Friday, November 30, 2012

Taste the frozen rainbow!

cranberry apple cashew quince seville oranges Everyone's got their favorite gelato season, for sure. It's hard not to love the summer, when we're rolling in wicked fresh local melons. For some folk, strawberries probably qualify as their very own season--maybe for blood oranges as well. These days though, we're probably just past the point where we're loving the local squashes--meaning that the zucca and acorn squash are probably off to bed until next fall. "But it's still fall!" I hear you saying. I know, I know. But we're super-dependent on the harvest cycles for our local produce, which is why some years we only have strawberry sorbetto for approximately 17 minutes. But! Myself, I've been loving our cranberry-apple sorbetto.

(And HOLY COW it's only now that I'm realizing that I got NO cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving! NONE! Being the only restaurant professional in a family means that when Thanksgiving dinner goes sideways and needs rescuing, the burden falls on you. Annnnd...sometimes you don't even really get to sit for dinner. The older I get, the more empathy I have for my mother).
Sorry! Got off on a tangent there. Perhaps even a bit of a rant. But you've really got to try the cranberry-apple sorbetto if you haven't. If you only know cranberries from the (obligatory--nay, essential) can-shaped wiggling mass on our Thanksgiving tables or as a "juice cocktail" or whatever, you really should branch out. I promise the one, most notable, most widely known cranberry company who shall here remain nameless is NOT the final arbiter of what we're all allowed to do with cranberries.

And we're positively LOUSY with quince (quinces? dunno...) right now! For the uninitiated, quince(s) is (are) a vague relation of apples and pears, so it's got that familiar snap to it but also a really appreciable funk or earthiness. Funk is good in food! I like the low end. We should talk about the proper way to sauce a pig's ear sometime.

And it's cold out, so we all know that the blood oranges can't be far off. Best color of any sorbetto, you ask me. Well, maybe pomegranate, which we've also got these days. Can't wait to satisfy your odder orange obsession, though? There's always the Seville oranges for you. As a sorbetto they're super tart, a little bitter, right tasty and, before we get our paws on it, a notably ugly (not ugli) fruit. Seriously, I'm not posting a picture of a Seville orange. They're not photogenic at all.

What I'm saying is that we've for sure got some tasty sorbetti for you, if you happened to be fretting that it's cold out and we wouldn't be able to find any awesome fruit. C'mon, man! This is what we do! We're experts at finding awesome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's beginning to look alot like...

Cooler temperatures have ushered in short days, brisk wind,  ugly Christmas sweaters and most importantly amazing palate enticing gelato flavors! Oh as well as amazing candy c/o Shane's confectionery.

And for an added bonus around 20th street a combination of mother nature, gravity, and unknown forces (Aliens?) have led to the spontaneous combustion of a few panes of out  gelato case glass. Which needless to say has turned a few heads.....a majority of whom have complemented on the abstract and seemingly ice like appearance noting that it blended in with the Christmas decorations. So while scramble to find replacement glass, we can at least play it cool through the winter, however worry not! Being that it is double pane the delicious contents of the case are completely safe for enjoyment!

A few things worth noting!

While the main event is always the rotating, awe inspiring gelato this month in particular we have  spectacular supporting cast. Large in part due to our teaming up with Shane's Confections from old city. So while perusing for gifts, stocking stuffer, or guilty pleasures drop by for all the classics: candy canes, chocolate covered espresso beans, almond bark and even clear candy toys produced in 100 year old locally made molds in a plethora of unique shapes and sizes! Clear candy toys...for us non-locals are a Pennsylvania-German tradition dating back to the 1800's, and resurrected by these intensely artisan confectioners!

More over there are some great and truly special gelato flavors surfacing...not the least of which being Seville Orange and Egg Nog.

All of that to  say I hope you're all having a great start to the holiday season! Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing your smiling faces soon!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A rant about why asking me my favorite flavor is a BAD idea.

OK you asked for it! Well, when I was just a fangirl and not an employee it was Thai Coconut Milk. I
LOVE all things coconut. Paired with Amaretto, it’s as good as an Almond Joy bar times 1,000. But since
we have it every day and I’m here five days a week, Thai Coconut is just too available. I sideline it like
that sweet nerdy boy in class who instantly disappears next to that dream boat hipster boy artist.

But today is November 25 and it’s getting COLD outside. Warm me up with Saigon Cinnamon. On the
other hand, take me to a warm paradise and give me some Caribbean Sunrise Papaya!

I’m never as truly happy as when we have Sweet Potato Praline.

And my man was singing showtunes in the shower this morning while I was sleeping (I HATE ‘Cats’) and
and relationship strife can only be cured with chocolate. Give me Cioccolato Scuro NOW!

Anything with herbs is DIVINE and very well may lead to enlightenment. I consider myself a spiritual
person so maybe Pineapple Mint is my favorite?


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gobble Gobble!

It's the busiest travel week of the year in the US and everyone is rushing back to wherever home or their hearts are at to visit loved ones and share a wonderful meal of tranquillizer laced (naturally of course) bird, cranberry sauce, pie, squash, wine, and every family favorite you could ever dream of.

We here at Capogiro are also quite excited to go see our loved ones as Thanksgiving is one of the few and very special days when we will not be behind the counter slinging you tasty treats but at home with our loved ones.  Eating of course....and probably drinking a little bit too.

I had a pre-Thanksgiving diner party at my house this past Sunday and it was amazing.  I think we have enough mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkey stock (the bird itself has flown the coop due to a horde of hungry friends :-) and desserts to last us through the Mayan doomsday.

All I think myself or anyone else here has on their mind this week is food.  I think that might be one of the best things about this holiday.  It's all about having good company and sharing delicious food!  And Autumn is such a perfect season for food.

I could go on and on and I have a bad tendency to ramble.

We have some great new flavors rolling in now.  We have Pomegranate, Egg Nog, and today I even spotted some Persimmons in the kitchen today.  So even after Thanksgiving we will keep the wave of seasonal flavors rolling all through the holidays and the rest of the winter.

Happy and Safe Holidays to everyone.  Please travel carefully and safely.  And don't forget to stop by tomorrow for your Thanksgiving dessert pints.  Gelato is so much better than ice cream on warm Apple Pie (and half the fat so you can eat more pie!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

So it's Beaujolais Day. Should we care?

It's the third Thursday in November--you knew that, right? Every year on this day, the new harvest from the Beaujolais region is uncorked all over the place, giving people their first chance to taste the new vintage.

Thing is, seems like it's mostly a marketing ploy, but one that's been successful. I'm hardly a wine expert--seriously. I mean, if you stick a pinot noir and a pinot grigio in front of me, I can (probably) figure out which one is which pretty quickly, but it'll take me a hot minute.

I'm kidding, of course. Learning about wine goes hand in hand with learning about what makes food real and what makes food...something else. Honestly it probably has as much to do with growing into an adult as anything. Everyone starts off drinking all the vodka from the parents' liquor cabinet in high school because it mixes easily with sweet, fruity stuff and doesn't really taste like much at all. It isn't until later that we figure out that gin is awesome. Gin is where it's at, but when you're a kid you think it smells weird and gross. And why would you mix it with olive juice, anyway?! GROSS, MOM! (BRB, need a scandalously dirty martini.)

It's the same thing with wine. We start off thinking that we're the badasses on the block because we're down to drink jug wine out of a jelly jar. (Well, I mean. That's how we did a while ago. These days I think it's more about putting a bag of box wine in your Camelbak and going to a generic, over-marketed EDM festival in a football stadium where the DJs all have really, really bad hair. MAN I'm glad I've grown up.) Then, unless you actually had reasonably cool parents with a certain degree of taste, some time after your 21st birthday you actually taste wine that came from a bottle with a cork. And you think, "Hey. This doesn't taste so bad that I want to drink it on ice! Wine can taste like this? Who knew?!"

I think that's about when most of us discover Beaujolais--that's when my friends and I did, anyway. We were all waiting tables together and having far more fun than was called for after we closed our restaurant every day. And for one reason or another I ended up hosting the <restaurant name redacted> family Thanksgiving. It was a notoriously good time. SO MUCH Louis Jadot Beaujolais was drunk that day--for one thing, beaujolais does really go well with turkey. For another, it was the first real wine we knew and liked. It was a great time, and my clearest lasting memory (not a lot of them are that clear, really) is of my girlfriend reaching across the table, yanking off one of the turkey breasts with her bare hand, and gnawing contentedly away. This didn't strike any of us as at all odd. On one hand, we all knew Jess, and this was totally within her character. On the other hand...did I mention there was a lot of beaujolais?

Well. Now I've gone and made myself pretty nostalgic. Wine and telling stories will do that to you! I think I actually would go out tonight to one of my favorite wino-friendly establishments and have a couple of glasses, but my achilles tendon is ferociously angry with me. (Sarah says that running is the devil's work. Maybe she's right, man. Maybe she's right.) But I'm pretty sure that any beaujolais will be just as good tomorrow, or even sometime in December. And we're coming up to Thanksgiving, which is THE time to drink wine with your family, slip a little wine to your nieces and nephews, make new stories.

Who knew? Even writing about wine can make you a little wistful.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Kid on the Block!

Good Afternoon Gelato aficionados and Fans,

My name is Rance Loftsgard and I wanted to take a few moments to introduce my self as the new General Manager of 20th Street Capogiro. After  several years split between managing restaurants to traveling the world doing international relief and development I am excited and proud to have found my way to Capogiro!
I initially moved to Philly from the Midwest to open a coffee shop and a non-profit with some friends, and after realizing that we made better friends than business partners we parted ways. I however found my self  addicted to the weird, eccentric amalgamation of cultures, subcultures and amazing culinary and foodie scenes that comprise our beloved Philly and decided to stick around.

Intro's aside I am truly excited to join the Capogiro team and look forward to serving the best gelato in the world to the the best customers around.  Winter is upon us as will been exciting new flavors, my favorite so far has been the Pera ConWild Turkey Burbon. Feel free to stop by, say hi and checkout whats new at 20th street!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ordering In Italiano!!

At Capogiro, we run our shop like traditional Italian bar.  In Italy, a bar is not a place to get drunk, but a kind of snack shop that serves coffee, espresso, cappuccino, rolls and pastries, sandwiches, and often gelato and other sweets.

Colazione is the Italian term for breakfast.  Cappuccino’s are an Italian favorite and in Italy, it is rare that a cappuccino is ordered after breakfast.  Espresso is the preferred drink after breakfast.  So how do you order a cappuccino for colazione?

Dica (you say):

“Vorrei un cappuccino per favore!”            or        “Un cappuccino per favore!”

Pranzo is the Italian term for lunch.  Pranzare is an Italian verb that means to have lunch or to dine.  Lunch is a big deal in Italy.  It is typically for shops to actually close for lunch and reopen after.  Like Capogiro, many Italian bars have freshly made sandwiches that customers are able to order out of the case.   So how do you order a sandwich?


“Prendo un panino per favore!”     or        “Vorrei questo panino!”

Cena is the Italian term for dinner and cenare is the verb that means to have dinner.  Dinner is considered the main meal in Italy, so you wouldn’t go to a bar like you would for lunch.  Dinners are usually sit down family events or outings to ristoranti (restaurants).

It is not uncommon to mangiare gelato (to eat gelato) at any time throughout the day.  It is typical to get more than one flavor, which is why all of our sizes (piccolo, medio, e grande) offer customers a combination!  So how do you order gelato?


“Prendo un piccolo/medio/grande gelato con (insert flavor name) e (another flavor name.)

I am a barista a 13th Street Capogiro and I speak Italian, so if you want to come in and try out some Italian phrases I would be more than happy to converse with you or teach a few more phrases.  To any speakers out there that are more fluent than I am (and there are many) I always love to learn! 


Friday, November 9, 2012

Raspberry and Spodee wine jam swirled into our fior di latte gelato. This is all I have to add. Happy weekend!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dear meteorologists: Fired. You're all fired.

Look, this doesn't actually have as much to do with my desire for mountains of snow as you might think. I mean, I DO want mountains of snow, and I'm fairly confident I'll get my wish this winter. (Ducks the various objects thrown his way.)

But between the complete fizzle that was HURRPACOLYPSE SANDY and this stupid little snigglet of a "storm" last night, the local weatherfolk have pretty well compromised whatever predictive credibility that they might have had. "Sandy! Fire, foe, calamity! She shall be the ruin of us all! The Schuykill will be in our living rooms! We won't be able to sleep in our beds because our beds will be full of displaced varmints and blown-over trees! Be afraid! BE VERY AFRAID!!!" and so on and so forth.

(Listen, this is just a goofy little blog post. I've got friends in New York City and my mom lives in Cape May, so I'm REALLY aware that Sandy caused very real heartache and loss, and there are plenty of folk that will need help for a long time to recover. Consider donating to the Red Cross, and our friends at Tattooed Mom's on South Street are hosting what's sure to be a LIVELY fundraiser and auction this Sunday. You should come by! Drink beer for a cause! You may well even run into some of your favorite CapoBosses.)

And then this little thing last night...whatever that was. "Five inches of snow!" they said! "It's gonna be a...thing! Freezing rain and ice pellets and probably frozen muskrats falling from the sky!!!" And what did we get? Cold, unpleasant drizzle and a wee little wind. It's not that I'm kvetching because I enjoy gnarly weather (ducks again). The meteorologists work themselves into a frazzled, over-zealous tizzy and the city can't do anything else but take preventative measures--which they well should, to keep everyone safe. But then when the weather's actually supposed to forecasters can't figure out that there'll be a layer of dry, warmer air that's going to seriously mitigate the effects of the storm? Didn't see that coming, huh? Strong work, chaps.

Anyway. The food! We're now making a RIPPIN' good new gelato pairing our Fior di Latte and a Spodee Wine and raspberry jam. S'prrrrreeettty good! Sweet and fruity and a little boozy. Our Fior is so versatile! Y'all get that it really is the foundation of all of our gelato, right? It's really the heart of what we do, and we're definitely proud of it.

So! Next time you see a meteorologist with his hair on fire, take it with a grain of salt. (Metaphorically. If you see ANYONE--not just a meteorologist--with their hair on fire, do the neighborly thing and help them put it out. It's sort of a thing. Humanity and all that.) But keep your boots handy. I'm guessing that one of these days they're going to totally undersell a storm and THAT'S the one that's going to pummel us.

S'cold out! Soup's on, c'mon in and see us.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So Long, Farewell

On this epic post-election Wednesday, it seems trivial to post a blog about moving away. To leave a city you've grown to love and friends that you'll have in your heart forever. I know that after a night of moving speeches and countless victory addresses, my thank you to Philadelphia and to Capogiro may seem a meager one, but I mean it with the utmost humility and sincerity.

This is my last week as the General Manager of Capogiro 20th Street. Next week I will be moving back to Richmond to work with some amazing people in a new venture and to pursue graduate school. I know I will be returning to Virginia a different, stronger, more educated and aware person because of my years in Philadelphia. I know I will treat my customers with greater patience and tenderness because of my time with Capogiro.

To our loyal Capo regulars, thank you. Thank you to the sticky-handed children with giant scuro grins, to the well-dressed lawyers who live on Pellegrino. Thanks to the med students who keep us company late into the night. Thank you to the throngs of weekend gelato fans who drive from almost everywhere to come and have our world-famous deliciousness. Thank you to Mario and Enzo, for showing me just how much espresso Italians can actually drink throughout the day. Thanks to the first-daters who come in for awkward conversation and late-night pastry. Thank you to the Village Whiskey drinkers, who never cease to amuse us. Thank you to the samplers, the aficionados, the ones who care about local ingredients and artisanal know-how. I salute you.

To my coworkers, thank you. You are truly the greatest group of people I've ever had the pleasure of working with. You are my family, my dysfunctional, weirdo relatives. I will miss you most. Thank you for the hard work, for the laughs, for listening to me, for caring. Thank you for your dedication to me and to this company. You are amazing. Ryan, you are the best, most reliable person to work with ever, and I wish you the world. Sarah, you have taught me so much through your dedication, perseverance, and ethos. I am honored to call you my friend.

John and Stephanie, thank you so much for this experience. I know you will have continued growth and success in everything you put your minds to. What an amazing place you have created.

Later, dudes!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Changing seasons, Changing hours

For those of you who weren’t with us last season, you might not be aware that we change our hours after daylight savings.  So be sure to note that we close one hour earlier everyday (Sunday – Thursday at 10:30, and Friday and Saturday at Midnight).

Apologies to all who missed our blog last week, although chances are you didn’t have power to read it anyway.  Everyone at Capogiro sincerely hopes that you made it through the hurricane okay!  We closed early last week during the storm and re-opened at Noon on Tuesday.  After opening the store last Tuesday, I had doubts that Capo would see a lot of customers but to my surprise the store was quite busy!  It seems even a hurricane can’t quell the thirst our customers have for La Colombe's awesome coffee.  Even in the cold and still rainy weather people were coming in for gelato.  All day I was swapping storm stories with Capo’s regulars as well as our lovely visiting customers.  It seems Philadelphia was quite lucky compared to our neighbors in New Jersey, New York, and Bucks County.  Capogiro sends all of you good energy and hope for a fast recovery!

Anyway, Capo is running at full capacity and even though the air has a wintery bite to it, we’re still serving our fall flavors.  These next few weeks will be the last chances to taste some of these flavors so make sure you come in and bid a proper adieu before they are traded in for our winter fare!   They are just as tasty and unique as the fall ones.  You can look forward to blood orange and pomegranate as well as a ton of other winter favorites.  We’ve had cranberry apple sorbetto all week and I have to admit that I am addicted to it already (it reminds Sean of his mom's homemade apple sauce!)  We hope to see you soon J

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Capo Happenings

Hey all! Wanted to say real quick, if anyone is listening from the NYC area, that WE LOVE YOU AND ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR FACES!! And other parts, but. Ya know. Grubstreet posted this super awesome ditty today about things you can do to help restaurants get back on their feet - the devastation felt by all up and down the East Coast corridor has my empathy in high gear. We've been up to some pretty fun things lately, though - my favorite project in a long time has been gelato for the University of the Sciences - here's a picture of chocolate covered crickets before they met their fate in marshmallow gelato.
We're also about to debut our gelato made with Spodee wine. We cooked up a silly good jam made with raspberries (HOW ARE WE STILL GETTING RASPBERRIES IN NOVEMBER!? I ASK YOU!? Crazy weather. Grumble.) and are going to spin it with mascarpone gelato. Look for it at Penn on Friday! Tomorrow! We're also having a ton of fun with Spodee cocktails at the bar - if you haven't had it yet, really...probably about time you left the house more. Just sayin. Also, on the horizon, CAPOGIRO IS ALMOST TEN YEARS OLD!!! This December marks a very important birthday for us, and we're so thrilled to share it with you guys. Any flavors you'd like brought back to mark the occasion?? Let us know. So lots of love from this end of the woods. Stay dry, stay safe, and keep your heads up.