Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Have you got yours? You know what I'm talking about, that time of year when you decide to change something about your life. Cut the fat, stop eating waffles, drink more water, buy more speedo's. It doesn't matter what it is really, the question is whether or not you'll be able to keep it.

I wish I could give you good tips and tricks here to help you keep whatever New Year's resolution you decide upon, but my track record, like most, isn't that great. Regardless, we'll be there for you on New Year's Day at our Midtown Village and Rittenhouse Square locations to offer up coffee to fuel your resolution, or maybe just a little sugar rush from our gelato to get you through that crazy parade of Mummer's.

Best of luck to your resolutions and see you next decade!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Passions and Preferences

You say to-MAY-to, I say to-MAH-to. We all have our way of doing things. I think I can speak for just about all Capogirians when I say we all have a passion for food; different preferences, but the common thread is definitely passion. We talk about food, we argue about food, and we are always talking about what we are going to eat next while we are eating. When someone travels, you hear, "Oh! You must try (insert bar/bakery/cafe/restaurant/street vendor/younameit here). Do not leave until you do!" Kamala returned from West Virginia with Oliverio peppers, Dan returns from Wisconsin with curds and eye patches (don't ask), Tacy returns from Maine with tales of lobsters and blueberries (you cannot bring those back), Lorenzo returns with artichokes, and I return with hot sauce and beignet mix. We are passionate.

Today we discussed what we ate in our holiday haunts. The highlight for me was probably one of the most delicious sandwiches I have ever had. See this beauty? It is an Oyster Loaf from Casamento's on Magazine Street in New Orleans. I am not one for white bread, but I lovelovelove oysters. This was near perfection. My brother-in-law, Tiger, took John and I for lunch. He said that he brings out of town-ers to Casamento's. 3 dozen oysters, shucked by the most adorable men, oyster stew, fried crab claws, 3 1/2 oyster loaves, and 6 Abita Gold beers served by the sweetest woman, who started out surly because we were mucking up the runway for the servers. Agreed. As I said, I am not one for white bread, but this was not your ordinary white bread: it was buttery and, quite honestly, worth fighting over. The oysters were shucked moments before and fried perfectly. These people are worthy of worship - Food Titans.

That was not the only perfection of the week. There were others. I'll save it for later. Another time.

I am home and thinking I need to create some new flavors. I feel inspired.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Barista-On-Barista: Ryan R.

It's that time again!! Time to get to know your bright eyed, smiling faced, always-happy-to-see-you Capogiro baristas: This week we've got the scoop (get it, "scoop", we sell gelato... hahaha) on 13th street's Ryan R., or, as he signs off on all of his cleaning tasks by, "R²". [Just so ya know, this photo is from our Holiday party last week, he doesn't work like that.]

As a customer, you probably know Ryan as that sweet guy who can handle an out-the-door Saturday night summer line quickly and with the slightest of ease. Getting you from anxiously waiting at the back of the line to lounging in our cafe with a full cup of Avocado and Lime sorbetto all within a matter a seconds, and with the style and grace demanded of a Capogiro gelato artisan. (It is a serious art, if you didn't know. I mean, you've read all about how we scoop this stuff, haven't you?)

To me, Ryan is that guy that I can always count on to be consistently AWESOME. No seriously. Ryan's been at Capogiro for a little over 2 years now, and he's got his barista game on tight. But Ryan is much much more than a barista, I swear...

A journalism major at Temple University, Ryan has just finished up an internship at Philadelphia's Magnet magazine. He was even so popular there that they ended up interviewing him about music, about Magnet itself, and yes, even about Capogiro... (You can read that interview HERE.) Ryan's set to graduate school this spring, and has plans to move to Iceland with his fiancé, Joe, after the summer. (Gay marriage is legal there, so legal that they even have an openly gay President... Did'ya know that?)

We'll miss you Ryan, but till then, keep scoopin' those eggs (I told you, read that post)...

Roots and rituals.

How was the holiday? Does your arm hurt from all that Wii action? Are your pants a liiiiiiittle tight this morning??? Mine sure are! I destroyed every hollowed out loaf of bread with spinach dip inside it from here to the Alleghenies.
We spent the weekend in West Virginia (save your kissing cousin cracks; I've heard them all a hundred thousand times before and furthermore, my cousins are for the most part wildly unattractive, overzealous religious fanatics or just totally unkissable...). I love WV in all of it's backwards glory. I love southern foods and traditions (though I hail from ABOVE the Mason Dixon Line) and I'd like to share a tiny piece of my family's heritage with you.

It's my grandmother's (Big Ma's) New Year's Day tradition and she would box my ears from the great beyond if I didn't prepare it annually. Black eyed peas, cabbage, collared greens and cornbread on the first day of every year is said to bring you good luck and prosperity. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with a ceremonial "cleansing" of the system.... but, ummm, thats one of the ritual's "perks".

I steam the greens in a big pot with a giant slab of bacon and force friends and neighbors to indulge. They're generally terrified at first. (Why does cabbage scare people so? It's not as if I'm asking them to eat chitlins and pickled pig's feet, sheesh, grow a pair...). After a few bites the fear dissipates and it's replaced with a newfound addiction to soul food. If you ask me, nothing says "Happy New Year" like black eyed peas and a slab of swine... MAN, I wish we'd make bacon flavored gelato... We ask all the time but, the Reitanos are very ANTI-meat based gelati. Party poopers. ;) Curb your craving with a pint of our Sea Salt Gelato in the meantime, we'll keep begging.

Whatever your traditional or non-traditional New Year's palate requires, I hope it finds you in good health and among family and friends. Happy Holidays, friends and don't worry about the extra pounds. I'd take bacon over a bikini any day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Wonderland!

This weekend was wonderful. A blanket of snow covered Philadelphia. My kids dove into the snow. As city kids, their snow memories are far different than mine or John's. John grew up in upstate NY where the snow was serious. I grew up on the beaches of New Jersey. Snow covered the joint, but it was usually nothing too serious. My parents would take us to the lone hills in the area and we would sled or tube down. Turkey Swamp Park was the place where we would ice skate and drink hot chocolate. My teen years were filled with football games on the beach with the snow: nice memories. John's winter was filled with snow - he has horror stories regarding the shoveling of his drive as a teen. Very different from snow in Philly.

The kids ran out the house and along with the other kids on the block, tunneled through the brick walks and between the cars. Our dogs tore up and down the block and snowball fights were had using the parked buried cars as cover. We walked a few blocks to view the art museum covered in snow and looking beautiful. A walk to the neighborhood deli to purchase bread and eggnog was fun. The city was quiet wrapped in snow. No buses, no sirens, no crazy people yelling through the streets. Shhhhhhhh, the city begged: it's snowing!

This past Saturday is usually the busiest shopping day of the year. Capogiro was quiet, but those walking in were so appreciative of the warm coffee and soup. Our baristi were happy to see those who ventured out. We did close early: we were worried about everyone getting home safely. For our friends who came out and enjoyed the hot chocolate and gelato, thank you for the company. The city in the winter.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Barista-on-Barista..... Con-radical

Sooo, there's a guy at Capogiro 13th street who's kinda awesome. He's Conrad to most. In fact, once you meet him, he'll be Conrad to you too. Conrad is the go-to man for any and everything sweet-related at Capogiro. Gelato is a biggie (duh), but we've also got those crazy good cookies, caramels, gummy pandas, chocolaty things, gavottes, biscotti, brownies, newly discovered vegan treats... the list goes on!

Aside from his general awesomeness, his fancy beverage-making talents, and the stunning breadth of his knowledge about the sugary concoctions we offer you, Conrad is the author of Philthy Blog. That's right, THE author. I'm not much of a blogger or blog reader, but this one is worth it. Really and truly. Long ago, on my first day of training at Capogiro, I'm fairly sure that the first words to come out of Conrad's mouth (aside from 'Capogiro rocks my world!') were 'Hey I'm Conrad! You should check out my blog!" I did my best to absorb everything I was taught that day, and when I got home I headed to the blog.

There is absolutely no way to sum Conrad up in just a few words, but the blog actually gives you a pretty incredible look into what he's passionate about. What gets him thinking, gets him mad, some stellar photography; Conrad is one of the most knowledgeable and motivated people I know. You're sure to find easy conversation, and an intellectually challenging one if you're up for it. He's also a genuine charmer. No joke. The guy is adorable. Come say hi!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last Chance Holiday Mixup!

I grew up in a mixed religion house: Menorahs and Christmas Trees sat side by side. My favorite holiday treat were TV specials; nothing, and I mean nuthin, would keep me away from those tv specials. (Hands down, the best was: “The Year Without a Santa Claus”). Light the candles... nope, not if Rudolph is on. To this day I can sing the lyrics of all the songs. Just a few weeks ago my sister-in-law Christine and I belted out the Heat Miser song while walking out of the Gorky (an absolute must!) exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Spontaneously! Some people doing the Rocky run stopped and sang along. That stop motion cartoon was created in 1974! 1974! ..... nineteen seventy four!

So, what are your fond memories of childhood pop? Did you love the Heat Miser or did your heart squeeze for that dentist elf Perhaps it was Rudolph’s girlfriend.... What was her name?

Soon I will travel from Philly - running from a little Snow - to Christine’s home in New Orleans for a little Heat to create some holiday memories. My kids’ memories are filled with Po-boys from Domalise’s, beignets, linguine alle vongole, their cousins, and no snow. TV specials do not play into their traditions. How sad. What are your holiday traditions? Do you travel or stay put or watch movies and eat Chinese food? I have done them all...

Whatever your flavor, spot, or ritual, we have
flavors to pair! Order by midnight on SUNDAY,

DECEMBER 20th and we will get it to you!

Perfect with Prosecco.

New Orleans’ Nog
Egg Nog Gelato spiked with Southern Comfort.

Apple Cider with Clove
Top it on Latkas. Trust.

Cioccolato Scuro
Scuro is Rudolph’s fave.

Cranberry Heirloom Apple
Tart and sweet, just like the holiday.

Spicy! The perfect compliment to any dessert.

Click here to order 6 perfectly packed pints to be sent ANYWHERE in the continental US.

Happy Holidays!
Now, go watch Snoopy Come Home on youtube.

By La Regina

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time...

The holiday season is truly a wonderful time of year; in fact, I’d have to agree with whoever said that this is the most wonderful time of the year. There are twinkling lights and decorations everywhere, shoppers merrily bustling about and, almost more importantly, something that makes me love holiday time even more: Castagna or Candied Chestnut Gelato. This elusive and tantalizing flavor makes its appearance in our gelato cases every December, but enjoy it while you can because, unfortunately, chestnuts, like Santa himself, don't stay around for long.

This much anticipated (at least by me) seasonal flavor is light in texture but rich in flavor, and is swirled with tons of candied chestnut chunks. It’s like eating a fluffy cloud of sweet deliciousness peppered with yummy bites of velvety nuts - how could you say no? This gelato is so unique in flavor I almost always opt to eat it solo, however, with so many options why chose just one? I like to pair Chestnut with Cioccolato Scuro, but if you prefer things on the more mild side I would calm it down with the green wonder of the gelato case, Pistacchio Siciliano, or Rosemary Honey Goat’s Milk, for an all out holiday feel.

Christmas time in South Philly

One funny thing about living in South Philly (there are many) is that the neighbors always let you know what holiday it is. As of now, 1 out of every 3 row homes are littered with Christmas cheer. Mine is not. I'm very nontraditional and I really don't care to spend my time adorning my house with lights. It's enough of a struggle to manage a 3 year old, let alone a twisty mess of lights. And at the same time? Whoa. Brain freeze. (Which is what you won't get when you enjoy a lovely gelato.)

These cats in South Philly go all out. Three story row homes are encircled in lights. Can you imagine the ladder they'd have to use? Candy canes in windows. Snowmen. Santa. You walk down a side street and I kid you not, a house has a speaker on their stoop playing nonstop Christmas music.

And it's like this for every holiday/season that's on the calender. January's all "new year" themed, of course. Lot's of babies in diapers and top hats and sashes. February has windows full of valentines and love and cupid and blech. March, St. Patrick fills the streets with green lights and leprechauns and the pots of gold we all wish for. April is awash with Easter bunnies and fuzzy ducks.

May is spring. Isn't President's day in the spring. Do I have to capitalize "president"? Or "spring"? So the windows are full of flowers and spring type stuff. It's also Cinco de Mayo. Now my neighbors don't actually decorate for this one, but sure do celebrate it like most Americans. You can tell by the collection of beer cans in the gutters and storm drains. June. I am now consulting my daughters Highlights calender. Just found out that Presidents Day in in February. I do remember seeing photos of Washington and Lincoln in the windows. No lights, though. But Flag Day is June and there's lots of flags.

Of course July brings out all sorts of red, white and blue. American flags are freakin' everywhere. It's all USA. USA. USA. And surprisingly, a South Philly fireworks show rivals the one at the Parkway (especially at New Years Eve). August/September are pretty boring. Maybe you'll find a beach ball or two in the window; maybe some pre-fall leaves. But I guess everyone needs a break b/c the killer months are a comin'.

October is Halloween and this is when things really start to get crazy. Pumpkins, skeletons, gravestones, witches, that house I mentioned before now has "scary" music playing. Neighbors are going all out! There's a house that has this HUGE inflatable spider on the front. My daughter really likes that one. Which then leads into November and I wish I could count how many Pilgrims I see in windows. And cornucopias. And leaves. And turkeys. And everything Fall. And as soon as Thanksgiving is over, Christmas roars in like a drunk Santa and blindsides you with Christmas cheer.

Okay. I'm taking my girl to see Santa (but she says she won't sit on his lap! Don't blame her.) And her response for when Santa asks what she wants for Christmas will be: a hat - Easiest Christmas EVER. Sure, we'll listen listen to all that Christmas music. But as for decorations... call me Scrooge. Call me Mayor McDuck. I'll just let my South Philly neighbors decorate for me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

No, YOU look good!


Our last month our friend Caroline at Looks good to me NOT ONLY wrote a really nice post about our Capogiro Gelato on her blog BUT to top it off, sent us one of her awesome illustrations to boot!!! Thanks Caroline!
(You can see the non goofy version of it on her site...)
We really appreciate the print and the post. Hope you have a great holiday and thanks for being a Capo fan!

Persimmons start arriving in November. During the first week of December, I place 6 persimmons on a plate on my counter. They soon become soft, dark in spots and quite frankly, if it were summer, they would gather flies. I carefully wrap and pack them to make the trip down to New Orleans. I give the gift of rotting fruit to my mother-in-law, Anna. Because I love her. Not kidding.

My mother-in-law was born in Padua, Italy and raised in Rome and spent her teen years back in Padua (which is between Venice and Verona).  The holidays were filled with roasted chestnuts, panettone, linguine alle vongole e cachi. Cachi are persimmons. The way to eat them is to let them ripen to the point of rotting, lean over the sink and rip into them.  I know she only eats them in privacy: I have never seen her indulge, she is too much of a lady. It is one of those things in which you need a moment alone. We all have one.

In celebration of the holidays and my lovely inlaws (and they are lovely):

Strange Holiday Gelato

Anna’s Persimmon Sorbetto
Uber ripe, sweet, slightly spicy and ultra Italian.

Roan’s Pure King Leo Stracciatella
Mint, smashed candy canes, bittersweet chocolate? Yes, please for my sweet nephew.

Francesca’s Coquito
Thai coconut milk, egg yolks, vanilla and rum. AKA “Puerto Rican Egg Nog” for my lovely friend Francesca, like a sister.

Domenico’s Nocciola
Just pure hazelnut for my father-in-law.

Julian & Gabe’s Sweet Clementine
For my nephews who are getting so tall I forget how little they are.

Quite possibly my favorite thing to poach.

Enjoy the holidays with what makes you happy and, well...different. We love different.

6 perfectly packed pints shipped anywhere in the continental US.!
Click HERE to order, just in time for Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Party Favor Flavors

As the holiday season descends upon us, the cards and party invitations start pouring in. Office parties, family parties, friend parties, kid parties, etc. Parties are fun and all, but it can be a bit overwhelming when you're expected to bring a little something to each one. A bottle of vino, a cookie tray, foil-wrapped candies: these are acceptable contributions, but don't they seem too played out after all these years? I mean, really - when is the last time a tray of gingerbread or sugar cookies really knocked your (or anyone's) socks off?

When heading to holiday parties this year, why not bring some Capogiro pints along? They are hand-packed into sturdy to-go containers in any of our three Philadelphia locations, and you can pick any flavor from our abundant gelato selections. Kids will love sweet-tart pomegranate and milky dulce de leche, while adults will appreciate rich and luxurious chocolate hazelnut, sophisticated Turkish coffee, or sinful single malt scotch. Thai coconut milk, dark chocolate, and lemon sorbetto are all guaranteed crowd pleasers. Our baristi will be happy to help you pick the perfect flavors (we have between 22 - 27 fresh flavors in our cafes), sure to add a creative flare to any dessert spread. All those dry and boring cookies will be given new life when used as bookends for gelato sandwiches!

If you're invited to soirees out on the Main Line, New Jersey, or even further, never fear - you won't arrive bearing gelato soup! Our gelato can survive the trip. We pack your pints up with ice or even dry ice, and both will keep them frozen for several hours.

So this year, bring the party favor everyone will fight over - pints of Capogiro's beautiful, artisanal gelato!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Start Your Engines!

Your holiday cake buying engine! We've told you about them before, I know, but it's in full swing now, baby! Be the envy of your guests at your next holiday party, family gathering, or misfit toy club meeting.

Layers of fresh, seasonal gelati and sorbetti shaped into exotic shapes, like PRISMS (ooh, like that pink floyd album) and DOMES (like those bullet guys from mario bros. what were they called?) Whoaaaaa.

We keep our case fully stocked with some of our favorites:

Il Mattone - Or the brick to most. Alternating layers of sweet Mascarpone gelato and indulgent Amaretto gelato in a rectangular shaped cake coated with toasted almonds.

Triangolo - Our most popular cake. Three layers of gelato in a groovy prism shape. Contains a layer of each: Cioccolato Scuro, Fior di Latte, and Bacio, with crushed house-caramelized hazelnuts pressed into one side. Slice it backwards to hear secret messages from a non-denominational demon of your choice!*

Della Signora - Men, fear not! It's only a lady cake because of the finger shaped cookies on the outside! A layer of Pistacchio Siciliano gelato topped with a layer of Burnt Sugar gelato with those caramelized hazelnuts (they're something special) in between and on top. It's finished off with a ring of lady finger cookies and a fancy pants bow.

Not something you were thinking? We have other cakes in our reportoire available for special order. La Bomba is a sharp little number of two seasonal sorbetti, surrounded by a layer of Thai Coconut Milk gelato with flaked coconut pressed into the exterior in a sleek half sphere shape. Or maybe you're going to dress to impress with an L'Alaska al Forno: a brilliant cake made up of a 2 flavor core and then topped with beautiful peaks of Italian Meringue. Placed in a 500 degree oven for a minute or two (wait, gelato in the oven? no lie!) to get the meringue brown and toasted. It'll knock the pants off your guests, if that's what you're goal is.

Or, choose to keep it simple. Ciclone comes in two cyclone shaped sizes with up to 4 layers of seasonal sorbetti. Circles make you dizzy? The Quadrato is a traditional square shaped cake with up to 5 alternating layers of seasonal gelati or sorbetti. You decide!

Maybe not your favorite seasonal flavor? Call us up! (215)-636-9250. Our gelato cake operators are always available to discuss our current seasonal flavor options with you for your very own, one of a kind, custom gelato cake. Keep in mind they're only made at our 20th St location and we'll need a few days to whip up something custom for you.

*We kid, we kid. Only our cioccolato scuro is demon endorsed, start saving now to buy his soon to be released basketball sneaks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vegan Apple Cider Donuts!!

Yeah, that's right... We used the "V" word.

If you haven't stopped by 13th Street to taste one of these mouth watering creations, you need to schedule a visit soon.

Mike Landers, the mastermind behind the North Port Fishington Cookie Factory treats, has completely reinvented the cruelty-free goody. "But vegan?", you ask? YES. We know. But try it for yourself, they're only 50 cents. Moist, dense, and delicious: grab a couple of mini apple cider donuts with your morning cappuccino and start your day!

The North Port Fishington Cookie Factory delicacies are made in Philly's own kitchen share. (Did you even know Philly had a kitchen share? Very cool Philly.) Along with the donuts, 13th Street carries North Port's Chococochip, Peanut Butter and Crasin Oatmeal vegan cookies.

You don't have to be vegan to like these goodies, or even know what a vegan is... You just have to like goooooooooooood treats!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cats, Dang It!

Cats love our gelato--it's true--but they shouldn't eat too much of it, 'cause they will get spoiled rotten and maybe also gain secret mind powers. Spoiled kitties moving furniture with their minds is a really scary thing you don't want to have to deal with, trust me.

Unicorns used to eat gelato, but they are now forced to live outside the "irreality cone" and are lost to us. Someday (maybe after the next imminent polar shift) when the electromagnetic veil is lifted, we will hopefully be able to feed cioccolato scuro to our mythical, horned, ungulate friends.

My cat just mind-scanned me to see what I was thinking, and wishes to remind me that the now-extinct thylacene used to gobble triple cones of bacio, pistacchio, and stracciatella gelato so fast and so often that they had permanent "ice cream headache," thus the terrible grimace they always wore - Crazy! Thank you, dearest Cat Overlord! He also wants me to bring home a pint of fior di latte and to relay this special message to oppressed cats everywhere:

"mew! mew! miow! rowr!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cross Country Capogiro

Have you ever found yourself on a long business trip in Boston, going through Capo-withdrawal? Were you shaking in the corner of your hotel room, with your laptop propped open for you to stare at the daily flavor list like a lion gazing hungrily at a gazelle? Do you roam aimlessly through the streets mumbling in a mixture of tongues and broken Italian... forcing yourself into ice cream shops and leaving with feelings of emptiness and regret?

Fret no more, Bostonians!

We're shipping fresh gelato and sorbetto to this fantastic Zagat rated, Italian Wine Bar, Café called Piattini! They just got an awesome review in the Boston Globe and we wanted to congratulate them and wish them the best via Capo-blog shout out.

Thank you Piattini, for spreading the Capogiro love and furthering our (not so) secret plans of world domination.

Where in the world will we end up next? Any ideas?

Almost Phamous!

Hey! Our friends at Philebrity (one of our favorite local blogs and twitter pals) have listed us on their "Business of the year" poll in honor of their 1st Philebrity Awards Show! Oh, you just HAVE to go and vote for us. Please? Please... with a dollop of freshly whipped panna on top? Thanks for the props Philebrity! Holla Back.


What's In A Name?

We know you don't understand, and we sorta like it that way. It's that one little thing we can smile about on the inside when you ask us. It's an age old question round these parts "What's capogiro mean anyway?"

But shh...don't tell my boss, 'cause I'm gonna let you in on our little secret.

To have a capogiro is the Italian way of saying that you are a bit dizzy. Not dizzy in a feeling sick to your stomach way but, mind you, dizzy in a schoolyard crush kinda way. The one where you have to sit down cause the grin on your face is throwing off your equilibrium.

It breaks down like this: capo means head and giro means spinning. Are you picking up the breadcrumb trail I'm leaving for ya?

Here's what the fine folks who write Italian - English Collins Dictionary have to say

Capogiro - sm: dizziness
aver un capogiro - to have a dizzy spell
ho avuto un capogiro - I felt dizzy
da capogiro - astonishing

So come on in and let a Capogiro hit you: we have plenty of seats to rest your tush on and all sorts of refreshments for you to recover!