Game Day Essentials

Football season is officially back! This means Sundays spent in front of the TV with friends, family, and food! While you can’t always count on a win from your favorite team (field goals are important), you can be sure that Caputo’s is here to cover all your food needs. Here are the top 5 items you need at your tailgates and watch parties.

 

Chips and Guac

The sign of any good party is a good chip setup. Our homemade dips are the key. Our guacamole is made fresh daily in house using high quality ingredients. In spicy or mild, you can satisfy all the cravings of your guests. Eb which is why our homemade tortilla chips are the best pair. Try our homemade tortilla chips. Made fresh each day using our tortilla machine imported from Mexico, they are crispy, fresh, and delicious!  

Potato Salad

Another good appetizer is potato salad. You can find many different potato salads in our deli section. Grandma’s grandpa’s, with mustard, baked potato, and more! These are all easy items to scoop into a bowl and let people enjoy!

Sub sandwiches 

Sandwiches and deli meats are a staple during game days. Our 3ft sub sandwiches are a great option for this. They come in Italian and American versions and are great for sharing. The American sub sandwich contains oven roasted turkey, polish ham, hard salami, and American cheese on a french baguette. The Italian sub sandwich contains Volpi genoa salami, mortadella, mild capicola, and provolone on a french baguette. They are easy to cut and serve!

Burgers and Sausage

For the main event, grilling! Burgers and sausage are a must on any grilling occasion. Our sausage is made in-house daily using recipes that have been tweaked and perfected throughout the years. If you want Polish sausage, Italian sausage, Barese sausage, and more. Our famous sausages are juicy and full of high quality ingredients which make it truly unparalleled to any other sausage. Burgers are a classic. If you’re tired of plain burgers and want something a little different, try our stuffed burgers. In three different varieties, our stuffed burgers are filled with the best ingredients. Pre-filled, all you have to do is grill it! The result is a great burger with everything you need inside!

Brownies and Cookies

Can’t forget the dessert! Our homemade cookies and brownies are the way to go. Easy to eat and in different varieties, they will satisfy your sweet tooth. Our brownies are rich in flavor and decadent. If you want to take it one step further, warm up the brownie and add a scoop of ice cream, it will not disappoint. We also have many different kinds of cookies. Butter cookies, almond cookies, or our pre-packaged cookies are easy to serve! Our bagged cookies are available in chocolate chip, m&m, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, and sugar– so some for everyone!

Happy football season and happy eating!

From Our Family To Yours

Friselle: What it is and what to do with it

Whether you’re looking for an appetizer, a snack or even lunch, this hard italian bread is a solution to all. Native to the Puglia region of Italy, friselle is a twice baked piece of dough in a ring shape. 

Because friselle is a plain bread, you have a lot of freedom to add ingredients and make it delicious! It is hard, bagel shaped bread. It is baked a few times to make it crunchy. Because it is not soft, so it is always a good idea to soak it– with with water or olive oil- to soften it up and make it easier to eat!

Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy friselle, either as a meal or as an appetizer to share!

 

Oil & Vinegar

One way to eat it is a simple dressing! What you’ll need is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano. Start by adding a little water to soften the friselle. Once the water is absorbed, add vinegar and oil. Then season it with salt, pepper, and oregano to your liking.  The balsamic vinegar adds a nice flavor that awakens the plain friselle. This is even good to use as an appetizer because of its simplicity.

Tomatoes

This version is a twist on bruschetta. What you’ll need here is cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Start with putting olive oil on the friselle. While the olive oil is absorbing, wash the cherry tomatoes and slice them. I like to cut them in half slices to make them flat and easy to eat. Douse the cut tomatoes in olive oil and put them on the friselle. Then add salt and oregano and top it with some fresh basil!

Avocado and Ricotta

I like to think of this as an Italian avocado toast! You’ll need olive oil, salt, pepper, avocado, and ricotta (or any cheese you prefer). Again, you’re going to start by putting a light layer of olive oil on the friselle to soften it. Then cut your avocado. You can cut it in slices or even mash it. Take your ricotta and spread a layer on the friselle. Then add another small amount of oil and top with salt and pepper! Another great cheese for this version is mozzarella or our homemade bocconcini! 

Another good and clean tip is to use spray olive oil! It comes in a can and when you push it, the oil comes out. It allows for precise and controlled sprays, great for foods like this!

There are so many fun ways to eat friselle and so many different things you can add to it! Do you like to eat it a different way? Let us know down below in the comments!

From Our Family To Yours

 

Keeping Traditions Alive

 As a family owned and operated business, we are committed to helping you and your family keep traditions alive and teach younger generations. Whether meals, rituals, stories, amongst other things; we know how important traditions are. Two important Italian traditions are canning tomatoes and making wine!

The tradition of canning tomatoes can date back to the 1700s when people began putting their summer produce in jars as a way to preserve them and stock up for the winter. Since then, canning tomatoes has transformed into a yearly family get together. In late August, we truck in loads of locally grown, vine ripened tomatoes. Vine ripened is a key part of our tomatoes because some tomatoes are picked green and ripened through different processes. Our tomatoes are ripened fully on the vine, then picked. In doing this, they maintain the natural sugars crucial to making delicious sauce. In addition to the tomatoes by the bushel, we also sell jars and tools to aid in making the process easier. You don’t want to dirty your clothes, so pick up an “I Love shopping at Caputo’s Apron” to make it a clean process too   

Another important tradition amongst Italian-American families is wine making! The wine making tradition is an involved process that requires hard work and patience. We bring in a wide variety of wine grapes and juice every year for this custom. The juice comes from Italy and the grapes come from a grower in California. The grower has a specific process too when it comes to picking grapes. Our grower made the decision to leave the grapes on the vine to allow the sugar to continue to develop in the fruit. The sugar in the fruit is vital to the alcohol content that will be found in your homemade wine. We have tons of supplies for your wine making get togethers. From corks to bottles to pressers, we have the crucial tools you need to get your wine making process underway. We sell wine grapes out of our warehouse located in Carol Stream and out of our Elmwood Park store. Wine grapes will be available within the next few weeks!

Let us know how Caputo’s is involved in your family traditions. Comment down below with some of your family traditions or email us at events@caputomarkets.com with pictures and stories!

 

From Our Family To Yours

 

How to Create the Perfect Charcuterie Board

The key to any party is a good antipasto tray. Your guests will love to pick on an array of foods before, during, and maybe even after the main course! With so many options it may be hard to pick exactly what varieties to put on your tray. We’ve got some tips on how to perfect the craft and some recommendations for what to include.

There are a few things to remember when creating an antipasto tray or charcuterie board. 

1. Balance your board

 The first is to always have a balance. It is important to have a good mix of sweet and salty items to heighten different taste buds and reach different senses. It is important to have a few meat options, a few cheese options, and some crunch

2.  Add texture

Cut your items in different shapes. This will add texture and give you more room to play on your board. 

3. Include palate cleansers

 Another thing to remember is that you need palate cleansers. When you’re eating a variety of foods, you want to have a clean palette so that you can get the full taste of the food. Wine crackers are a great addition to any tray because they won’t dehydrate you and they have a hint of vanilla to clear the taste and help you fully appreciate your food and drinks. 

4. Have fun with it

You are in charge of what goes on the board. Play with the tastes, colors, and arrangements on your board. You can get as creative as you want!

If you’re wanting to make a tray, but looking for some guidance on what items to use, look no further! I’ll walk you through exactly what was on our most recent antipasto tray.

 

The first thing we’ll start with is Parma Prosciutto. This is a salty deli meat that is easy to eat and high quality. For this tray, we got 6 slices of prosciutto from the deli, but we are going to make it go a long way. Cut each piece in quarters and roll each quarter on a bias or an angle. Rolling the meat on an angle changes the taste making it lighter and easy to chew. 

One of the items on our board is our homemade bocconcini. We chose bocconcini for a few reasons, but one of the top reasons is because we love the taste! The taste can be attributed to it’s unique features. Bocconcini  it is soft, creamy, and adds a hint of salt. It is also a contrast in color to some of the other items on our board.  

The olives we chose were castelvetrano olives. These are green olives imported from Castelvetrano, Sicily. I normally do not eat olives, but these are unlike any olive I have ever tasted! These are buttery and smooth. They are easy to snack on and have an almost sweet flavor. In addition to the taste, the green color is vibrant and beautiful on a charcuterie board. 

We then took pepperazzi or peppadew peppers. These can be found on our olive bars. They are hollow, round, red peppers harvested in Peru. They are brined in a medium spicy juice, but then glazed with a syrup to mask the natural spice of the pepper. We stuffed the hollow peppadew with honey goat cheese. The honey goat cheese acted as a creamy and sweet addition to the medium spiced pepper. 

The next cheese we added was to compliment the spice in the stuffed peppadews. To do this, we chose rattlesnake cheese. It is an aged cheddar that will affect all your tastebuds. It is made with tequila, lime, and habanero pepper. The tequila and lime are sweet and open your palate to the creaminess and softness of the cheese. When that happens, the habanero kicks in and creates a new, flavor filled experience.  This cheese does have a kick and you may not want this on your board if you are sensitive to spice. 

To get away from the spice and ready to open your pallet to the next food, we put some crackers. These crackers are made with rosemary, pecans, and raisins. They do a great job of creating a new taste in your mouth so you have a clean slate for the next tasting. 

Our next cheese is the Rustic Red Cheddar. This is a sweeter, grittier cheddar. It is a good contrast to the rattlesnake cheese because the Rustic Red is not creamy or spicy. It adds texture to the board. In addition to a different taste is the bright orange color of the cheese adds a good visual look. 

Another item we are going to use is salami. This is a little heavier than prosciutto, but cutting it on an angle again will make it a little lighter. It is another salty item that has a unique taste. 

To add a little sweetness, we are going to cut up a date and walnut cake. This cake is just pressed dates and walnuts shaped into a cake form. It is softer and has a naturally sweet taste from the dates. We are also going to use caramelized walnuts. These are sweet and crunchy. They aren’t sticky because of the caramelization process. 

Can’t forget the wine! Charcuterie boards pair well with a Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio to keep it light and balanced.

Going to make your own charcuterie board? We want to see! Send us some pictures of your creations!

From Our Family To Yours       

 

An Instagram Worthy, Delicious, and Nutritious Lunch

We live life in a hurry. We are always running out the door or from one place to the next. In our hectic lives, food can get put on the back burner, especially lunch. In the middle of a busy day, it is easy to get caught up and not have time to eat or you need something quick. This often means that you sacrifice nutrients, but not anymore! Our pre-made salads are easy to bring along with you, they are full of nutrients, and delicious!

In our prepared foods section, you will find a variety of different salads. Full of different ingredients and flavors, these aren’t your typical boring salads. They are vibrant with color and packed with taste. Our wide variety will satisfy any cravings you may have. They are made fresh daily. The dressing comes on the side so you can add as much or as little as you wish, and your lettuce is never soggy! 

One of our favorites is the greek salad. The greek salad has onions, black olives, and feta cheese with a Greek, vinegarette dressing. If you’re looking for a salad with a little bit of everything, try the chopped salad! 

The chopped salad is packed with ingredients including egg, cucumber, tomato, chicken, carrots, and more! This has plenty of greens, vegetables, and proteins to make it a complete meal. 

If you want something classic, we offer the essentials like a garden salad or Caesar salad. The options don’t stop there! We have a southwest salad, bacon ranch salad, Julienne salad, and more.

Try them out and let us know which is your favorite!

From Our Family To Yours

 

Back To School

As the summer winds down, people start to get into back to school mode. Kids start looking at their schedules. They need new shoes, new school supplies, new clothes, and more! As it gets closer, you may feel like there is so much to do and so little time. One thing you don’t have to worry about is what to pack for lunch because we’ve got your back!

One good option for lunch is hummus! Kids love hummus and it’s good for you. It’s packed with plant based proteins. The single servings are great to throw in the lunchbox and the hummus with pretzels are even easier!

There are also many different on-the-go boxes that have a variety of snacks in individual boxes. You can pick the ones that best suit your cravings. Sweet or salty options, or sweet and salty options, the variety boxes make it so you don’t have to choose! There are also variety packs of crackers. Cracker sandwiches filled with peanut butter or cheese are another good way to sneak a little protein into the lunch box. 

Bites are trays that come with a fruit, a protein, and a cheese. These are delicious and nutritious. They get a little bit of all the essentials in your diet and they are compact!

For the meat lovers, try some snack packs.  An on-the-go container filled with cheese, taralli, and salami are delicious! They are like the italian lunchables!

And if you just like salami, try these Busseto salami snack cups. They don’t need to be refrigerated, which makes it great for grab and go!

Don’t forget the drinks! Mini water bottles, juice, or milk. We have smaller version that you can throw in the lunchbox without taking up too much room. 

We have plenty of options that are good for you and delicious, so you can feel good about what you give your kids to eat!

From Our Family To Yours

Octopus Salad

   The summer heat makes us crave refreshing foods. We find ourselves wanting light options that leave us satisfied. A go-to is our homemade octopus salad! Made using simple, high quality ingredients, our homemade octopus salad is a great meal on these hot summer days! 

   Our octopus salad is made to perfection with a few different steps. We first tenderize the octopus with a machine that Angelo brought back from his hometown, Mola di Bari, Italy. Mola di Bari is a coastal town known for its fresh octopus where fishermen go out every morning to catch octopus, so we take great pride in our octopus salad.

Fisherman in Mola di Bari with his freshly caught octopus

After the tenderization process is complete, we begin the marinating process. We dress the octopus using a signature blend of spices, oils, vinegars, and vegetables. We then like to top it off with a squirt of lemon, and voilà! The result is fresh and filling octopus salad! 

The aroma of marinades, the bright colors of the vegetables, and the taste of it all makes our octopus salad delicious and refreshing! 

 You can taste our octopus salad at a few different festivals in the upcoming weeks. We will have booths at the taste of elmwood park and Little Italy Festa on Taylor Street where we will be selling our signature octopus salad. Of course, we also carry the salad in all our stores! It’s perfect for parties, barbecues, or just to keep in the fridge for yourself! 

From Our Family To Yours

 

What’s Cookin’?

  Are you craving a home-cooked meal, but don’t have the time to do everything by hand? Want something that’s quick, but still healthy for your whole family? We have just what you need! At Caputo’s we have everything you need to make a delicious meal that is healthy and won’t take too much of your time! 

Your first stop on the shopping trip will be in our meat department. We have a variety of pre-marinated meat and chicken for you to choose from. Because they are all pre-marinated, all you have to do is take them home and cook them. Some of our pre-marinated chickens include, rosemary and herb, garlic parmesan, mediteranian style, and more. These are all-natural with no preservatives, making it an easy meal solution that is good for you and your family. 

 

You can’t forget sides to go along with the meal! We all know that cutting and cleaning vegetables is a tedious task that is time consuming, so let us do it for you! Chicken is easy to pair with mostly anything, especially vegetables. We have a few different options to give you a shortcut when finishing off your meal. You can check out our cut foods section. Cut foods has vegetables that are already cut and cleaned for you, so you just have to cook them and season them to your liking! You can also browse through the prepared foods section where we have some already cooked and seasoned vegetables with incredible flavor. Some of my favorites that can be paired nicely with any of the pre-marinated chicken options are green beans and zucchini!

When you’re done, check out our liquor section to get a nice bottle of wine so you can begin to unwind after a long day because you deserve it!

From Our Family To Yours

Percocas Have Arrived!

The fruit that we have been waiting for the whole summer has officially arrived! That fruit is of course percoca peaches! This fruit, exclusive to Caputo’s, is just what the rest of your summer needs.

 Percoca peaches are an Italian specialty variety of clingstone peach best known for their flavor. Clingstone peaches are known as fruit that does not fall off the pit. This makes it ideal for canning because it will stay together. In fact, over 90% of percoca peaches are grown for canning. We are lucky enough to be one of the few retailers to carry percocas.

We owe this to a relationship we developed with a California farmer over 30 years ago. Because of our long history, DePalma Farms gets the peach trees from Italy and sends us the infamous percoca peach every summer.

 

While these peaches are juicy and delicious eaten on their own, they’re even better enjoyed in wine! Their fruity flavor compliments the aromas of the wine. We like to cut the peach, usually in wedges or slices, then add them directly to our glass of wine. While they sit in the wine, they start to collect the juices and soak. Once you’re done drinking your glass, you get to eat the peach for a nice treat at the end!\\

Haven’t tried percocas yet? Stop by and get yours now!

 

From Our Family To Yours

Italy’s Favorite Drink

Are you wondering what the orange drinks that have been taking over your Instagram and Facebook feeds? One of Italy’s most popular drinks has been taking the world by storm and rightfully so. The Aperol Spritz is the drink of the summer because of it’s refreshing and fruity flavor. 

Aperol is an aperitivo or aperitif, an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Aperol was created in Padua in the 1910s by the Barbieri Brothers after inheriting the company from their father. Aperol is still the same recipe from 1919, but the aperol spritz did not gain popularity until the 1950s. Since then, the drink has grown in popularity. A great thing about this drink is the simple ingredients and how easy it is to make it!

Heres how to make it:

1. Fill a wine glass with ice

2. Add the  Aperol and Prosecco

*the amount of Aperol and Prosecco you adds depends on your personal preference. If you prefer sweet drinks to bitter drinks, add more Prosecco than Aperol. Aperol is a bitter*

3. Add a dash of soda water

4. Garnish with an orange slice

Enjoy! Let us know how you liked the Aperol Spritz down below!

From Our Family To Yours