Thursday, February 25, 2010

A rare visit to Corrado's Family Affair

At Corrado's, Wayne NJImage by Kurt Wagner via Flickr

I once shopped regularly at Corrado's Family Affair, the large ethnic supermarket near the Clifton-Paterson border. I loved the aisle with bread from two dozen or more ethnic bakeries and the bottles of imported wine -- three for $10.

The store sold many Italian specialties under its own label, including extra-virgin olive oil and pastas. It always stocked pasta with squid ink, one of my favorites. Corrado's also opened food and non-food stores across Getty Avenue.

But the inexpensive imported wine became scarcer and prices for some items seemed better elsewhere, such as sardines at Fattal's Bakery on Main Street in Paterson. And I didn't like how the store sometimes pasted price labels over the expiration dates for Earthbound Farm salad mixes. So I went back to Corrado's less frequently, and visited the new Wayne supermarket only a couple of times (photo).

On the way back from Morristown yesterday, I stopped at Fattal's for bread, canned hummus, yogurt drink and a few other items, then headed over to Corrado's for the lemons I needed to prepare hummus. It had really big lemons at six for $1.99. I bought four, plus a red pepper at 99 cents a pound and a seedless cucumber for 75 cents. A 1-liter bottle of black currant syrup was $4.89 (to pour over plain yogurt).

The interior was renovated a couple of months ago and painted, an employee said. But you still won't find any signs in the crowded aisles, and shopping there is something of a treasure hunt. Customers are friendly and talkative -- unlike the snobs that frequent Fairway Market in Paramus.

At Corrado's, I noticed that a lot of the produce seem wilted, despite the almost constant stocking of bins. For example, I saw loose romaine lettuce with brown bottoms -- not a good sign. And I didn't even look at the bread aisle.

On the way home, I went to Crooks and East Railway avenues, where the Paterson Farmers' Market has set up shop year-round. Looking over produce at several stores, the prices here seemed even better than at Corrado's, but I was disappointed in not being able to find the dozen containers of organic, Greek-style yogurt that I bought Feb. 6 for only $2. "Probably Friday," the woman said.

 Corrado's Family Affair, 1578 Main Ave., 
Clifton; 973-340-0628. Web site:  Corrado's

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  1. Victor, I have pretty much stopped going to Corrado's altogether. I once shopped there at least once a week. You are right about the snobby Fairway customers though, I had the displeasure of shopping there today thanks to the snowstorm. Anyhow, I only have a few of those Greek yogurts left myself, my son loves them. There were none at Eastern Groceries last Saturday, instead they had tons of some Pineapple flavored yogurt. They also had some Yoplait Parfaits which were pretty good.

  2. So I guess Eastern Groceries is hit and miss. When I was there, they didn't have any of the Earthbound Farm heirloom lettuce leaves I enjoyed so much.

  3. Paterson farmers mkt is always hit or miss this time of year. I think the best deal for Greek style yogart may be at Nouri. 32 0z for 4.99. You can also drain your own, you'll lose maybe 25-30% but its simple and still cheaper than buying it that way. Just use a moistened coffee filter in a strainer and let it drain for a hour or two until you get the thickness you like. Trader Joes brand is also good at 2.99 for 16 oz.

  4. Thanks. I have made spreadable yogurt cheese at home for many years, so I'm familiar with the process, and I've tried Trader Joe's yogurt many times. I'll check out Nouri's yogurt next time I am in Paterson.

  5. Yes Eastern Groceries is hit or miss, you won't consistently see the exact same items.


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