Friday, April 30, 2010

Sweet, Sweet Pig Love

Gosh darnit, I love bacon.

bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon.

I like pork chops (insert "and applesauce here _______________"). Not quite fond of pork rinds. And really not to sure about pigs feet. 1) How do you cook them# 2) I'm not that big into feet anyway. Although I have been known to kiss a toe or two. But pig toes, do you know where they've been!?! And doing research, they even make pickled pigs feet. Shady.

Get this: pigs feet are a soul food dish. Southern cookin' at its finest, I assume. I dig soul music. Even more so I dig funk music. If you haven't had the chance, please please please download these two albums: Funkadelic^, America Eats It Young (the lyrics are just awesome and super timely) and Funkadelic, Funkadelic...oh, and Funkadelic, Maggot Brain. "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?" Give these a listen and you we be all dirty from that crazy psychedelic, rock, soul and funk. Dirty like a pig in slop.

All in all, a big thumbs up to the other white meat. In fact, I may just start a Facebook page to over take that "original" white meat. What is that? Chicken? Stupid chicken. Those cows from the Chick-fil-A have it right. And you know why chicken's stupid, 'cause we don't serve it here at Capogiro. (nice tie in, right? insert applause here _____________)

We have Lancaster double smoked bacon. You heard me right. Double. Smoked. Kinda like me in college (insert laughter here ____________). Oh, but it's, oh so delicious. Thick cuts of tasty pig meat, barely a trace of fat and smokey. Now, you can get a BLT at every Capogiro, but if you swing out by our Penn store for breakfast, we'll serve you that savory, delicious bacon on either an H&H bagel or an Au Forneil croissant complimented with fontina cheese and hard-boiled egg. (another timely plug. insert golf clap here _____________).

Pig. Bacon. And etc.

So when I got married some 13 years ago (insert sad trombone sound here __________^^) it was in North Carolina (Who's House? Heel's House!). And for our most awesome reception we had some really tasty craft brewed beer and a pig pickin'. One half of a pig torn to shreds and thrown on your styrofoam plate by guys with not all of their teeth and industrial strength gloves. Served with coleslaw. Dang, classy.

Couple of years ago, my mother got me an electric griddle for Christmas. I said, "Mom, why do I need an electric griddle?" Mom says, "Because. It's what I got you for Christmas." Guess what that electric griddle's good for?* Pancakes, sure, but not in my "house". French toast? Pu-lease. Yep. You know what's up. Bacon. I can fit almost a whole package of bacon on the griddle.

ETC. Hmmm. Just thought it would look good for the next segment. But I got nothin'.

So there you go. Bacon. Awesome. Good show.

*Electric griddles cook bacon much better than a cast iron skillet with raised slots in the pan to collect grease. Because here's what happens when you don't empty the skillet of grease. It gets really hot. Then start to smoke. Especially when a LOT of it has collected. No matter how strong the overhead vent is, this smoke will then filter it's way through out the first floor of your "house" and start to tease the smoke detectors. Smoke detectors like to detect smoke of all forms and then will alert you to the fact that smoke is accumulating. Loudly. Making daughter cry. Then you realize, "Crap! I just bought this "house" and the smoke detectors are hard-wired into the electrical system!" And pushing buttons on the said detector does no good, so you run down stairs to the fuse box which ISN'T labled (stupid previous owner) and you just cut the power to the whole house.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rittenhouse Row Festival!

It's that time again, Philly! This Saturday, don your sundresses, fancy hats and stroll down Walnut Street from Broad to enjoy the best Rittenhouse has to offer. The event is free! And we'll be out in Capogiro style, doing what we do to get you your gelato fix in the midst of the celebrating. Come say hi, yeah? I'll high five you, for sure.

PS - all of you tech savvy Philadelphians may already be totally up to date with this, but Capo's indulging your obsession with text messages and has teamed up with Philly locals XIPWire - a company who's made it possible to pay vendors and friends with a simple text. Crazy cool. You'll be able to use it all over the festival! Added bonuses abound. See you Saturday!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Customer Profile: What Did You Have Tonight?

Thai Coconut Milk and Dark Chocolate

Avocado, Thai Coconut Milk, Creme Fraiche, and Dark Chocolate

Kiwi, Mango, Lemon, and Creme Fraiche

Gianduja and Thai Coconut Milk

Pistachio and Gianduja

Dulce De Leche

Thai Coconut Milk, Banana, and Chocolate
(By the end of the night people were really getting into the spirit of this post, even our own baristi...)

And of course, no good combo is created without TONS of samples first... So thanks Nelson and Kristin for all the tastes!!

What did you have last time you were at Capogiro? Let us know...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flavor Post: Rice Tea!?

Rice tea, popcorn tea, gen mai cha, whatever you call it; this tea is suprisingly tasty! The characters to the right read "gen mai cha." "Gen" is closely translated to mean "dark" and "obscure", "mai" stands for uncooked rice, while "cha" is tea. "Genmai" ends up meaning rice that is unhulled or unpolished, dark, or in this case brown rice. It's sometimes called "popcorn tea" because the grains of rice sometimes burst during roasting, giving them the appearance of popcorn.

Our Gen Mai Cha tea from Two Leaves & a Bud is a mixture of roasted brown rice and long leaf Sencha tea. Gen Mai Cha is extremely popular in Japan and originated from Japanese peasants using rice as a filler for their tea mixtures. I know your still here thinking about how gross the Jelly Belly Popcorn flavor is and that there is no way that sipping hot rice is going to be satisfying. I was a skeptic, too. When steeped, the rice provides a mellow, nutty flavor that enhances the tea and rounds out the sharpness of the Sencha.

Trust me, it's an amazing toasty sweetness.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flavor Proposition

I spend inordinate amounts of time watching, reading about and generally seeking out bizarre food-related things. Restaurants working on the cutting edge (Alinea, wd-50, moto, Fat Duck) captivate my imagination, as do strange and unusual ingredients found in nature.
I just watched a segment on Miracle Fruit done by the guys who run Moto in Chicago - a crazy little berry that, when ingested, tricks the senses into tasting bitter as sweet. I'm a little bit of a weirdo in that I really cannot taste "bitter" me they taste spicy, lovely and full - almost savory. The bitterer the better! I was immediately curious and checked out the New York Times and sure enough, this phenomena has been around for a couple of years now but was first discovered in 1725! Explorer Chevalier des Marchais traveled to West Africa and observed Natives eating the berries prior to dining.
So why would you want to eat this crazy thing? Lots of reasons. Miracle berries were put up for inspection by the FDA as a diabetic-friendly alternative to sugar, but was shot down and categorized as being a "food additive" (some speculate this was a coupe staged by sugar corporations - the FDA denies it, but apparently refuses to produce any documentation on the decision. Hm.) Also, the guys over at Moto are pushing for research to be done on how Miracle Berries (actual name: Synsepalum dulcificum) could be used as a solution to alleviating world hunger. So many plants that are available to us (and around the world) are so distasteful to the palate that we will not ingest them - Miracle Berries could assuage the bitter tastes common to wild vegetation and render them viable options to cultures with very little else to rely on.
Intriguing, yes? I think so. Especially with what could happen with them in the future. I can't wait to see what innovative chefs decide to do with naturally-provided options like these. Imagine bartenders running with something like this - already being toyed with at New York City's PDT lounge but not on the menu...yet.

I guess we'll have to wait and see. As for now, I'm sayin...Miracle Berry Sorbetto?! Imagine the possibilities!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Sad Story of the Mango Bandito

The Mango Bandito was raised, as you might expect, on a sunny, smiley, hillside farm. As a child though, he was simply called Mango. In fact, it wasn't until a horrible incident involving his father, known around the farm as Pappy Mango, and a notorious gelato chef that Mango came to be known as the Mango Bandito.

With his father and mother's tender touch, Mango Bandito grew up on the happy, smiley farm as a sweet boy ripe with the passions of life; of course, as a young boy, those passions revolved mostly around keeping around his mother and father whom he loved dearly. His life was a simple one; wake up, eat breakfast, read with mom, play with dad, eat some more, get ready for bed. And he imagined his life would always be so simple and lovely. That was of course, until the day the chef from the city arrived on the farm.

The chef, a fancy gelato artisan from the big city about an hour away, was known infamously around the farm as the kind of person who did not bring good fortune to it's residence. The chef, a short man with long eyebrows and an unfriendly smirk, would arrive in a long black limousine; or at least the residences of the farm believed it was a limousine. Some of Mango Bandito's friends even spread a rumor that it was really a space ship that the chef would land on the farm. Truth be told, none of them had seen anything aside from an old blue pick-up truck most of their lives and would believe anything. Of course, expect for Pappy Mango. He had heard the story from his late brother a million times. And Pappy Mango knew that today his fate had come.

The details are too sad to share, but as you might imagine this was the day that Mango became the Mango Banito. After the old man left the farm, Mango Bandito and his mother cried deeply and held each other tight as nightmares raced through their heads of what would become of their beloved Pappy Mango...

The following morning birthed a new life's mission for Mango Bandito, a mission of revenge! But upon weeks of strenuous travel that involved many unspeakable favors to truck drivers and even a van full of nuns, Mango Bandito arrived at the chef's fancy gelato place in the big city to quite a surprise: HE LIKED GELATO!

Yes, it happened after a brief interaction with the old chef in which the overly eyebrowed man insisted Mango Bandito at least try one of his creations before scolding his practices. While on the farm Mango Bandito had heard horror stories of the residences mutilated bodies displayed in glowing cases, in person, the sight was sadly mouth-watering. Throwing himself to his knees, Mango Bandito began to pray to God for his evil temptations, then, remembering what the nuns did to him in the van, Mango Bandito said, "To hell with it, gimme somma that!" as he pointed to Basil...

"Somma THAT too!" pointing to Pineapple Sage...

Needless to say Mango Bandito enjoyed his gelato. In fact, he enjoyed it SO much he begged the old chef to make him into a gelato. With a puzzled look on the chef's face, Mango Bandito sighed, "It is the tradition in my family after all."

The End

Friday, April 16, 2010

Deus Ex Machina

It's a bird! It's a rocket-ship! It's: the Venus Century!
"What is that!?" is one of the most common questions here on Pa'shunk Avenue. The incredulous patron in quotation can always be found staring, mesmerized by the espresso machine that rises over three feet high, proudly in the front window. This is Victoria, the Venus Century manufactured by Victoria Arduino from the Marche region of Italy.
Engineer and inventor Pier Teresio developed the world's first espresso machine in 1905, with a steam-powered engine. The Venus Century is a limited edition model celebrating one hundred years of production for Victoria Arduino (Victoria, after Pier's wife). Each machine is built with the care of creating a sculpture. It takes 11 technicians, 76 hours, and 983 pieces to compose. It's made of stainless steel and weighs almost 190 pounds! Only 100 machines were created. Number 1 was a gift to the Pope. Our resident machine is number 6.

The name says it all. To the ancient Romans, Venus was the Goddess of Love. The planet, Venus was named after her. It is often the most visible planet from Earth and is the brightest thing in the sky, besides our Luna. Etymologically, Venus comes has roots in venerari, to honor or try to please and venia, grace or favor. It is also rooted in *venes-, as in the Latin venenum meaning poison, venom, drug, or magic charm.

In the modern-day, we no longer offer gifts to the divine, such as Venus. But in this appropriation of the symbol of Venus, the Goddess offers you a bit of her Love. As if harnessing some form of ancient Magic, your South Philly barista can procure a portion of this enlivening substance in under a minute. Nothing washes the sleep and fog from one's mind like the smooth, rich crema as it warms the soul from the inside out, like a touch from the Fertile Goddess herself.

And I'm not trying to draw any conclusions here, but I will say that the shiny Venus machine has been expelling tiny shots of Love here on the Avenue for about 11 months now, and the fecundity of the local ladies seems to be thriving. (So many smiling new mothers and very soon-to-be mothers!!)

(image: "La Victoria Arduino" by Leonetto Cappiella, 1922)

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Now that it is spring, I'd like you to remember a few things. First, that it is not THIS anymore...

Second, that ALL 4 of our locations are open. And lastly, that they ALL have extended spring/summer hours (and you can find those hours listed here).

Why am I reminding you of all this? Because we love you and we want to see you. Seriously, with all our locations you probably pass a least one a day. Why don't you come say hi, and while you're here why don't you sample something?

Springtime in Philadelphia is a special time. Make it a little more special with a mouthful of happy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pequea Valley Farms

There are two things in this world I will spend obscene amounts of money on for marketing alone: bottled water, and yogurt. I love the sleek lines, the super modern design and newfangled ways water and yogurt makers trick me into trying their product. And generally it's ok. Water's water, after all. Yogurt...can be really, really bad. But generally run of the mill. Pequea Yogurt, however, is far superior, and doesn't fall back on any crazy packaging to lure consumers.
Ok so first of all it's pronounced "Peck way", to circumvent the confusion that comes naturally with such a proliferation of vowels. Second of all, they make some super tasty yogurt. I'm not talkin' yogurt like your regular, off the shelf variety, I'm talking yogurt you need a chair for. I bring it up because not only do we sell it in cups to go, use it in our home made granola coppas, but also turn it into a gelato of its very own. It's been popping up in 20th Street's flavor list lately, shocking and awing all those who've tried it. Happy, grass fed cows, happy farmers...happy yogurt.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

math, letters, love

Have you ever said something and someone completely misheard you?
Yesterday as someone was leaving, I said, "See you later. Hope you feel better!"
And in the doorway popped a cute but allergy-ridden head, "Write me a letter?"

[that got everyone laughing]

"The gelato will make you feel better!"

Now, don't get me wrong... I love the getting and sending mail. I like all the details that go into making a care package something special rather than just a bunch of tube socks and/or a mix tape.
And I could go into the purpose of various card-stocks and the suggestive nature of colored paper... But, alas, there isn't time for such poppycock. (sidenote: we can talk about it later if you're so inclined. shhhh)

Back to the topic at hand.Sorbetti.

Oh sorbetto! how you make me swoon.
Pineapple Mint...
Kiwi, oh Kiwi... such a strange fruit and yet such a delicious sorbetto.

Let's all do the math

one hot days + sorbetto= magical refreshment

So if you know someone who didn't get to come with you to Capogiro or your grandma who lives in Utah... think about how much they would love the surprise of some sorbetti or gelati
and you'll become their favorite grandkid! Who wouldn't want that?!

Hey one last thing: what were your first gelato combinations this season?

Mine was sea salt gelato and tangerine! Heaven in a cup!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh Booze, how we love you...

Let me count the ways...Grapefruit Campari, Whiskey Sour, Golden Margarita, Irish Coffee, Mexican Coffee, White Chocolate with Kahlua, Rum, Aloha Monkey, Cucumber with Grey Goose, Ramos Gin Fizz, Pear with Wild Turkey Bourbon...
Seriously I could probably go on for quite a while. We love booze almost as much as we love coffee. Ok maybe more than coffee. Wait, who wants to fight? Let's share the love for our favorite libations! People are constantly coming in here and browsing the flavors only to eventually say "man...sure is a lot of booze in this case!" Yeah we know. But really, it's for the flavor enhancing powers and downright refreshing qualities alcohols have that make them so much fun to work with.
No, you can't get drunk off of not even if you eat the whole pan. Yes, pregnant ladies go for it! And babies! They're totally benign ways of enjoying your bar standbys...and if you want to enjoy the flavor AND get boozy, go see the kids at CapoPenn. One awesomely stocked bar, that. Chock full of goodies that cocktail nerds will go crazy for while supplying Everyman with their gin and tonics, or local brews.
Temps have hit 80, kids, it's gonna be a long summer. Come get your drink on with us and everyone will be walking a little happier.

Strawberry with Pernod (Strawberry with Tequila!), Melon with Absinthe, Bourbon Butterscotch, Watermelon with Grappa, Dark and Stormy, Espresso with Sambuca...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1, 2, 3, Frappe!

1. Pick a flavor you like :)

2. Pick a second flavor you like :0

3. Add whole, skim, or soy milk

4. MIX IT UP!!

5. Enjoy :p

Friday, April 2, 2010

Springing into smiles!

There are moments in everyone's life where one just thinks, "I am so happy to be alive! This is amazing!"
That's how we feel today.
It's finally sunny and there's a gentle breeze...
we even wore shorts!
On our bike ride to work... cars waited, stopped, waved at us.
People everywhere were smiling.
And then we saw it there in their hands... little blue cups... some golden...
There is nothing one can deny about the satisfaction of gelato on the first warm day.