Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Limerick

There once was a scoop of Gelato
It asked to be called Affogato
Although, this request did seem bossy
I reluctantly added some coffee
How the scoop learned to talk, I do not know!

Happy new year everyone! Come get an Affogato or Ill write more bad poems!




Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Gift Ideas from Capo13

Happy frantic shopping week everybody!! Philly streets are a bustling with holiday shoppers from the burbs, tourists, and locals looking for the perfect presents for friends, family, and co workers.  Are you a clueless christmas shopper?  Why not a Capogiro gift card??  If your giftee doesn't drink our piping hot, delicious coffee, we have tea!!  If they don't drink liquid, we have panini's, cookies, cakes, and snacks!!  And if they don't like any of those things, they will undoubtedly love our gelato and sorbetto.  So no matter what they like, a Capogiro giftcard is the answer.  The best news is that they come in any denomination, so you can buy your co worker a cup of coffee, or coffee for the year!  We also have an awesome assortment of holiday candies, like candy canes, caramels, and biscotti for stocking stuffers or Christmas eve snacks.

If you are planning to bring gelato for any christmas events BEWARE THAT WE ARE CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS and have shortened hours on christmas eve so all the baristi can have dinner with their families too!  So be sure to swing by earlier this week to pick up some pints.

As we close out this wonderful 2013 year, you can expect the anticipated arrival of blood orange sorbetto, one of our most craved flavors throughout the year.


Here are some lovely chrismas carols from southpark!!


<3 Tori Styner





Thursday, December 19, 2013

Soup! Isn't it just THE BEST?!

(Don't believe him for a second, he only came around to soup ten minutes ago. Also he has a weird penchant for talking about himself in the third person when he's essentially in a room alone, which makes him a fairly unreliable narrator.)

So this is what my usual work dinner looks like when I'm actually committed to my desk for a while:



Granted if I had a cardiologist he'd maybe scold me a bit for a fairly high-sodium meal, but A>we're baristi and we tend to eat on the fly a lot, and this meal lends itself to that and B>I eat a lot more spinach than you might think and feel I deserve some commendation for that. And even though today in particular was palpably warmer than it's been for the last few weeks, I had a bunch of errands to run and we had a managers' meeting and I was on the bike enough to actually catch a chill (don't believe that either, I actually never admit to being cold).

And what's better for warming up than soup? Probably nothing. Alright well, whiskey and a bonfire, but I'm a professional and I also can't in good conscience light a bonfire in the Radian plaza. So, soup. That's our chicken and meatball, which is standing me in good stead. And we do always have a vegetarian soup option if you're into that sort of thing, though I don't really know why you would be (kidding, kidding, the vegetarian soups are legitimately great). So seriously, come have soup! You're going to be finishing up your shopping over the next few days and generally out and about and harried, so. I've mentioned before that we have beer, right? Pretty sure I have.

It is true though that, alas, we're going to be sorta semi-dormant at CapoPenn for the next few weeks. Not that we're shuttering altogether! We're just gonna be open a few less hours every day starting tomorrow is all (and closed altogether Christmas Day, of course). But we WILL be here! 9am-9pm weekdays and 9am-10pm Fridays and Saturdays. So seriously, come on in and keep us company. I'm surpassingly confident you'll find a seat.

Alrightalrightalright. ONE CHRISTMAS SONG. ONE ONLY.


Humbug anyway. (Have a good holiday, y'all. Really.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's Crunch Time for Gift buying!

If you're like me, then you need the pressure of "last minute" as motivation to finally choose and seek out gifts for your loved ones and gift-worthy acquaintances.  And if, like me, you also have enough "stuff" and enjoy gifts that are consumable (i.e. things that never sit around long), food is always a good way to go. To that effect, Capogiro has some great (read: delicious) last-minute gifts.  An 8 oz. bag of Gilda's Biscotti is a must in every Philly local food gift basket I make. The Dad's Midnight Stash variety is great because it includes all their flavors.  Each bite is a delicious surprise!


We carefully curate our candy selection to have the most unique and delicious treats.  A lot of these items make great stockings stuffers!  These include Colts Bolts, real Italian Hazelnut chocolates from La Suissa, Philly Love Bars, Hammond Candy Canes in cool flavors like Apple Pie, and much, much more!  


Or there's always the easy peasy but always pleasy gift card!  


It's a little too late to ship pints through our website, but we hand-pack pints in all stores that can be packed with ice for travel.  Our gelato is always a hit at holiday parties!  












Thursday, December 12, 2013

Everything new is old again

So, it's true that come this time of year we have to look a little further afield to find the kind of ingredients for our gelato that are going to appropriately distance us from those indolent layabouts offering only the same thirty-some flavors all year long. Certainly, given that the holiday season is in full swing, it's wholly necessary that we have King Leo mint stracciatella in circulation. Candied chestnuts are floating around like chewy little...nuts or something, I kinda lost the train of that metaphor between stations.

And medjool dates are back, which is great because it allows for two things: me eating dates and also me sharing this video:



Because if you're anything like me, this was the first time you'd heard anything about dates other than as a way to tell where on the calendar you were. Also I'm guessing a lot of you had forgotten that Gimli used to hang out with Indy...and was approximately three feet taller, but let's move on before this whole bit also stretches too thin, like a gauzy filament made of...candied chestnuts, maybe? Nono, soft peppermints. That's the stuff!

Not that our staples have gone anywhere--the orange cardamom sorbetto is holding strong. And it's funny, sort of in the same way I never knew what dates were beyond the scene above, the only thing I knew about cardamom is that Woody used a really particular kind of cardamom (we've moved onto Cheers, if you got lost there) for entering his bloody mary into a Boston best of competition...and didn't it end up getting confused with someone's ashes? Or sneezed into with powdery explosive effect? Or something equally hi-larious? I dunno, I stopped watching Cheers like a decade ago. And as hard as I tried to find a clip of the bloody mary scene I couldn't, so we're going to have to just roll with this one instead, which I think also serves nicely as the traditional music-video-play-out...



I'm here all week! Don't forget to tip your barista! Try the veal or, failing that, the soup!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cookies: A marvel of Human Scrumptionuity

I was reading about how to make the perfect cookie at NPR's site yesterday: Cookie-baking Chemistry
A good read but who needs it when Brooke is making perfect cookies at Capogiro now! When she's not barista at 20th St, she'll be baking for Capogiro and you've got to try her stuff.  Cookies and brownies are in stores now and more stuff will be rolling out in the next couple weeks.


Stay tuned for more!   







Friday, December 6, 2013

Greetings from 6, 7 & 8

Gabi, Melissa & Jessica of CapoYunk!
Two of our wonderful regulars, Dave Christopher & Kate Mellina, have fashioned their East Passyunk ave. home into a greeting card. Dave's artistic background has lent to crafting these 26 (or more counting dogs!) well-lit portraits of their neighbors in the windows of their building across from the singing fountain.


Read more about it here

Happy Holidays, Dave & Kate! ♥ 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

[Popeye joke goes here]

Right so. Maybe this is one of those things that everyone else can keep straight and it's only me getting confused. Totally wouldn't be the first time. But I pretty constantly heard the terms "sweet potato" and "yam" used interchangeably when I was just a wee little barista, and I took it for granted for a good while that they were indeed the same thing.

And it's a more relevant discussion this time of year since it seems like this is when sweet potatoes are kind of everywhere, given its status as a go-to side dish for holiday gatherings. I read cooking blogs and food blogs a lot, naturally. And there was a lot of discussion this year about how essential the archetypal sweet potato casserole and, given how strongly people feel about what constitutes a "proper" holiday feast, there were some strong opinions on both sides. Proponents feel that this:


must at all costs be a part of essentially every meal between approximately Halloween and New Years Day. Gotta admit though...to me that looks like a horror show of sugar. Granted I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but there have definitely been some vehement familial disagreements--sometimes not particularly genial--during meal planning discussions. 

Would it aid things at all to swap the sweet potatoes out for yams? Probably not; they're not actually very interchangeable, culinarily. Yams are far starchier and drier (and, you ask me, lacking in flavor) Yams also have far less beta carotene than sweet potatoes, if that's important to you. Though maybe yams make for better french fries? Suddenly I'm super-curious. 

Of course, the best application of sweet potatoes (the real ones) is probably our sweet potato pecan praline gelato. Tastes as good as it looks, it does:

So y'know. We're always here. C'mon in!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The 12 Days of Capogiro

The 12 Days of Capogiro
by Tori Styner

On the first day of Christmas
my barista served to mee
a sample of cranberry

On the second day of Christmas
my barista served to me
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the third day of Christmas
my barista served to me
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the fourth day of Christmas
my barista served to me
4 Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the fifth day of Christmas
my barista served to me
5  Grande Gelatooooo
4  Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the sixth day of Christmas
my barista served to me
6 tries of Scuro
5  Grande Gelatooooo
4  Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the seventh day of Christmas
my barista served to me
7 Gelato con Brioche
6 tries of Scuro
5  Grande Gelatooooo
4  Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the eighth day of Christmas
my barista served to me
8 Skinny Latte's
7 Gelato con Brioche
6 tries of Scuro
5 Grande Gelato
4 Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the ninth day of Christmas
my barista served to me
9 Apple Ciders
8 Skinny Latte's
7 Gelato con Brioche
6 tries of Scuro
5 Grande Gelato
4 Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the tenth day of Christmas
my barista served to me
10 licks of Lychee
9 Apple Ciders
8 Skinny Latte's
7 Gelato con Brioche
6 tries of Scuro
5 Grande Gelato
4 Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my barista served to me
11 Pumpkin piccolo's
10 licks of Lychee
9 Apple Ciders
8 Skinny Latte's
7 Gelato con Brioche
6 tries of Scuro
5 Grande Gelato
4 Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my barista served to me
12 dips of Dulce
11 Pumpkin piccolo's
10 licks of Lychee
9 Apple Ciders
8 Skinny Latte's
7 Gelato con Brioche
6 tries of Scuro
5 Grande Gelato
4 Candy Canes
3 Macchiato
2 shots of espresso
and a sample of cranberry

::)



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Eve of Thanksgiving

Can you believe how frightfully cold it is outside?!? The weather is certainly all the small talk anyone is having this week. Of course this weather is happening right now when everyone's about to start running around for the holidays... ALL I WANT FOR THANKSGIVING IS TO NOT HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE! Sunday during the few minutes I dared go outside I stumbled upon this sight in Logan Square on the Parkway:




Being in the cafe all day means I drink warm beverages all day. Besides La Columbe coffee, which probably is a large portion of the liquid weight in my body I also enjoy our delicious Hot Cider.  We get it from Beiler Orchard in Gap, PA because of course we get the best our locality has to offer.  Some whipped cream and cinnamon makes it extra extra special.

Right now, I am all snug at home making my grandmother's extra special pumpkin pie. The oven on all evening with pie inside makes for a great smell and aids my somewhat sluggish heating system.  My spouse and kitty are sitting on the couch reading books. We at Capogiro hope you're snug with your loved ones this Thanksgiving Eve.  Happy Thanksgiving!






Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Turkey Week!!

Can you smell the turkey yet?  Happy almost thanksgiving everyone.  NOTE:  We are closed on thanksgiving, so be sure to purchase your pints ahead of time instead of on the way to your thanksgiving festivities.  The capo staff will be with their family and friends!!

Now the big question, what flavors should you bring home to chill with the turkey?



My first choice is Cranberry e Mele sorbetto. This is truly a thanksgiving flavor.  It’s crisp, refreshing, and totally vegan!!  Another awesome sorbetto in the case right now is Pear.  If you aren’t craving sorbetto, then there is one clear and total winner, sweet potato pecan praline!  It’s finally here! I’ve waited a whole year and it’s finally back.  I know it sounds even more unusual than our avocado flavor, but it is just as good if not better.

Keep in mind that your guests have just been stuffing themselves with turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes, so they might not be in the mood for more cranberry or potatoey things.  Think about how our gelato and sorbetto can best accompany your pies, cookies, and fruit that you are serving for dessert!!





Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seriously, though. Pot Roast.

It can't really be that Thanksgiving's in one week, right? Nono, I'm sure that it's still at least a month away. Labor Day was just yesterday, right? Right?!

Naw, we actually are pretty well into the holiday season, whether or not any of us want to acknowledge it. They do seem to creep up earlier every year, and I don't actually mean in the sense of vapid "you don't really love someone if you don't get them a Mercedes for Christmas" ads which already seem to have been running since the last Phillies home game.

The upshot is that it's the time of year for serious indoor cooking. But not serious cooking in terms of stretching the boundaries of our respective culinary skill--what I mean is that the holidays are when we all get down to making comfort staples really, really well. All of which is a roundabout way of humblebragging that I made pot roast this weekend for friends:


And it was GOOD. Oh man. So good. Totally one of those dishes that's not really that complicated as long you make sure to hit a couple of fundamental steps. (As in: brown the beef HARD on all sides and, when everything's put together and at the right simmer and all, make sure someone drags you away from the stove for a couple of hours lest you keep futzing with it unnecessarily.) And the carrots. The carrots! 

I don't get to cook much at my own place, so when I do get a chance to make a meal I try really hard to do something that's going to be great, though for sure there have been some mixed results lately. At the official last cook-out of the year, I took a stab at grilled chicken thighs. It turned into one of those times when cooking with unfamiliar equipment can yield less than perfect results--the coals were ferociously hot and I burned off all the awesome sauce I'd made. The thighs were still pretty tasty (generally pretty hard to go wildly wrong with meat cooked over charcoal), and the rapidity with which they disappeared into the crowd's slavering maw leaves me thinking that people were eating them with something more than just dutiful civility. 

And now it's turkey time. People obsess over Thanksgiving! I've cooked the whole meal for a sizable crowd more than once and it's left me thinking that it's not THAT hard. Certainly it takes a fair bit of game-planning and a kitchen of a certain size, but I think it's the pressure of having to cook such a traditionally fraught meal for in-laws and guests and who-all is what stresses everyone out. So...don't stress! Plan. Have a strategy and a drink, make a nephew peel the requisite pounds and pounds and pounds of potatoes, and everything'll be fine. 


Rare Flavor Alert!

This week in rare flavor sightings, the ever-elusive Espresso Sorbetto made an appearance at 20th Capogiro.  Word is out that it'll be back a couple of times in the next week or so. 

Espresso Sorbetto in it's natural habitat

In other Capogiro happenings, this is happening in 2014 and we are all so excited --


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In my opinion, winter is too cold for fun.  I dislike grey chilliness and being shut indoors.  Interestingly enough, our customers here at Capogiro come in for frozen treats even when they, themselves are half frozen to death.  Our gelato is just that good!  Alright, I admit I have some fun when its cold out because it means we have our winter wonderland of seasonal gelato and sorbetto. Cranberry sorbetto, mint chocolate, king leo stracciatella, and the best of them all, my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE in the Capogiro arsenal...... SWEET POTATO PRALINE.
 http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4130/5218511632_873ced82b7.jpg


People, this gelato is the best in the world.  If you don't believe National Geographic then believe me.  And if you don't believe me then come in on a day that we have sweet potato praline and believe your mouth.  It's simply the best thing to ever exist.  And I personally saw the kitchen stocking the ingredients to make it.  Have no doubt that it is coming soon.


<3 Tori Styner

Friday, November 15, 2013

Persimmons: not tomatoes

I mean, they really do LOOK an awful lot like tomatoes. Maybe even more tomatillos, but that's getting pretty far afield.
Doesn't it look like a tomato, though? Sort of like an under-ripe roma tomato with a fancy hat? No? Just me? I'd never seen a whole persimmon before I started working here, so it was something of a revelation.

Do you feel like you're not getting your daily allowance of manganese? We can help you with that, because our persimmon sorbetto is full of persimmons and persimmons themselves are full of the stuff. We are trafficking mostly in hachiya persimmons, but trust that we're pretty good at ripening fruit. We don't want you to end up with a fuzzy-feeling tongue from an unready, super-astringent berry. Yes, a berry! Just like tomatoes.

We're always your place for trying new flavors, and, along with persimmons, the rambutans are back in the house. I've had my struggles with the rambutan in the past (delicious but terrifying), but given my tenure here I've finally made peace with them. To a degree. As in I'll now approach within three feet of them while they're still whole because evidence to date suggests they're not likely to caress me menacingly with their weird hairy tendrils. But I'm not convinced and, like a fairly neurotic Australian Shepherd, will remain constantly vigilant. (Any peace I've made with the rambutans is clearly uneasy and fragile.)

It's for sure gotten somewhat chilly these days, for which I'm more grateful than most. It's hot chocolate season! You probably didn't need me to point any of that out, given the frequency with which y'all are ordering hot chocolates of your own accord. And can you believe that Thanksgiving's only two weeks away? Crazy. The time, it flies.

 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rambutan

These furry weird red guy have arrived again and are as tasty as ever.



Rambutan are relatives of the Lychee which if you are a fan of asian cuisine you may be a little more familiar with.  They have a similar soft fleshy edible inside but on the outside they have this soft bristly red shell.  They come from Indonesia and Malaysia and have to be picked when they are already bright red and ripe as they are a non-climacteric fruit meaning they will not ripen further after being picked.

Though native to Asia they are now grown in many tropical regions including India, the Caribbean islands, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and even Hawaii where it has been one of their top 3 produced fruits.

If you are buying Rambutan for yourselves you should look for them still attached to their branches as this keeps them healthy and fresh for much longer.  Also if the Maharlika variety are available to you I would try to pick them over other varieties as the seeds of other varieties are much more difficult to remove from the delicate tasty fruit that surrounds it.

I watched our kitchen turn a batch into delicious sorbetto yesterday.  Keep checking our flavor listing online and come by and try it.

Movin' on up!

After nearly two years at the flagship store, I've left Midtown Village for our store in Rittenhouse. I’ll miss all the staff, neighbors and regulars at 13th Street but am excited to meet all new friends. One thing that Capo Rittenhouse has that the other stores don’t is Gelato Cakes! I've enjoyed learning about these beauties and even sat down with two different customers today and chatted about their customized cake orders in a sort-of cake consultation. Where’s my TLC reality show? It’s could be called “Gelato Cake Queen” and I’m sure I could invent lots of drama that would make for very riveting television. Anyways, don’t forget about us when you’re thinking of a unique and fabulous dessert idea.  



More to come on my adventures at Capogiro 20th Street but it’s getting very hard to type anymore….




Friday, November 8, 2013

brrr

Our Passyunk location is now closed Monday-Wednesday.. 
BUT! We are open 11am-10pm Thursday-Sunday to pack up your take home pints and make you a great cup of coffee. 
Not quite like attached video, though. 


Coffee Snobs - watch more funny videos

preach

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ohmanohmanohman this might be bad...

Just...just hold on with me here, okay? We can get through this if we're together. It's going to be scary and uncomfortable and it's going to make everything worse for a while, but. But. We're gonna be okay. Right?!

We're staring down the barrel of a global wine shortage.

Ok, breathe with me! C'mon, in through your nose, out through your mouth! Stay with me.

It's completely true, though. Demand for wine is outpacing production, and there are a few different things making it worse. 2011 was a crap year for growing wine grapes, for one thing. For another, you sots are drinking greedily of what IS available! American wine consumption has been skyrocketing for the last decade or so. I blame Thomas Haden Church, naturally. It's been blowing up in China too, but I don't have any ready cultural references to arbitrarily back that up, so let's move on.

Sounds like 2013 has been a much better harvest year so far, so we'll probably settle out over the next year or so. That's some comfort, which is good...because you should brace yourself again. There's more bad news coming.

We may have reached peak wine.

Breathe. BREATHE! You're getting pale. I know, it's scary! But we have to face the reality that everything might change. Will Two Buck Chuck stay two bucks?!?! Mr. Two Buck Chuck says yes. California is, apparently, okay to go for the foreseeable future.

But production is trending down in France, Italy, and Spain, which seems like a bad signal. But then again there are even more conflicting rumors that winemakers do this to us every few years so that they can terrify us into accepting higher prices. Who do we believe?!

I dunno. What I DO know is that I'm going to fill my underground bunker with box wine and corner the inevitable post-wino apocalypse market. Courage.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Winter Hours!!

I know it's still technically fall but as of this past weekend we have switched to our winter hours.   We open at the same time every day we just close one hour earlier than we do for the majority of the year.

Capo13's winter hours are as follow:
Mon through Thurs- 7:30AM - 10:30PM
Friday- 7:30AM - 12AM
Saturday- 9AM - 12AM
Sunday- 10AM - 10:30PM


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cheesy, and nothing to do with NASCAR

So we really do try to tread lightly when it comes to the varied and sometimes tortured pronunciations we hear of some of our flavors. Most people can get carambola out without a hitch, though there are the infrequent "cuh-RAM-bowl-uh" outliers. Moka is inexplicably challenging for a surprisingly large contingent. And most of the brave folk who try to get all the way around nocciola stracciatella stumble somewhere between the third and fourth C.

But I'm always pretty flummoxed when people struggle with mascarpone. Granted the "mar-scuh-pone" crowd is well represented all across the nation, but I've actually heard "muh-SCAR-ponee." I really, really hope the degree to which I was taken aback and a little confused wasn't apparent on my face. We try with our utmost to be welcoming, and recoiling in horror to that one would have been maybe a little off-putting. Trust that your baristi are not going to pounce all over your pronunciation unbidden--we're here to help, but we're not looking to embarrass anyone.

 It's kind of a shame that so many people mispronounce it (for the world: "MASK-ar-pone") because it is delicious. If you're not familiar, mascarpone is a fresh sweet cheese made from cream and native to the northern part of Italy. It's smooth and rich and one of the fundamental ingredients in tiramisu (other fascinating fact: tiramisu by no means qualifies as a "traditional" Italian dessert since it only dates back to the 1960s or so). Around these parts, you're most likely to find it in our apple mascarpone gelato, because sweet creamy cheese and local heirloom apples are delicious.
Here's today's batch, adorned with an...apple-lantern? Jackappletern? Not sure what you'd call it, but this time of year might be our kitchen staff's favorite since they can go nuts with the garnishes.

Absolutely you should at least take a stab at the Italian names of our gelati and sorbetti, but if you'd rather stick with English it's no thing. Even we struggle with some of them. I'm good with zabaglione and caprifoglio, but I know better than to try to get my Germanic jaw around cioccalato mille foglie.


Brendaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Happy Happy Halloween to everyone!!!!

Too old to trick or treat?  Not at Capogiro, you aren’t.  We’ll give you unlimited samples no matter how old you are.  Costumes are encouraged but not necessary!

We don’t like tricks but we’ve got plenty of treats!!  You can be sure that we will be in full stock of our favorite fall flavors like Pumpkin Gelato, Apple Cider Sorbetto, and Pear!  Our steamy hot cider is also waiting for you behind piles of Caramel Corn, Beer-Pretzel Caramels, and Whoopie pies.  The soup is hot too!!

Our case looks more cute than spooky with all of those fruit-o-lanterns our kitchen staff has been carving every morning.  




We hope you’ll come for trick or treating for plenty of halloween flavors tomorrow!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Don't let your gourd down!

It's actually like...cool out! It's not yet what I would term "cold," despite seeing everyone scrabbling around the sidewalks the last few days bundled up like the next over-blown Hurrpsnowpacalypse  is allegedly bearing down on the city. I'm always left thinking, "It's like 53 degrees out. What are you going to do when it's THIRTY DEGREES COLDER?!", but I'm maybe excessively climatically unsympathetic. 

But it is finally getting to truly be fall and the best thing about that is that our gourd-geous (gonna be a couple more of those) fall flavors are going strong. We're getting the best longneck pumpkins that Lancaster county can provide us, which means it's time for our yearly reminder that the zucca gelato does not, as a matter of fact, taste like pumpkin pie. It tastes like pumpkins, and they're pretty great all on their own. Riding along with the pumpkins is the acorn squash--a little more savory, which makes complete sense when you consider that acorn squashes are more closely related to zucchini than they are the pumpkin end of the gourd family. Which is curious to me since most zucchini dishes leave me gourd out of my mind. 

And since it's apple-picking season, we've given some of the cows afternoons off so they can go harvest fruit to press into cider. It makes the cows happy and gives us the opportunity to make you cider sorbetto with clove and hot apple cider, both of which you can find regularly in all of the Capogiros. But we're CapoPenn and we like things boozy, so come see us and we'll put some booze in your cider. 

So my other favorite thing about the weather finally turning cooler? I can bust out my cycling gloves again. Bright, screaming neon green fingers! Very effective for, uh..."signalling" at my fellow travelers. Anyway. Come see us! Spiked apple cider really is great. And remember: the pun is mightier than the gourd. (Told you there'd be more.)


Attack of the Pumpkins!!!!

Fall is in full swing folks, we’ve got soup, we’ve got cider, and we have scary little pumpkin dudes on top of our beloved sorbetto.  One of my favorite things about the fall season is how festive people get.  Halloween is clearly the best holiday of all time, it really brings out creativity and youthfulness in everyone.  Our kitchen staff gets particularly inspired, spending every morning carving out those delicate little guys.  I can’t emphasize enough the dedication of our staff to the little things that make Capogiro great.

I did mention apple cider right?  We serve it hot and spicy in a mug and fresh and frosty as a sorbetto!!  I personally love the beverage, but our Apple Cider with Clove is really one of our best sorbetti.  The clove is really pronounced, and the apples are fresh from Lancaster, making an explosion of fall in your mouth.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

If Only the Salem Villagers Were Gluten-Free



Tis nearly Halloween, and that gets me thinking about witches and vampires and blood and guts naturally. My guts, I'm becoming more and more certain everyday, are PRETTY sensitive to wheat products.  To quote Louis CK, "You're not supposed to have to cancel sh** because of what you ate."  I won't elaborate, but having celiac disease or an intolerance to wheat can be a huge bummer to say the least. Forget conventional baked goods. No birthday cake for you. No sticky buns. No pizza. Luckily we have a bunch of gluten-free soups and hummus with veggies for me to snack on at work. But let's get back to the witches and vampires.  Everybody knows the major bullet points of the Salem Witch Trials story. A couple young girls start acting crazy. The adults pressure them to admit their dalliance with the "Devil's Magic." A few months later hundreds of women are accused of witchcraft. Ya know, science. What may be less known is the hypothesis that these young girls may have been poisoned by ergot, a fungus found in wheat and rye. Eating ergot contaminated food can lead to LSD-like delusions and hallucinations, along with muscle spasms and vomiting.  BUT...if you've ever seen the Exorcist, then you know the Devil likes to make you puke.  So, I don't know, they were probably guilty.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wherein Jay gets a bit on the soapbox about food again.

Look, it's totally true. I've made peace with it, even if those around me maybe haven't altogether.

I'm picky. About food. But not in the way that you're thinking! I'll try just about anything, and my comfort zone is really, really broad. I like things like oysters and offal and powerful cheese and super-funky foot-smellin' sour beers.

But there are some things a lot of people in my circles swoon over that don't do it for me at all. I've never been blown away by sashimi. Mushrooms almost always leave me clammy (there's something really off-putting to me about their texture). And salmon...no. Just no with the salmon. As I'm typing this, it's the only food I can think of that I'll put my foot down about. Like, will not order it, will not try someone else's.

I know, I know. I'm actually one of the first people to rail against eating by dogma and limiting your palate. But I like to think that I've reached the point where I've tried all of these things in various preparations and can conclusively say that they're not for me. I like fish! A lot! And will try pretty much any new fish that I haven't had before at least once. Fugu? Sure, I like life on the edge as much as the next guy. Angler fish, knowing that it looks like this?

Yep, sure would. But salmon...it really was concretized for me one day when I was running a kitchen in Seattle. It was the afternoon and I needed a dinner special and had a ton of salmon on hand (in Seattle! who'da guessed). So I asked the waitstaff for suggestions, and they all said a salmon quesadilla. "No way," I thought. "That much super-heavy oily fish with a bunch of cheese? Never sell. Also GROSS." (I think cheese and seafood have no place being put together in the same dish, but that's just me.) I just about sold out of salmon that night. Must have made at least twenty of them, and argued with my gag reflex the whole time. Seattle, man. You can't throw a demitasse in that town without hitting some salmon dinner special. Town's nuts for it.

All of which brings me around to pears. I don't really like pears, and I've tried them any number of ways. Like mushrooms, it's a textural thing: the grit. And I really like apples, so you'd think I'd dig pears. But! Now I've found a sound botanical reason for why they don't do it for me: sclerids! Pears have a much higher quantity of "stone cells" than apples do, and since a lot of times you can't actually tell an apple from a pear just by looking at them, this is the real differentiator. 

Don't get me wrong, our pear sorbetti are legit tasty--here's the Bosc pear sorbetto, which is currently makes my list of top 22 flavors:

I mean, that's pretty much the Platonic ideal of a pear, yeah? Lookin' good, Bosc.

And listen...all this stuff? Totally just my subjective preferences. Most of my friends go nuts for serious sushi and sashimi; it just doesn't do it for me. And given all the vegetarians in my family, if I didn't eat the occasional mushroom we'd never be able to share pizza again (truth: I pick them off and feed them to the dogs). And pears? Yeah, I dig the pear sorbetto. Wanna know a secret? Match it with a shot of whiskey. Or keep an eye out for the pear and Wild Turkey sorbetto if you're not actually in the mood for a drop o' the pure. But their days are numbered, so you should maybe get in sooner than later! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Paw Paw has arrived (it's not papaya!)

I have been at Capo13 for about two and a half years now and have stumbled upon this flavor tag numerous times and wondered what it is.  Even in all this time here there is still a fairly large sized box of flavor tags that I have not yet had the opportunity to taste.  We have made so many flavors in the last (almost) 11 years and not all of them are possible to bring out every year.  There just are not enough days in a year!!

Anyways, I have seen the Paw Paw tag numerous times while searching for other labels and wondered what this strange fruit could be like and today when we got our fruit delivery I finally got to see some!!  To start I will say they are far from the prettiest fruit I have seen in our kitchen but they are not the ugliest either.  They are kind of a drab brown on the outside and are kidney shaped.  They smell amazingly sweet and I can't wait until the kitchen whips them into some tasty sorbetto so I can get my first taste. 

After doing a little bit of wiki reading I found it is related to the Cherimoya which we had here last summer.  The Cherimoya is also known as a custard apple and tastes very much like custard and apple.  The paw-paw is very similar. The paw paw is the largest indigenous fruit in North America.  They have a wide range, growing from Ontario to Florida and as far west as Texas. 

And this is what they look like with foliage:














Stop in and try something new!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

One of these things is not like the other (and there are only two things)

It's something we run into pretty regularly--a first-timer will come in looking for vanilla and maybe we won't have it that day. Then they'll notice our fior di latte and ask, "hey that's pretty much vanilla, right?"

I hate to sound strident, but...no. Our fior and our vanilla really, really are two different beasts. And pretty frequently when I get the "pretty much vanilla" question, my response is something along the lines of "Well, there isn't actually any vanilla in it, so."

They're both delicious, of course. Sure we'd likely be tough to pin down on a "signature" flavor, but the fior is probably it. It's the foundation of everything else we make, of course. It's simple, it's clean, it's representative of the earth it's coming from...it's great, obviously. And our kitchen staff got a nice peak on it today:



And then our vanilla (which we don't have in the case today or else I'd have a picture of that too, natch) is so good because we start with the fior (see above) and add in the best vanilla we can find (in a variety of forms that I'm not allowed to tell you about). When we make vanilla, we're going to make you some VANILLA. So often (and this is why I generally don't like vanilla anything in frozen form) when you submit yourself to someone else's vanilla...it doesn't actually taste like vanilla anything. It tastes like weak milk and boring. Our vanilla gelato is...I'm going to go with redolent. You know you're getting real vanilla, not some imitation extract.

So really this comes down to another instance of where, if you come in with a flavor already in mind before you see what's in the case (or check our website, of course), you may well be disappointed. We'll always have our fior di latte, of course. So that's something you can rely on! But our vanilla is almost as special as our fior, so it's presence is a bit fleeting. We'll always have 20-some other wicked good flavors though, so get out of your comfort zone a little and maybe try something new. Like tahini! Totally under-rated, that.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hot Apple Cider

One of the most sure-fire signs that Autumn is finally here is the arrival of Hot Apple Cider at Capogiro.   Though for the last week it has felt like the middle of summer all over again Cider has finally made it's return to Capo13 to vanquish the warm weather I was not prepared to handle this last week.  While the warmth was lovely I am ready for sweater and pants weather and the accompanying hot apple cider to warm me up!!

I remember being edu-ma-cated by Ned Flanders years ago when the Simpsons ran into the Flanders clan on a trip to a local cider mill in an autumn themed episode.  If you weren't sure how to tell the difference then the following video explains the visual queues.



The main difference between juice and cider is the way it is processed and filtered which does make visible identification a pretty solid way to tell the difference.  The Massachusetts government website even has a pretty great explanation on it too.  Basically apple cider is made by crushing apples into what is essentially an apple sauce consistency pulp which is then placed between two filter clothes and compressed until all the juice comes out of it.  It is bottled at the stage.  Apple juice is further filtered to remove any particulates and paustruerized to increase it's shelf life.  Not that this is a terrible thing but i do love the fresh flavor of cider over juice myself. 

Stop by and ask for a hot cup of cider!  We even have nutmeg and cinnamon for you to add to your own personal taste!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

No f'real we're a great restaurant town!

Hi. Hi! Are you mayhap British? Because Adam Erace, one of our favorite Philadelphia food writers, shouted us out in The Guardian today. We're goin' international!

Mostly his point was that Philadelphia is a rippin' good restaurant town, and I totally couldn't agree more (stipulating that my opinion is far more humble and far less educated than his). My sister and I are still kicking around restaurant options for her birthday, and it's sort of like the best kind of window shopping, knowing that ultimately we (read: she) will eventually settle on somewhere we can go have an actual dining experience.

I'll admit that I'm maybe a little more spoiled and unappealingly blase about dining experiences. Between being in the industry for as long as I have and being pretty dedicated to seeking good food with a certain regularity, I've maybe been exposed to fine dining more than most. Which holy cow sounds incredibly pretentious to type out like that. But I also just spent half an hour trying to find the picture on my phone of my favorite ribs ever (they were at Southwark and you should definitely go there if you haven't yet) but that picture seems to have disappeared. So here's instead here's a picture of the most Philadelphia dinner special ever:


courtesy of Han Dynasty the last time we all got it together sufficiently to clear our schedules enough to get out for a managers' dinner (the picture of the ribs would have been way better, and for that I'm sorry).

So yeah! You could totally use Erace's piece at The Guardian as a guide to where to go eat. It's a pretty good list! So is Philadelphia Magazine's list of the 50 best restaurants in town, which is always great fuel for debate. But go out and eat! You can for sure make a good (great even!) meal at home, but eating a well-made meal with people you care about in a special place is important, too. (And then come see us for dessert.)





        Aaaaah...bay leaf.  You really know how to tie disparate flavors together into one unified force of yummy.  I just enjoyed a bowl of Cream of Tomato with Chicken and Orzo (see Sean's post below).  The ingredients list is a paragraph long. All real stuff though. No hydrolyzed vegetable proteins or MSG or BPA like you can find in most canned soups.
        Real shredded chicken (not that cubed dark mystery meat), tomato, onion, garlic, paprika, cayenne, some basil, salt and pepper obviously, and that beautiful bay leaf.  He's like, "Hey, cayenne! Take it down a notch. You! Tomato! Stop being so acidic." Yes, the bay leaf is a he, and he's not shy.  There are a few varieties of bay leaf all capable of accomplishing similar feats. Be sure when you're looking to flavor your soups, stews, and rice dishes with him that you remove him before serving because he does bite back.  Not pleasant.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Soup!!!

It's finally here!

I look forward all year to soup season.  There is nothing quite like a cup of soup on a cold day to fill up you tummy and help keep you warm.  I realize we are in a weird brief back-to-warm-weather week but I'm still souper (haha) excited for the return of my favorite kind of food in the cafe. 

Today we kicked it off at 13th with Ginger Butternut Squash soup which is not only delicious and dense and filling but it is also VEGAN!!  So nearly everyone and anyone should be able to enjoy it.

Later this week we will also be serving Tortellini with Wild Mushrooms, 7 Herb Bistro Chicken, Cream of Tomato with Chicken and Orzo, Fall Harvest Veggie, Sweet Corn Chowder, and Sweet Cherry Tomato!!

This is just what to expect in the coming week.  This year we have a ton of new soups and will be changing it up regularly.  If you have a favorite soup let us know and we'll see what we can do to bring it to Capo13!!

Disclaimer: Not all of our soups are vegetarian or vegan so if you have any dietary needs just ask the staff and we will be sure to check the ingredients of that days soups for you.  We will do our best to regularly have veggie and vegan friendly options!

-Sean

Thursday, September 26, 2013

So I've been looking at these things on and off for a couple years now...

And up until now I've been completely flummoxed. I mean, sure, they look like this:
so they appear tasty enough (rest assured through all of this that they are, as a matter of fact, really tasty). And I get that they definitely do look a bit like a more familiar plum than a prune, and I do love a good plum.

But...why call it a prune plum? It's one of those things, you know how it goes. I've been with Capogiro so long that at this point I was actually too embarrassed to ask. "So...prunes? Henh?" I figure it's safe to assume that I'd be in for some, uh. Ribbing. And as much as we do all like each other (and we do, both among the CapoPenn crew and the boss crew who meets occasionally but mostly lives out our relationships through texts like a bunch of teenagers), the ribbing around here...it can be less than gentle sometimes.

ANYWAY. So why is it a prune plum? Because it's the variety of plum that gets turned into a prune. That's it! It's utterly that simple. As is my wont I had fairly convinced myself that it was some relatively obscure cultivar that was epically and especially suited to sorbettoing. (I have a penchant for over-complicating things, including and/or especially my syntax.)

So...does that make the prugna sorbetto as healthy as a handful of prunes? It's not too far off! Prunes are one of the more nutrient-dense fruits you can put in your face, and given how much fruit goes into our sorbetto (and since the fruit never gets cooked)there really is a good bit of nutrition in there. And it's fat-free of course, so it's pretty much guilt-free, too. There ya go. Nutrition in you dessert. Can't beat that.

 

Member These?


Some of ya'll may or may not have noticed our Gelato Cake and Cookie Sandwich freezer has been on the fritz.  If you're craving that vanilla sugar cookie dipped in chocolate with Stracciatella sandwich, you'll just have to pass the 20th store a couple blocks and make a hard right down Walnut to CapoPenn. OR you don't quite make it to the 20th store by a couple blocks and make a hard LEFT depending on which way you're coming. OR you head towards 20th from West Philly and realize you have to turn completely around and head back in the direction from whence you came.  OR you...nah, I'll stop there.
    I want to reassure ya'll that the cakes are still here at 20th, still waiting for you to special order them with 48 hours notice.  The Bomba (white haired /coconut toupeed turtle shell), the Della Signora (pistachioed and lady finger-lined), and of course the Triangolo (bacio slapped with extra candied hazelnuts for pete's sake) just to name a few. They are all here lying dormant in the potential energy of Irlanda's talented hands.  Let her make something for your next birthday party, bar mitzvah, quinceanera, or Freemason initiation. The holidays are just around the corner, too!

DISCLAIMER: this is not an example of our cakes, but I Googled "Freemason holding a cake," crossed my fingers, and this came up. Thank you internet.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why are my eyes soo itchy?!?!

It seems like the fall allergy season has begun to set in.  For the last three days my eyes have become progressively more itchy and I'm presently fighting myself not to scratch them with a nice sharp fork.  I promise to reserve my forking of things for the dinner table.  To my fellow fall allergy sufferers just know I'm there with you and I hope we all get to experience relief sooner rather than later. 


Neck Pumkin's!
On the positive side of this, Fall allergies mean that fall fruits and veggies are all getting themselves primed for our gelato and sorbetto pans.  Things you can look forward to in the coming weeks are Acorn Squash Gelato, Lancaster Neck Pumpkin Gelato, and the return of our our delicious soups!!  I also heard rumor of some new things coming to our candy counter so keep your eyes peeled for those too.

Acorn Squash!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

One more time for the world (or the city, really, I guess)!

So the days are conspicuously getting shorter: I came downstairs to the counter the other evening at 7:45 or so and looked outside and totally had a "whoawait it's dark out" moment, which is an annual (perennial? Man I'm STILL not sure) occurrence. And it's definitely getting cooler out, for which I'm ever grateful if totally unsure about who it is I'm grateful to. 

Which means we're running out of time for you to find us out and about! It really is one of our favorite things to bring our gelato to hungry faces in various parts of the city--and it's been a great festival season! Of course we did Feastival a little bit ago, and there have been some Night Markets here and there and...I sort of hate to tell you this (but on the other hand it's super-useful info to stash away for later!) but we've done some private gigs here and there--weddings mostly, and alas you weren't invited. But was Brewers Plate really that long ago? Like...March, I think? Makes me nostalgic for strawberries, it does.

But we've got one more event in the out-of-doors for you! We'll be at the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival, which is kind of a great way to wrap up our season since we were at this fest's spring version earlier this year. 

So! One more time, come get yer walkin' around gelato! There'll be a bunch of our favorite food trucks and the local shops will be out and the sidewalk and the weather should be just about PERFECT (lil warm for my tastes but I'm cantankerous and difficult to satisfy). C'mon! Hop a train and come see us one more time this year. 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The most un-noticed, but delicious Capogiro Sweets!!

Our gelato is so good that some customers never move beyond the case.  As understandable as that is, there are some great products for sweet tooths craving something other than gelato.  

My number one favorite treat that often gets over looked by gelato crazy customers is cocolove’s whoopie pies, located on the top shelf of our beverage case, next to the register.  By the time our customers get to where these little guys are, they already have gelato.  But folks, I promise you will not be disappointed if you treat yourself to a good whoop by buying a cocolove midnight chocolate whoopie pie with chocolate mousse frosting.



Another cocolove favorite of mine is their shortbread!  If you are looking for a little salty weet crunch to go with your morning cappucino, then grab a two pack of these cookies for just a buck!!  I really recommend the rosemary variety!

And last but not least (although they wont last much longer) are the last few boxes of salt water taffy  (by Salty Road) hanging out on top of our drink case.  These sold like hotcakes during the summer but we still have a couple boxes left!! Get one before they are gone until next year!




<3 Tori Styner

Thursday, September 12, 2013

So...TONIGHT though what're you doin?

Because see, it's Feastival night and we're going to be there! Good food festivals don't often need anything to gild their lilies, but since it's actually a sneaky way to support FringeArts (the folk that bring you Fringe Festival) and some of the truly best restaurants in Philadelphia will be there, it's pretty sure to be an all-around rippin' good time.

So my sister's birthday is coming up and she's just shown my niece Ratatouille. Since they're in the culinary desert that is suburban Maryland, we kicked it around a bit and decided that the two of them should come to Philadelphia for a night so that A>sis can get some legit food for her birthday and B>we can see how my niece does with dinner in an upscale (hate that word in this context, but) restaurant. She is five years old after all, and these things are maybe a little dicey until you really put them to the test. Of course, I'm a restaurant guy and the three of us used to live together, so OBVIOUSLY my niece is the coolest, brilliantest, most well-behaved(est) five year old that's ever been on this or any other planet, and I'm not at all worried that she'll cause a scene.

And I'm actually pretty excited to take them out, because between thinking about sis's birthday dinner and gearing up for Feastival, I've really been reminded that Philadelphia is a serious restaurant town. We're absolutely spoiled with riches when it comes to real food here. We've got Chinatown, the Italian/Mexican/Vietnamese Market, all the awesome East African places in West (best) Philly, great cocktail bars (and bartenders) and celebrity chefs who remain more chef than celebrity.

Admittedly though, sis and her daughter are vegetarians, about which I'm of two minds. On one hand...I mean, clearly they're just, like, wrong. Because pork. But on the other hand, I've defintely had my head turned by a well-executed vegetable dish. So sis asked me to come up with suggestions, and I've found myself really advocating for...a place I'm not going to tell you about yet! Because it's super-small and very specialized and I want to make sure we can get our reservations.

But all in all...we should take pride in our town. The restaurants around us and the people that work in them are some of the best in the country, and whatever you've got a hunger for you're lucky enough to find authentically done and close by.

Needs better pizza, though.

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sansom street make-over!!!

Friday night while working the closing shift a fleet of tow trucks rolled out on Sansom Street to move all the cars that had ignored the city warning signs that some road work would be taking place after 8pm. We watched while they made quick work of whatever cars were unlucky enough to have missed the notices. Next rolled up a dump truck which slowly backed up Sansom toward Broad st and was followed by the awesome street stripper (not that kind of stripper!) which ground up all the gross uneven pavement that is Sansom street and spit it into the back of a series of dump trucks.






















I was very excited to see our little street is finally getting some attention from the streets dept. Sansom Street is not exactly known for being the most pleasantly scented of streets nor did it have a good reputation for being well maintained or a smooth ride. This means we'll be getting a brand new strip of smooth, even, and clean (for now) asphalt!!! I bike a lot in the city and consider this to be quite a luxury. I don't know if this excites anyone else quite as much as me but I thought maybe someone else out there would appreciate the neighborhoods improvement. Here is a picture of how it looks now and soon I'll be able to post a lovely after picture.


 

Yay the fall riding is going to be great!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

To the end of an era (season)




We're serving the last of the rose gelato at our Passyunk location this evening!
..never let go..

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Capogiro Point/Counterpoint

At the risk of seeming to throw Melissa under the bus...

PEOPLE. SUMMER IS NOT OVER. Sure it's kinda close to over. But let's not kid ourselves: there are still several 97 degree/103% humidity days in our immediate future. And when did the pumpkin/Oktoberfest creep get so aggressive?! (Gauntlet-throwing admission in direct conflict with my blog post about Oktoberfest: I don't like German beer. Laagers? Meh. Where's the hops?)

Seriously, it's the first week of September. All the big beer folk have started rolling out their fall beers--like a week ago! And the [shudder] pumpkin spice lattes...I mean. I don't even know where to start. For one thing, this is what your (real) pumpkins look like right now:


Noooooooooooot altogether very pumpkin-y, right? Also...do you know what goes into making your pumpkin spice latte beyond milk and espresso (which are the only ingredients in a legit latte, obv)? You don't really think they're using any actual pumpkin in there, right? "Natural and artificial flavors," of course. Which means...fractionated corn! Also probably molested soybeans. And possibly petroleum. Deeeeeeeeeelicious.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fall. I'm a fall guy! Definitely my favorite season, though I'm annually (perennially?) dismayed by how quickly it always seems to creep up. Wasn't it just Memorial Day? And as much as I really tried to embrace the summer this year, to make peace with the heat and humidity and Eau de Hawt Dumpster...I tried. I really did. But no. Y'know what? Summer sucks in a lot of ways, and while it's got some upsides--eagerly looking forward to an all-day cookout this weekend--man. I ride all over this town and there are so many interesting (?) smells. Really looking forward to the cooler weather to knock that down a bit.

Anyway, here's my point: can we ease up on pushing into whatever season is next and just relax and be in whatever season we're IN? Jeez. Also: gonna need you to get offa my lawn.


Marshmallow is a PLANT, say what?

      Marshmallows were not always a vegan's fluffiest nightmare.  A marshmallow is, in fact, a plant.  A mallow found in a marsh. Marsh mallow.  Egyptians had plenty of marshes and therefore plenty of mallows with which to make sweet treats.  As with most plants found in this habitable world, it was originally used for medicinal purposes.  The root extracts, as well as chewy sweets made with honey and either the plant's sap or pith, were used to soothe sore throats. 
       French confectioners continued the use of marshmallow sap to literally whip up treats similar to the modern marshmallow through the 19th Century.  All that whipping took a lot out of the Frenchies, so they devised ways to cut down on the labor by adding egg whites or gelatin.  The marshmallow as we know it today, that little squatty cylinder, is a product of an automated process developed in the economic boom following WWII.  Essentially, it squirts out in a tube shape, gets cut down, and rolled around in corn starch. 
       Lately, the kids are making them at home, usually in a pan, so they're cut into squares. We have some here at 20th St. from the Little Flower Candy Company.  I tried, and failed, about 5 Christmases ago to make some for my family.  I imagined making hot chocolates and wowing the fam, but 4 gelatin sheets and a fifty dollar candy thermometer later, and all I had were glossy white strands of goo.  I have it all documented with pictures which I wish were on this computer so I could properly punctuate this rambling, but instead I'll just direct you to an unfortunate news story involving marshmallows and Pennsylvania.  OOh. wait. goody. I found my pictures on the interweb...