Thursday, March 29, 2012

Confidential to Tandy, re: weekly videos.

It hath been broughten.

Bacio: Chocolatey Stalwart

There are definitely some gelato flavors we rely on nearly as much as our Big Six daily staples, and our Bacio is definitely one of them. It should be obvious that we think chocolate gelato and hazelnuts harmonize pretty well with one another, given that we always have some variety of it--the Gianduia and Nutella are sort of the second and third starters to Bacio's ace status in the Capogiro pitching rotation--but the Bacio is really the one that people look for the most.

And well they should. The direct translation for bacio in English is "kiss," and though I'm not going to pretend to know anything at all about Italian etymology, I like to think that the looser translation is along the lines of "buss" or "peck," mostly because I'm oddly romantic about descriptors for frozen chocolate awesomeness. Thing is, they're a little misleading. An awful lot of us at Capogiro aren't altogether of the "quick peck on the cheek" crowd, and that pretty well shows up in the Bacio. The implication is that it's "kissed" with hazelnuts, but I don't really think that does that gelato justice. It's not at all one of those two-cheek-but-please-don't-smudge-my-makeup air kisses that I've always found it awkwardly fascinating to witness. It's more like the funny competition between two friends (in this powerfully streched metaphor, imagine that the two friends are the hazelnuts and chocolate) who haven't seen each other in too long to get to plant one on one another's cheeks.

My favorite thing about Bacio is that it's one of the pretty rare gelati we make that has just the slightest hint of chunks to it. Not a lot at all; the candied hazelnuts we stir in really bring more of a bit of crispiness to it without getting in the way of the silkiness of the gelato itself. And of COURSE the Bacio pairs well with so many of our other flavors. Truth be told, we're all sort of in that yearly holding pattern wherein we're waiting for the strawberries to arrive. It's sort of distracting. But if you're going to have high standards like we do, you're also going to need to have some patience. So my favorite way to have bacio? Definitely on its own in a frappe. MAYBE a shot of espresso, but that's pretty well gilding the lily.

So the next time your barista tells you that the Bacio is on fire on that particular day, believe them. And have some. Obviously our gelato is always awesome, but sometimes the stars align and it becomes epically transcendent. And that's when you get yourself a frappe and sit outside in the sunshine.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Technology from the future

So, we may not have our jetpacks or hoverboards as promised just yet, but at 20th Street we feel like we're living in the future. Wonder boy, Andy, just made our computer awesome, and now it's running like its 2025. It's amazingly fast. Ludicrous even. Because it's running so well, we can do things that we've never been able to do before, like post videos in our blog. For example;

I can't tell you how great it is to be able to compete with Jay on the video front, although we promise not to do it as often as he does. Which is like every week.

In other 20th Street news, it's apparently winter again, -ish. Rittenhouse seems very confused as to what to wear. We're seeing a lot of scarves with shorts, flip flops and beanies, sweaters and sunglasses. It's madness. We're hoping that the cold will soon pass and that nature can decide to give us a couple of months of delicious spring before it unleashes the unbearable heat of nuclear summer. Our motto is to be prepared for everything. So while we are stocked up with warm weather fare like granita and iced coffee, we still have hearty soups to warm your bones.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

601th blog post. Aka a suitable time for a sign-off.

Hi, my name is Kamala and I have worked for Capogiro for the last 6 years. I started out as a slightly smarmy barista, fell into sales and emerged an in-house artist. I made this here blog that yer readin'... designed the menus, banners, flavor tags, illustrated email blasts etc. This week will be my last with the company and I thought I'd drag you along with me in my reflection. I've been here through 3 grande openings (Capo Yunk, Capo Penn & Capo Big Kitchen), 6 apartments, 3.5 boyfriends, 5 Christmases, at least 2,190 cups of LaColombe Coffee, about a dozen minor meltdowns, 2 fires, 3 second jobs & 5 strawberry seasons.

When I was originally interviewed for the position, I hadn't touched an espresso machine for years, could barely pronounce "Capogiro" & was completely alien to the Philadelphia food culture... which is (to date) my most beloved attribute of the city. (You had me at Pho, Philly.) 

For the last 6 years, I have learned more about being a well rounded, responsible, pseudo professional person than I ever imagined I could muster. I am thankful to Capogiro for that, much more & specifically the following (in no particular order);

- Dan's back massages & post-it-note illustrations [pic. right]
- Poodles with submissive issues
- Sarah's grace under fire
- John's dry humor & colorful pants
- Steph's mentoring, light mothering & high pitched frustrated voice
- My introduction of avocados
- A lifetime's worth of experiences

Before I get more sappy, I'd like to show you some of my favorite Capogiro projects and sign off. I'm leaving to focus on tattooing full time and being an all around artsy person. The leap is scary & exciting & everything I've ever wanted in life (aside from a big yard with a hammock stretched out between two avocado trees... one day...) Its been an honor & a pleasure, Capogiro. I will miss the mortal crap out of you.

Big kiss, little kiss, big hug, little kiss...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Walking On Impending Sunshine

et's go for a bike ride!" is all I can think right now. It's March! It's gorgeous! It's almost horrifying that it's already this warm! Does that mean strawberry will be in stock soon!? Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One of the things that makes us, ahem, THE BEST IN THE WORLD is that when you see our sorbetti, you know that they're they color they are because...well, because that's the color of the fruit, not because we're adding any food coloring to it. Mangoes are a sweet, soft yellowy orange, so the sorbetto is that color as well. Our avocado sorbetto is that awesome, bright, in-your-face green because we squeeze so much perfect, ripe avocado into it. And you can see all the kiwi seeds floating around in there because we like the way they pop in your mouth.

But I was left wondering...why are kiwi fruit (to get down to the proper name) green? And not just any particular green, but that awesome, soft, almost translucent green?

I couldn't figure it out. Chlorophyll is my best guess, but that's pretty unsatisfying. Kiwis are green because...because grass is green! And leaves are green! Because PLANTS are green! Yeah, not super enlightening. BUT! Let's get us all learned up on kiwi:

>>They're native to Southern China but these days much of the commercial crop is grown around the Mediterranean.

>>In Chinese alone, they've been called "vine pear," "sunny peach," "hairy bush fruit," and "unusual fruit."

>>If you're allergic to latex, you may well be allergic to kiwi, papaya, and pineapple as well. (Under all circumstances, be sure to tell your CapoCrew if you have the slightest inkling that you're starting in on anaphylactic shock. We're caring folk and promise that we WILL call you an ambulance if you like and WILL NOT post video of your tongue swelling to youtube. We're sympathetic.)

Kiwi: little spheres of awesome.

It's drinkin' beer outside weather!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Now back and better than ever

Granita is back! It's officially spring, kids, so that means the return of our beloved granita. First batches are sweet tea granita and orange granita. Grap a glass con panna or con gelato. Pictured above is my favorite combination, granita con MANGO SORBETTO!

That's right, mango is in the house, y'all. Crates of champagne mangoes arrived to our kitchens last week, and it's mangopolooza! This has to be one of our most popular sorbetto flavors ever, and goes great with Pistachio or Thai Coconut Milk gelato. Everyone has been super excited to see the return of this beloved fruit. Don't worry everyone we will be featuring mango for a while. It's mango madness!
"They don't have a decent piece of fruit at the supermarket. The apples are mealy, the oranges are dry... I don't know what's going on with the papayas!"
- Kramer, in "The Mango", Seinfeld

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cashews are a little strange.

Recently I was thinking that you don't often see nut plants and that I didn't really know what a lot of them look like when they grow. I specifically was curious about the cashew because of the shape and so I consulted the interwebs and was surprised to find that it is even more strange than I expected.

A single cashew nut grows on each cashew apple. They stick right out the bottom of the fruit with a casing over the nut. The apple itself is sweet smelling and tasting reminiscent of mango, raw green pepper, and grapefruit. We don't see them much in the US because the fruit is very fragile and difficult to ship.

Now the strangest thing to me is that cashew nuts can be considered toxic before they are roasted. The casing of the nut itself contains a chemical called urushiol the same chemical found in poison ivy. This also means that the roasting process can be dangerous in the same way that burning poison ivy is a hazard to your lungs. Proper roasting does completely neutralize the urushiol and makes the nuts safe to eat and enjoy and even make gelato.

Now I'm going to read up on the brazil nut. I hear those are one of the most radioactive foods we eat, four times as much as bananas which are the most radioactive fruit (and the ones we eat are clones!!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A not-at-all comprehensive list of fascinating things that have happened on March 15 throughout the centuries

March 15--one of the few days of the year with its own name. Who termed it the Ides of March? Not sure, but it's clearly a bad day for dudes with bangs. (If you've ever met me, you'd know I'm pretty staunchly anti-bangs on dudes.)

Closest we're going to get to a photograph of Julius Caesar----->

We all know today's the day that Julius Caesar bit the dust--it's not just Shakespearean apocrypha! Those Romans were meticulous note-takers, so you can reliably win bar bets by holding your ground that he died on March 15th. Twenty three times they stabbed him. Twenty three! That's sort of a lot of daylight on your spleen.

Mixed bag of news for the day, looking back through history. Tsar Nicholas II abdicated his throne, which clearly didn't work out all that well for him or his family. The Nazis stomped on Czechoslovakia pretty hard, and South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations. But! "My Fair Lady" premiered on Broadway! (Yeah, I don't actually find that especially interesting either.) Mikhail Gorbachev was elected President of the Soviet Union! And in 1952, the island of Reunion got 73 inches of rain. SEVENTY THREE. That's not rain, that's being underwater.

Birthdays! Yep, those too. David Cronenberg (meh), Jimmy Swaggart (booooooo) and Phil Lesh (big thumbs up! Dude's STILL truckin'!) Sly Stone and Ry Cooder, too. A bunch of worthy musicians! Curveball music choice:

French guy? Late 80s? This was a pretty good album. Um...cassette. Showing my age, probably. Anyway!

The weather's great and the stores are hoppin', poppin', and lockin'. I'm hearing rumors about mangoes, and it's DEFINITELY time for gelato with Guinness. March is a wave. Catch it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mmm... beer

We incorporate beer into many gelato flavors throughout the year (loads of beer flavors for Beer Week, Dogfish Head Black & Red and Punkin Ale in the fall, Rogue's Dead Guy Ale around Halloween, etc.), but my personal favorite is when we go all Irish and make gelato with Guinness. Yum. Guinness and gelato go together like espresso and milk, bagels and cream cheese, toast and tea. You get the picture. With it's tangy, almost burnt flavor, Guinness when paired with our sweet milk is simply divine.

So while Center City is often a super crazy place to hang out the entire month of March (thanks, Erin Express!), it's always calming to know that you can get away from all of the inebriated college kids with their beads and their "Irish I was Drunk" t-shirts, and slip into Capo and enjoy your favorite Irish stout in gelato form - It's Good for You!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring is here!!

I would like to say spring is FINALLY here but it seems to have been kind of lurking behind the curtains all winter long with our strange temperature fluctuations. Many are worried that it will suddenly get super cold again and though I can't say for sure what the weather will be like over the next few weeks I can assure you that the pollen in the air is screaming "It's SPRING!!!!." I have the itchy eyes to prove it. If I ask for a fork, for the sake of my eyeballs please don't give me one!

Anyways enough of my complaining. This week is also the lead up to St. Patty's day! To celebrate capo will be rolling out some awesome Guinness flavored gelato! I know Melissa picked some up for us here today so you should be able to find it as soon at tomorrow. I'm sure we will also be seeing lot's of Irish Coffee, Irish Eyes, and other delicious St. Patty's day treats throughout the week.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Hours at Yunk!

Finally! 14hours from now we will be open, that's right, OPEN at 10am-10pm Monday through Thursday and 10am-11pm Friday through Saturday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Capogiro is out and about!

Yowzers is it nice out! Seems like the Wimpiest Winter Ever is pretty much done with, which, I guess...I dunno. Truly the winter of meh. Never did get any real snow, and I know that I'm probably the only one disappointed about that. But when the weather gets warm, we get our carts ready to trundle hither and yon, taking the gelato to the people. Event season is what I'm saying!

We LOVE going on field trips. Highlights from last year? Definitely the PIFA Street Fair on Broad Street. CRAZY day, that one. A hundred thousand people walking around the Avenue of the Arts NOT dodging cabs. And a ferris wheel! Seriously crazy. And Meatopia! Killer good time that one...assuming you're not a vegan. Probably sort of your worst nightmare, then.

So it's becoming a tradition that we kick off our events season with The Brewer's Plate, which we love for its simplicity--it's all about beer. And food. And food made with beer! And beer made with food! (Hm. Maybe not that last one. You never know though, since the Dogfish Head folk will be there.) And a LOT of our favorite food makers will be there with tasty treats. Gilda's Biscotti, Philadelphia Distilling, Cookie Confidential...definitely a ton of delicious people we love to work with. (Well. Delicious people. You know what I mean. We may be adventurous eaters at Capogiro, but under no circumstances do we condone eating people. People are people, not food. Don't eat people. It's just not nice. Wouldn't you like to be confident on the subway that no one is going to start gnawing on you? Let's not set that precedent.)

And trust that we're lining up even more places to be this summer where you can walk up to one of our bright, smiley baristi in the sunshine and get some gelato al fresco. So come see us at the Constitution Center this Sunday, and keep an eye on this space. It'll be the first place to hear about where we'll be!

But for now, c'mon. Close your laptop and go outside! You're lookin' pasty. Like, Jack White pasty, and no one wants that.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Rose by any other name...

Would not be as delicious as this. Rosewater gelato is one of the highlights of spring. As Melissa said, it's Flower Show time in Philly, and Capogiro love representing with floral flavors. I can't wait until Lavender and Orange Blossom come back either, deeeelicious. The advent of spring also means that Mango Sorbetto, as well as it's zany cousin, Green Mango Chilli, will soon be back in the rotation. So many things to look forward to!!! I imagine that if Rosewater had a personality, it would be much like Rose Nylund from "the Golden Girls". It would also be from St. Olaf. I have a sinking suspicion it would also know how to foxtrot.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flower Show!

It’s Philadelphia Flower Show week! Since, in the Capogiro-verse, this tends to affect us at the 13th Street location most and I will be attending on Wednesday, I thought I might share a few thoughts on this annual Philly tradition. I went looking through old photo folders on my computer to find when I last went to the flower show thinking “hmm… that was probably two years ago”. Well computers don’t lie and it was actually 6 years ago. Time is a crazy thing my friends.

The International Philadelphia Flower Show is a benefit for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s urban greening projects. Not only does that mean lots of pretty plants and more clean air in our city but also community gardens that provide food, and attract wildlife (save the pollenators!). Those are things to cheer about.

On a personal note, the Hawaii theme this year is very appropriate for me because my niece Heidi ‘Illima was born this year and lives 5,625 miles away from me in Hawaii. Her middle name, ‘Illima, is Hawaii’s state flower.

Besides all the visual spectacle and supporting a good cause, the Philly Flower Show is a nice interim to get you through the home stretch of winter. Proximity to Capo13 makes visiting us a must as well.

Here’s a picture of some friends at my last visit to the flower show a million/6 years ago:


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spring Break as Staycation!

Spring Break! Grab your passport and leave your pants at home! It’s every college student’s favorite tradition—an opportunity to engage in all the shenanigans they wouldn’t want their parents to hear about. For my part, I’m of the mind that you should get up to most of those same (family friendly! safe! law-abiding!) shenanigans throughout the school year, anyway. But that’s neither here nor Puerto Vallarta.

But there's so much stuff to do in Philadelphia in the spring anyway! For starters, and if you're the sort that goes I'm sure you already know, but The Flower Show opens this weekend. There will be many flowers! And shrubs! And...other plants, probably! Sort of like this:

This is a flower, right? Something botanical, anyway. I'm almost positive.

Ok alright. I've never been to The Flower Show.'s not likely that I'll ever go. Listen, in my mind flowers mean bugs. And bugs and I don't really do well together. I get a little involuntarily and destructively spastic. Went to a butterfly house a few years ago. Had to keep my hands buried deeply in my pockets, lest I be escorted out for smooshing any of the residents. I get twitchy around bugs.

Of course, I'm always an advocate for gettin' one's self a weebit cultured and thus try to rally people to go to the Philly art museum. Excuse me--Philadelphia Museum of Art, if we're being proper. I'll DEFINITELY be heading there in the next couple of weeks, what with the current Van Gogh exhibit on hand. Just don't try to go on a Monday. The museum's closed, because you have NO IDEA how long it takes to polish all the various and sundry whatnots in Arms and Armor. Say hi to Kristel when you're there!

This is not a painting. Art joke!

Okay, painterly flowers and flowery paintings aren't your thing. Understood! So go see John Prine and Leo Kotke at the Hershey Theater Saturday night. Prine's an old-school singer-songwriter along the lines of Jackson Browne or...some other guy. And if you don't know Leo Kotke, he does this:

I swear I didn't believe it was one guy doing one take until I saw this video. He's pretty good.

So! Early spring in Philadelphia. Stick around! Come see us for a bagel and a coffee to go and traipse around the city. Worthwhile!