiness, their families are our family.

I have a lot to share, so maybe you can tell me what you’d like to know about me next. Choose from home brewing, traveling the U.S., or dreaming in the kitchen (no I didn’t fall asleep on the stove).