Author Topic: Where to buy ingredients in Chicago area, or Northwest Burbs?  (Read 244 times)

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Offline BobC

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I'm in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.  I'm just trying to find out where there are any good places (ie good quality at reasonable prices) to get cheeses, tomatoes and flour in the area...

So far, Costco doesn't have KYROL flour, but had a lower protein Con Agra Harvest Bread Flour for about $13 for 50 lbs.  I don't have a membership anyway.

Sam's Club has Fleishman's Instant Dry Yeast for about $5 for 2 lbs., but they have no high protein flour.

What is Costco Business?  It sounds like they don't sell to the public?  I don't know if its around here anyway.

GFS has Primo Gusto Bread and Crust flour, which I'm using now but until I try the Con Agra Harvest Bread Flour, I don't have anything to go on comparison wise.

Are there any good inexpensive tomatoes?  If I was going to grow my own, what would be best?

Pepperoni.  What would be the best you could find for pizza?

Sausage...  I'll just make my own...

Thanks for any ideas...


Offline dms

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Re: Where to buy ingredients in Chicago area, or Northwest Burbs?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 11:17:03 AM »
I'm in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.  I'm just trying to find out where there are any good places (ie good quality at reasonable prices) to get cheeses, tomatoes and flour in the area...

So far, Costco doesn't have KYROL flour, but had a lower protein Con Agra Harvest Bread Flour for about $13 for 50 lbs.  I don't have a membership anyway.

Sam's Club has Fleishman's Instant Dry Yeast for about $5 for 2 lbs., but they have no high protein flour.

What is Costco Business?  It sounds like they don't sell to the public?  I don't know if its around here anyway.

GFS has Primo Gusto Bread and Crust flour, which I'm using now but until I try the Con Agra Harvest Bread Flour, I don't have anything to go on comparison wise.

Are there any good inexpensive tomatoes?  If I was going to grow my own, what would be best?

Pepperoni.  What would be the best you could find for pizza?

Sausage...  I'll just make my own...

Thanks for any ideas...

A costco business center is a costco that specializes in servicing businesses.  No tire shop, no pharmacy, less consumer oriented stuff (clothes, jewelry, etc), but expanded selection of stuff for businesses, particularly small stores like gas stations and food service operations.  So better selection of restaurant smallwares, more ingredients, etc.  They're open to all members.  The Bedford Park store is supposed to be converted to one, but I don't know if it's happened yet. 

I buy very good pepperoni from Paulina Meat market (hermitage and Lincoln, in Roscoe Village), and reasonable stuff from the deli counter at mariano's.  Chicago has a number of good sausage making shops, so there are probably other sources.  I typically use Escalon 6n1, which is readily available at grocery stores (and GFS has it in #10 cans). 

When I use a high gluten flour (which I do only for NY style stuff and some breads, Chicago style is done with Ceresota) I use Bay State Milling Bouncer, which is available at GFS, in 25 lb bags.  (Which is why I buy it; I can get away with having 25 pounds of flour, 50 is too much.)  It's good, but it's not the best, but I like better than the primo gusto stuff.  I do like it for bagel making, though.

Offline BobC

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Re: Where to buy ingredients in Chicago area, or Northwest Burbs?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2015, 12:44:00 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  I finally got a job, so now can afford pepperoni, LOL.  I got some sliced at Valli's (sliced there at the store) and it tastes pretty good.  I found that I can't slice it thin enough when I try to slice it off a stick by hand.  I do like a pepperoni pizza, and it was nice to taste one again, and to make one as good as what I remembered as a child.  Is there a particular brand of pepperoni that I could look for that's real good?  I've never been to Roscoe Village. 

I've got less than 30 days supply of the Primo Gusto Bread/Crust flour from GFS left.  In the meantime, someone I know has a Costco membership and got me a 50 lb bag of ConAgra Mills Harvest Bread Flour.  The protein is lower than the Primo Gusto was (ie 3 gm/serving vs 4), but I'm hoping it will be good for pizza crust.  I was trying to get ConAgra KYROL flour, and thought that was what I was going to get from Costco, but they didn't have the KYROL, and what I got was the Harvest Bread flour.  Beggars can't be choosers, I guess.  From what I read this Harvest Bread flour isn't very good, but having 50 lbs of it, I better figure out how to use it.   Maybe I will buy another bag of the Primo Gusto and try a pie with the two blended if the Harvest Bread flour doesn't do well. 

I see there is a place called Central Baking Supplies on Western Ave. that carries top shelf stuff, and "walkins are welcome".  Ever tried there?

For cheese, I'm just grating mozzarella and provolone or muenster from Valli's.  I'm happy with them, but if you know any really superior brands available around here, let me know...

For sauce, I'm just making a cooked sauce using inexpensive crushed tomatoes.  Its working.  I may try the fancy 6 in 1 sometime when I need to but tomatoes anyway.  At the moment I'm trying to grow some cherry tomatoes.

All things considered, there is no place in the NW Burbs that I can buy a pizza as good as what I'm making, so until I find something better to compare against, I guess I'm ok with what I've got.  It amazes me that even for $20 or $30 you can't get a really good pizza here, even at the places with awards on the walls.