Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Penguins love apricots and riding around in cars...

One beautiful summer day, a state trooper was positioned on the side of picturesque Kelly Drive, awaiting speeders and other na'er-do-wells to come along the road. After a while, he was starting to doze off when he saw a station wagon barreling down the street, a wild-haired woman behind the wheel. In the back seat, several little penguins were bouncing around, eating cups of apricot sorbetto.

The trooper could barely believe his eyes. He turned on his siren and quickly pulled the woman over. As he approached the driver side window, the woman poked her crazy head out and innocently asked what the problem was. The trooper took his hat off and scratched his head.

"Look lady", said the trooper, "You can't just have these penguins bouncing around in your back seat like this, eating all of that apricot sorbetto. You've got to take them to the zoo. Now, before I issue you a citation."

The driver looked at the trooper and replied sweetly that she would take the penguins there straight away. The trooper waved her on and went back to his position.

One week later, the same state trooper was positioned at a speed trap on the same stretch of Kelly Drive, when out of nowhere the same station wagon with the same wild-haired woman came peeling along down the road. In the backseat of her car bounced the same little penguins, covered in apricot sorbetto.

The trooper was aghast. He pulled the station wagon over a second time. This time he ran up to the driver, shouting, "Lady, what the heck are you doing?! I told you to take those apricot-loving penguins to the zoo!!"

The woman turned to the disgruntled state trooper and said sincerely, "Oh, but officer, I did take them to the zoo. We had such a great time that now we're on our way to the museum!"

Yuk, yuk.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Raspberries and Blueberries and Peach and Apricot, oh my!

Mirtillo con Crema
Blueberries and Cream

Pesca Gialla
Lancaster County Yellow Peach

Lancaster County Apricots

Lampone Rosso
Lancaster County Red Raspberries

Summer is here and Capogiro's aflutter with fresh, local fruits. The photos of the gelati/sorbetti above are the flavors we had Monday at 13th street, but check the Daily Flavor list to see what flavors we have near you today.

There is literally no better time to stop by Capogiro then now. These are the days you dream about when you come in the stores in December and ask why we don't have raspberry. (Not that you don't happily settle for Blood Orange.) These are the days you stop by Capogiro during lunch, AND after dinner. These are the days the word, "Piccolo," is temporarily removed from the language center of the brain, replaced excitedly by, "Medio, please!" These are the days y'all. These are the days. I'll see you soon.

Black Raspberries Make John Nuts...

Nuts, you say? Yes, I say. John has a weird thing for certain flavors. Everyone knows that when black raspberries come around, John will be in a sort of panic. "Don't make Black Raspberry Gelato, ONLY sorbetto. Don't ruin the berries that way. Please, Steph. Call all the stores and tell them not to make gelato. ONLY SORBETTO!" He turns to Dan, "Dan, just sorbetto, agreed? You're with me." I pat his head and calmly say, "Okay honey. It'll be alright. I'll call..I'll call."

I don't ever call. I love the gelato with black raspberries. I do feel a little bad (not much, 'cause it's funny) when John stumbles into one of the cafes to get his morning fix of espresso and spots the black raspberries tainted with milk. Someone has to pay. It's not me and luckily, everyone knows John is a little off during the two weeks we are graced with black raspberries. We all shake our heads, "Sure, John. ONLY sorbetto, we understand. It won't happen again." Then he will text me, "They are ruining the black raspberries! Make sure you call everyone! Did you call everyone?" A big smile creeps across my face as I text, "What were they thinking?!?! Bastards! I will call them. xoxo"

Two weeks, my friends. They are here, not many. Come and get them before John does.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What Has Happened to Me?

I'm glad I was home alone on Wednesday, watching the USA vs. Algeria World Cup match on my laptop. If I were around anyone I knew, they would have suspected that some kind of alien sports parasite had infected my brain; causing me to act like a howling idiot.

I am not a "sports guy". Sorry, Philadelphia. I'm happy for y'all when one of your teams win, but it does not effect me viscerally at all. There's always a peripheral interest there, but I admit that I scoff and curse grumpily when fans pour out of local bars hooting and shouting and honking their horns. What a stick in the mud, eh?

I dig soccer, though. I don't dig it enough to carry a razor blade and get in rumbles with the fans of opposing teams, or paint my face and wear a jersey, but I dig soccer nonetheless. I began really liking the game while working in an English-owned pub in Pasadena, CA called Lucky Baldwin's, where passionate English and Irish soccer fans would crowd the bar and cheer on their teams. It was infectious: I learned players' names, who was ahead in the standings, who was in danger of being relegated, you know.

So I've watched the game pretty passively over the years from then on and have tried to keep up with the who's-who and what's-what of international play. When World Cup rolls around, I try to catch as many games as I can, and usually--randomly--choose a team to root for.

Why randomly? Well, who should I root for? America has been a non-presence in the Cup since, what, 1930?

Yes, until now. The US team this time around has a shot at progressing deep into the finals, don't they? This is astonishing to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, that it is indeed possible at all. Secondly, THAT I CARE.

Watching that match against Algeria, I was yelling and pounding on the coffee table. I was groaning and curled up in a tense ball. I was peeping at the game anxiously through my fingers. When Buddle's strong header went zooming towards goal I nearly pooped a little. When Dempsey's shot hit the post I screamed, "aw, crap, COME ON!". And when, quick as a flash, Donovan blasted in that rebound in stoppage time, I sat slack jawed as tears began welling up in my eyes.

I sat there and laughed, because if my wife would have been home at that moment she would have stared at me in disbelief and asked in a mocking tone what the heck was wrong with me. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME?

Okay, sports fans: I get it. It's awesome when the improbable happens and it's a rad feeling to have someone to root for, and I am rooting for USA hard from here out. You better believe that Saturday's match against Ghana is going to be watched by hook or crook, even if I have to hack our point-of-sales terminal somehow so that it displays the game.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Burn After Reading

LOCATION:Philadelphia, PA

DATE: June, 2010

INVESTIGATION: Unexplained paranormal link between pregnancy and gelato

BRIEF: Field agents have been alerted to a disproportionately high number of expectant mothers patronizing Capogiro, a local business specializing in high-quality Italian gelato. To many witnesses, these subjects seem to be under some sort of mind-control, with only a single mission: the mass consumption of gelato.

Personnel have noticed that these subjects tend to crave the more savory varieties for their purposes, particularly dark chocolate and pistachio. Subjects are also known to purchase and devour several servings of gelato in one sitting. The local population is concerned that gelato stock may be diminished by these pregnant patrons, and have requested an immediate emergency action plan should rations run low.

FINDINGS: Possible explanations include, but are not limited to; fetal alien brainwashing, behavior modification microchips, mass hysteria, pregnant flash mobs, zombie apocalypse, gelato addiction epidemic.

CONCLUSION: As of now, the case remains open.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cuckoo for Lulu Lavender

In ancient Rome, lavender was sold for 100 denarii per pound, which was about the same as a month's wages for a farm laborer, or fifty haircuts from the local barber. [Wiki]

2,500 (or so) years later, you can enjoy lavender in a style the ancient Romans had yet to invent... In gelato!! And you don't have to throw down a month's pay for it either.

Our organic lavender--yes, organic--comes from the lush farms of Vineland, NJ. And while you may wonder, as I did at first, why we'd even put lavender in gelato. One good taste will answer that question quite beautifully. That's because lavender lends a floral and slightly sweet flavor to the smooth Lancaster County milk we marry it with. And what a sweet marriage it is, truly. Still skeptical? Come get a taste!!

Until then, I leave you with these photos. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

GRANITA @ 20th St: An Ode

Dear RJ, when you make granita at 20th Street it makes me so happy. I'll admit, I was skeptical when you said that you were going to try a kiwi banana granita. However, I'm eating my words today. Yum.

Capogiro was the first place I ever experienced true granita, and it was your's. In a city of water ice stands, I had no idea that the real thing could be so fresh and amazing. Maybe it's the crystalline texture, or perhaps the myriad of flavors that are so well paired with this style of dessert.

It's true, RJ. Your granita is a many splendid thing. This week you have made us have espresso granita (zing!), grapefruit granita (divine), black grape granita (uh, wow), and now kiwi banana granita.

Well done, sir. Well done indeed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CHOW Shout out!

Those friendly foodies over at CHOW have graced Capogiro with a nice spot in their Summer Gift Guide. Thanks CHOW hounds! We think your site is a gift to food freaks everywhere. Holla!
Photo by, Christopher Rochelle,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Every morning for about four weeks straight, I came to Capo13, toasted a bagel, covered it with a choice delicious cream cheese that Steph whipped up, and tasted heaven with a hole in the middle.

It's been a bit since we began carrying H and H bagels, so I've gradually wound down to a more acceptable level of bagel consumption... but I'm afraid it's kicked back up again. Outrageous, you say. Well don't get your knickers in a bunch, that's silly and uncomfortable. There's a simple explanation.

Last week we had a revelation that prompted action. What did we do? We added wheat bagels to the glorious bagel menu!

If I had sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, I would tell you this: They are incredible. The wheat is a slightly heartier, perhaps sweeter, and surely lovely bagel with a flair of unique texture and a rich golden brown color. It's dazzling and enthralling to the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears (when you bite into it). I'm fairly sure I'll never skip a bagel a day again.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Are you spending your early mornings watching the games? Have you been catching those 2:30 primetime matches? You should. Please do. I know, I know, Americans don't do the whole soccer thing and the term "soccer mom" is akin to calling someone ugly.

I must agree with some of the criticisms that are issued to our European titans of the sport. We can handle the whole smash em up part of sports. We love a great tackle in the red zone, jump to our feet when someone is smashed to the glass off the ice, and gasp when hacked under the hoop. When we see grown men roll over and over and over and OVER and grasp their ankles or legs or head and seem to cry after what looked like a...trip, we roll our eyes. Americans have a hard time with what seems to be "wimpish, cry-baby" behavior. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Soccer or Football in most places, is truly a beautiful game where each possession can change a game. Rarely do you see a sport in which a team can be dominant and lose. Each goal scored is practically miraculous. The rolling and grabbing and diving is part of the game. Liken it to "drawing a foul" in basketball. Although, the room for cheating (diving) and debate are huge. Referees make an error and it costs the game. There is no video replay or "take backs" in this league.

You must watch the USA this year. If only to see Tim Howard, the Goalkeeper. He is truly great. In fact, he is one of the greatest. Please watch this guy. He'll make you proud.

The fans are borderline psychotic. When I was in my early twenties, I was traveling with a close friend from college, Nica. Nica and I were in Brussels on our way into the train station for a day outing to Bruges. We walked into pandemonium. There were hundreds of peoples yelling and the police were everywhere. We witnessed several men being dragged up the stairs by police while being hit with small clubs and lines of men on their bellies with police standing above them. These men looked possessed; screaming and carrying on while clearly not in control of themselves. Nica and I had a difficult time getting to the correct platform. We had no idea what was going on. I asked a man who was waiting for the same train (in very bad French) why the commotion? He replied (in better English than my French) "Soccer game." Soccer? What?!? He had to be kidding.

My kids play soccer. Yes, I am a soccer mom. Don't hate me. All of these crazy aspects of a European dominated sport intrigue me. It is a beautiful game. I will run off today to catch the Italy v. Paraguay game at 2:30. Perhaps I will go the the Piazza in Northern Liberties. We watched USA v. England there this weekend. It was packed. I loved it. I had a delicious burger from P.Y.T. and then some gelato from Nana Petrillos. Fantastic! Someone was actually blowing Vuvuzelas. Look at all the people at the Piazza on Saturday! It was fantastic!

Come and join me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hey, Beer Jerk, Gimme a Dragon's Milk With a Tropical Iceberg

I used to love root beer floats. As a kid, I drank them all the time from the A&W down the street. Dang...I'm realizing right now that the last root beer float I had was consumed long before many of our current employees were born. That hurts.

So, what do you do when you're all growed up and you don't crave the sticky sweet sugar bomb of a soda, but you want to recapture the delightful exuberance of those yummy times? The answer, as usual, is alcohol: beer float!

New Holland's Dragon's Milk is a Strong Ale brewed in the style of ye olde English double ales. Back a couple hundred years ago, there was a strong beer brewed after the harvest in October when malt and hops were fresh and plentiful. It was a big deal: aged at least a year, and drunk on special occasions like weddings, births, etc. They had all kinds of silly names for this kind of beer, one of them being dragon's milk. (There's a nice article on the subject at All About Beer)

What we do over here at CapoPenn is we take this dark, malty, caramelly, oaky, vanilla-y beer--this beer that clocks in at 10%abv--and we drop in a dollop of either Coconut Milk or Dark Chocolate gelato. And what that does, see, is make a creamy statement in that glass of beer and kind of lightens the mood a bit, because a big, dark, barrel-aged strong ale in the middle of June could potentially be a bit of a challenge, okay? But here, you've got gelato in your beer, and it's just delightful! The coconut adds creaminess and echos the flavors of coconut that the whiskey barrel adds to the beer. The Dark Chocolate swirls around mysteriously and accentuates the beer's dark chocolate and roast malt flavors.

Come on in, belly up to the bar and indulge some childishness. I mean, only if you're an adult, 'cause Dragon's Milk packs a punch that cat beer
(soda jerk slang for cow's milk) does not.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Place Where Everyone's Like an Old Friend

It's hot down south these days, and you come into Capoyunk on any
given afternoon you're more than likely to stumble across any number
of our loyal regulars beating the heat at our counter, drinking red
eyes, sipping decaf espresso, or in Briana and Rob's case drinking
Favorite flavor:
-Mexican Chocolate
Favorite tea:
-Jasmine petal

Favorite flavor:
Favorite tea:


With so much going on... Beer Week, 2nd Saturdays, hockey hockey hockey... it's easy to forget to take a moment to relax. But here at Capoyunk, we've got a few things up our sleeve.
Stop by Saturday night because "Waffles Hidalgo and the ready steady Eddie Austin always come correct"! Kicking out the jams.

But wait more you say, yes!
Movie Mondays in full effect!

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg...
a romantic French musical about love, war and umbrellas.
And who can resist Catherine Deneuve?!
7 o'clock!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Domo Arigato, Mr.Gelato

I love Beer Week, don't get me wrong. The entire city is alive and buzzing about sweet hops and grains, stouts. ales, and imports. It is this time of year that other things often fermented are overlooked and under appreciated. Many of these forgotten fruits are wonderful in their purest sense, and need not be made into alcohol in order to bring out their amazingness.

Take you, kyoho grape. You need nothing. You ask for nothing.
You are perfect just as you are. That's probably why in Japan, Korea, and China, you are simply peeled and served as a desert. It's true, you are my favorite sorbetto of the evening. One bite of you and it's love. Sweet, juicy love.

So while everyone else is out tonight drinking their fancy brews and trying to keep up with the latest in beer jargon, I'm gonna sit back and enjoy a refreshing kyoho grape frappe. This is where I want to be, right here at Capo20th.

(Until midnight at least. Then it's ON, Beer Week... )

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beer Week: It's Like When You Finally Have An Excuse To Do What You Always Do

Rogue Chocolate Stout gelato

Lambic Framboise gelato

Happy-they-stopped-in-on-Beer-Week customers :)

Come on Philadelphia, when isn't it a beer week for you? Oh, that's right, when Capogiro doesn't have our mouth watering Beer Week flavors!! Flavors like Rogue Chocolate Stout, or Lambic Framboise gelato.

I mean really though, haven't you been to the same old bars enough? Come try Beer Week a little differently, with your good friend Capogiro. No peer pressure or nothin', but it's what all the cool kids are doing.

Monday, June 7, 2010


So, it's Beer Week. Glorious Beer Week. Beer is something that I drink in the summer. Not that it is seasonal, it is just something that I do. I am a proletariat beer drinker. I embarrass John when I order my Red Stripe or a Corona Light. "Do you have some wheaty type beer on draught?" I ask at The Belgian Cafe in my neighborhood, shying away from the heavy hitters. Don't hate me Fergie! Some people go all Walmart with beer. Unfortunately, that would be me. I can recognize how bad certain beer is, so maybe I am just a lightweight. John's favorite beer is Coniston Bluebird Bitter. The only beer served at our wedding was Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale. It is not that I don't appreciate these beers, I do. It is just that I am not worthy. Yup, not worthy. I think it has something to do with the fact that I like stovetop percolator coffee and not espresso. I like my beer like stovetop percolator coffee, not drip. Don't try to figure me out.

Anywho, I think that I am allowed to make beer gelato. Why not? I have made gelato out of grass and some nasty cheese, why not beer? It's Beer Week homies. Come try the Rogue Chocolate Stoudt or the Guinness, or the Lambic! It is really fun. I know, I know, y'all are serious beer drinkers. Come on...go a little lightweight. Try the Beer Floats at Penn, have a cone of beer gelato. Dive in! The water is fine. Trust... I raise my clear bottle with a lime floating happily to you.

Friday, June 4, 2010


GUYS IT'S TRUE! I SAW ONE! On this day, Friday June 4th 2010...RUN. Yeah I said run. And yeah, I know how hot it is. RUN to your nearest Capogiro...because they've got a cone for you. And it's fresh off the boat, wrangled through customs, and into your awaiting, humid, fingers. Because we love you, obviously.

So many good things happening.


Strawberries STRAWBERRIES!

BEER WEEK! In honor of which, keep your hats on, we'll be surprising you throughout the week with beer flavors and some special treatsies over at Penn's bar. Chris keeps walking around muttering something about Dragon's Milk...

Yunk's backyard has its Christmas lights on and outdoor tables ready and their events are going to start rolling any day now - lookout, movie nights, record nights, mix tape exchanges...

The Penn kids are concocting the most amazing gelato cocktails they can think of, pulling out all the stops, really. Can anybody say, beer float?!

Guys I can feel it. It's gonna be a great summer.


Wyck Old Rose Gelato

Each morning I check in on the World Cup news. It's important. Guiseppe Rossi, the American-born Italian was left off the Italian National team, along with Milan striker Marco Boriello. To the left is Sr. Guiseppe being mugged by the Italian team after scoring an incredible goal against France. Leaving them off the squad is a truly epic mistake. Just saying. Anywho, last week I was reading that a French international player turned down an offer from the Philadelphia Union because he wants to be in a "beautiful city." Huh? Okay, it's not Paris, but are you kidding me?

I will be honest, I am a little depressed. Work is very hard right now, the end of the school year always throws in some wrenches, it is soccer tryout season, refrigeration (need I say more?) and it so so hot to run on the drive. All this = exhaustion. One thing that always keeps me going is the eye candy in Philadelphia. Get yer minds outta the gutta! I am talking topography. I love what my eyes take in each day. Kelly Drive during a regatta, the million of blooms everywhere and the architecture. Philadelphia is old by American standards. I live in a row home that was built when Abraham Lincoln was in office. Very cool. One of the most beautiful parts of the city is Germantown. Germantown is breathtaking. I get to look at Germantown every morning and it makes me so very happy. It is filled with Quakers and their minimal asthetic and it thrills me. The amount of preservation here is phenomenal. This part of the city has been forgotten to some degree, which has probably helped it stay so beautiful. On the edge of Chestnut Hill, close to Manayunk and the Art Museum Area, it should be easy to get to. By car, yes; by public trans, no. The streets are a combination of ruin and perfect preserve. There are many Quaker schools and meeting houses and the amount of churches are ridiculous.

Which brings me to the Wyck Historic House and Garden. The Wyck is deep in Germantown and can easily be missed snuggled between beautiful large homes. The Wyck home was continually occupied by 9 generations of the same Quaker family since 1690. The colonial house is beautiful and covered with climbing roses that date back to 1814. The variety of roses are called "old roses" and are breathtaking in fragrance as well as appearance. Looky! These roses are descendants of the roses planted in 1814. The grounds are beautiful and the smell divine. You can feel the history in the air.

Then the phone rang....(actually the email came) asking me if I would like to sell some gelato at the Wyck's Summer Festival, I jumped at the chance. I offered to donate the gelato and in turn they offered me some roses!!! Roses that were descended from 1814 AND never treated with any pesticides or chemicals. You could EAT them!! Pinch me, I feel faint.

Barbara Overholser, the Wyck's Development Coordinator, met me in a back parking lot. It was quite nefarious. She handed over 6 beautiful bags of petals. I could smell their fragance through the ziplock! I could not wait. Of course, being a small business, everything that could happen to postpone the making of the Wyck Old Rose Gelato happened. We had a power outage, a pipe burst, the air went down, and my little guy came down with strep. Everything that could take my attention away from the roses did. Good times. Finally, the roses slid into the hot milk and the aroma... We all stood around the pot with these sick smiles on our faces. The smell was reminiscent of baking bread or hot rain on the sidewalk. I know, I'm weird. When I had my first bite, it was light and playful, not cloying or sticky. It tasted like what I want roses to taste like. I hate those shopping center cakes with their blue roses. You always want them to taste as good as they look. Even the beautiful buttercream roses that you can find on delicious cupcakes, never seem to measure up. This measured up. We have made Rose Water Gelato and Rose Tea Sorbetto, but nothing, and I mean NUTHIN, was as delicious as Wyck's Old Rose Gelato.

Please! You must try this! They will be serving it at their Summer Festival on Friday June 11th!

Thank you Wyck!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tamarind: An Unlikely Hero

Well folks, many of you have come in scratching your heads over our little friend tamarindo sorbetto. Many of you have heard of tamarind before, but never really stopped to ask just what in the heck it is.

Well, I'll tells ya. Native to tropical Africa but nowadays mostly found in India and South America, tamarind is a bushy tree that produces a sweet and sour fruit. The fruit is found inside of pods (see photo), and is considered ripe when the pods are easily pried open.

Here's where the super part comes in. Even though tamarind is delicious, it is also a source of calcium and vitamin B (who knew?!). Tamarind helps the digestive system, and is a good source of antioxidants.

Wow, tamarind, you are amazing. For all of you who still have questions about our little superhero, come down to Capogiro and ask it for yourself. Yum.