Thursday, May 30, 2013

Polarization is fun!

So we've got the tamarindo sorbetto today, and it got me thinking that some of our flavors are definitely an on-or-off deal for a lot of people. As in, either you really, really like tamarind's unique, sweet-tart-sour flavor or you think it's completely over-powering and weird. Myself, I like it a lot! Especially with our Thai coconut milk gelato, but I think all of our sorbetti go really well with the coconut, which might speak more to my appreciation of our coconut milk than anything else.

And since my brain tends to wander down roads all by itself if I'm not paying attention, it (somehow) occurred to me that mayonnaise is sort of the same way for people. Again, I'm a big fan (and sometimes even slip over to the dark side that is Miracle Whip, if you can believe that).'s true. Even though I've railed against the phenomenon of heavy duty mayonniase...secretly I think there's nothing better for a burger's bun. (It's because the fat in the mayonnaise protects the bun from getting soggy! Also, because fat.) And of course I've got a soft spot for our own extra virgin olive oil mayonnaise. But there are for sure plenty of people who can't stand mayonnaise, and not in a little way. I guess it's the jiggling when you see bulk mayonnaise? Or...something? I mean I think it's the cat's pajamas, so I can't really figure why anyone wouldn't like it.

More than anything else, when I think about our more further-afield flavors like tamarindo, it comes back for me to making sure you're getting out of your culinary comfort zone every now and again. Alas, I was going to suggest (perhaps again) that it's high time you tried your first oyster, but I'm of the old school and lean towards laying off the wee molluscs molluscs until we get some Rs back in the months, but then again maybe that's a wives' tale. But maybe go find yourself some offal? If you can find an oxtail poutine, it's definitely on the amazing side. Granted the only place I know of which makes it is Animal in LA, but it's worth the trip. But eat something that you think is weird this weekend! It (probably) won't kill you.

Speaking of polarizing...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Not So Punny After All


     Why are so many coffee shops named with puns? I know it's not because it sells more coffee.  I don't think I'm alone in saying I'd take a sharp turn at Thanks A Latte and head straight to Dunkin' Donuts instead.  I'm not here to make enemies, so I'll leave the local guys out of my rant for today. You know who I'm talking about anyway, right? But I shouldn't pick on coffee shops because there are plenty of full service restaurants, fast-food joints, and bakeries that are also maybe, just maybe, masking a deficient product with a clever wink-wink aren't we cute name on the building. 
      Most of the time they're not terribly clever and can be, in fact, groan inducing. Espresso Yourself? Hmmm. What do they sell? Custard's Last Stand? You guessed it. Custard. Wiener Take All? Yep. That's a real place, too. Where's the subtlety, the poetry, the pizzazz? What if Capogiro was called A Lotto Gelato? Arizona has a chain called Brewed Awakening. I couldn't even bring myself to look inside of it, let alone buy something there. Is that too harsh? Should I not be bothered by this? I'm starting to feel like Jerry Seinfeld, and I can hear his voice in my head reading my words. What's the DEAL with food and coffee puns? AM I RIGHT, PEOPLE?!   
      What bothers me, I guess, is knowing how much work it is to own your own business. The food industry can be especially brutal.  And I know others know this. The ones giving their businesses ridiculous names.  The ones living the investment of heart, soul, sweat, money, time, money, money, and more time.  And I also know that we have the entire English language with which to combine letters into words and words into phrases to name your business.  These other people also know this, and they still call their place Lettuce Souprise You.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Brooklyn Caramels chilling with Capo Cappuccino

Capogiro recently made friends with Liddabit Sweets from Brooklyn, New York and they sent us some caramels to accompany our cappuccino.  We have two varieties:
Beer and Pretzel
Fig and Riccotta

These little caramels are so decadent and unique in taste.  The crunch of the salted pretzel mixes with the sweet, hoppy, caramel that surround it to form the perfect blend of artisan beer (Brooklyn Brewery) and dessert.  I particularly recommend  tasting the mild, yet satisfying blend of Fig Ricotta with your morning cappuccino. If you're feeling really adventurous, give the Beer and Pretzel caramel a little bath in espresso before you eat it.

<3 Tori

Friday, May 24, 2013

A customer looking over our new Salty Road salt water taffy, in adorable packaging you'd expect from a company based in Brooklyn, asked me about the bergamot flavor.  My Becca brain thought, "It's that Earl Grey stuff." But my customer service mouth SAID, "Let me find out for you exactly." I knew it as an orangey citrusy lemony thing, and I figured Lord Grey must've had a good reason to put it in his tea.  It has many therapeutic uses for afflictions from which I can only pray to the Lord that the Lord did not suffer.  A little tumor caused by a fungal infection anyone? How bout vitiligo, lice, or parasites? Apparently, therapy was not the reason for bergamot's inclusion in the black tea blend. Taste and a touch of deceit had more do with it.  Some say the bergamot oil could mimic the flavor of more exotic and expensive Chinese teas. Others claim it was a special blend prepared specifically to counter the preponderance of lime in the water where Mr. Grey lived.  He was not tumored nor riddled with lice, but whether he was a cheap bastard or lived near some gnarly water has no bearing on the fact that bergamot is a truly special aromatic that adds a zesty freshness to the salt water taffy. AND Salty Road put it in the cutest of all their boxes!  It's that pink one second from the right!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tunas: not actually fish(es)!

Cactus pear sorbetto is back! It's for sure one of our favorites. It's sweet and (I think) kind of mellow and just right for this kind of weather.

And what's up with the tuna thing? That's what you call the fruit itself. "Cactus pear" refers to the entirety of the plant, dontcha know. The edible part? THAT'S your tuna (or tunas, if we're talking about more than one). Of course people do eat the pads of the cactus too, and they're called nopales (sing: nopal) which I share only because "nopal" is kind of a great word.

So who knew? We can turn kinda dull, sorta prickly little orbs:

into this wickedly colored, totally refreshing sorbetto:

(It's that one in the back, kinda hiding. Tough to pick out, I know.)

We're super-diligent about picking out the spines, by the way. (The glochids, as Sean discovered.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Salty Road Taffy!

We've got a new candy product in town.  Until now my favorite candy item we stock at 13th St has been the Little Flower Salted caramels.  The salty sweetness is perfectly balanced and they are very soft and melt in your mouth.  A little taste of heaven.  However, there might be something close to a tie since we have introduced Salty Road Salt Water Taffy to the counter.  These come in 6 salty sweet flavors and they are awesome!!!

We have the following to choose from:
Sea Salt Caramel
Salty Caramel Apple
Salty Peanut
Bergamot (which is the citrus-y flower that makes Earl Grey tea smell and taste so lovely)

Stop by soon before everyone snatches them up, I think they're going to sell like hotcakes! (even if it is just me buying them all)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

If it's May, it must be time for RittFest!

I'm guessing the organizers would probably hate to hear us call it that, but when your text threads about event details get as long as they do between Sarah and me, you look for shortcuts. But this weekend, by tradition by golly we're at the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival again! It's one of our favorite out-of-doors festivals and in one of our favorite parts of town. And it looks like a nice weekend to be out and about weather-wise. So come find us! We'll have two carts and more gelato than you can shake a cone at on Walnut Street somewhere in the proximity of 16th Street. We'll be there (probably not wearing bells, but one never do know) from noon-5. Come on out!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Smurfs are HUGE in Italy

A few weeks back, my Italian friend, Lorenzo, was paying Capogiro many compliments. He says we are all so nice and good to our customers. We have fresh and delicious panini and the best coffee (he has to say that because he works at La Colombe). We have all the authentic flavors he loves from home, except for one. "Puffo," he says to me. "It is blue. Like the Smurfs. You should make it."  Now there ain't nothin' natural about that color, so I told him he shouldn't hold his breath.  But if he does, he'll turn blue, and maybe that will suffice. I kinda didn't believe him until I looked it up. Puffo is the Italian word for Smurf, and the gelato can be marshmallow, bubble gum, or liquorice flavored depending on where you go to get it. I was in Italy for six weeks, all over that friggin' country, and didn't see this! Total bummer, man.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We are gelato artisans, which means we associate with pretty artsy people.  Recently, I learned of one of our long distance customers has a particularly artful way of recycling our gelato-tasting spoons.

Artist Lucette White, based in Gloucester Massachusetts, never misses a chance to visit Capogiro when she finds herself in Philly.  And it's not just for our delicious gelato.   White, who is known for her "Works in Gold" uses our spoons to mix her gold leaf.  She explains:  "For my paintings,  I have to use powdered gold leaf in very small quantities.   These spoons are the perfect size to blend the powder with the paint and not waste any materials."  She adds, "Of course I love the Bourbon Vanilla Gelato, so there's a double benefit to stopping in!"
Below are some stunning works by Lucette White that Capogiro gelato helped shine like gold!!  We are just so pleased that our community of customers is so talented and creative!

<3 Tori

Thursday, May 9, 2013

This might blow your mind a little bit.

Listen, I'm a pretty devout carnivore. (Alright, omnivore if we're going to be pedantic about it.) I seriously do enjoy eating the flesh of dead animals--because if you're one of those eaters who hasn't taken a moment when eating a burger or a chicken breast or what have you to remember that the tasty morsel you were consuming was once upon a time a living, breathing creature, then you're kind of flying the flag of what Fergus Henderson refers to as "pink in plastic." And that's not altogether a good thing. I'm bubble-wrapping the soap a little bit here--it's a bad thing. This mentality of meat-as-commodity has infected an awful lot of American eaters, and it's having some pretty horrible consequences. You have read The Omnivore's Dilemma, right?

Ohjeez. Hey look, I was having that whole judge-y monologue there and climbed up on my soapbox without even looking. Sorry about that! The point I was trying to get to before my inner Charles Dickens got in the way (anyone wanna pay me by the word? I can get real long-winded!) is that there are still some really quite good things to eat that don't involve meat. I know! It's crazy! Just because you're not eating meat with every meal doesn't mean your dinner has to look like this:

Like, right now I've kind of got a food-crush on the cripsy tofu (dau hu chien if you're linguistically adventurous) at Vietnam Cafe on Baltimore Ave out here in West Philly. West Philly is the BEST Philly! Especially when it comes to international food that isn't pho or Mexican (special shout-out to Taqueria La Veracruzana). The tofu's really lightly fried and served with only a bit of soy-scallion sauce. It's simple and it's crispy and super-hot and really, really satisfying. And then they've got a catfish claypot entree...the restaurant's right around the corner from my house and I've found myself there a few times recently. What I'm saying is that you should hop a trolley and make your way out to West Philly to eat one of these days.

And y'know, we don't do too bad for vegetable-forward stuff ourselves 'round here at CapoPenn! We're all waiting for the hot weather to settle in, and that's the time I start really getting down on our Greek salad. Bed of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese and kalamata olives. Some red wine vinegar, a little extra virgin olive oil, and you've got yourself a hot-weather lunch that's not going to leave you feeling like you're going to nap involuntarily.

And oh hey we've got granita back for the summer, too! I just finished up a batch each of lemon and Earl Grey, which make a pretty good combination together, I think.

I can't believe I'm saying it out loud (as it were), but I AM kind of ready for the hot weather to get here. Puts me in a totally different mood for music. And it's the time of year when I can start getting some serious miles in on my bike. And of course, there's the gelato. Almost time for walking-around frappes. Oh and don't forget we'll be at Rittenhouse Row Fest, as ever! So one way or another, we'll see you soon.

(Yes, there's totally bacon on the grilled cheese sandwich I'm eating as I type this.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down

Cole's facial hair felt heavy. The first sign that summer must be around the corner. Oh! sweltering heat, oh! moisture laden atmosphere. You carry the old urine and garbage molecules emanating from every alleyway so cursorily towards my nose. A little oxygen, a little nitrogen, a smidge of hydrogen, add a dash of salt. Fold until just incorporated. Humidity is here, and I'm not sure there's any going back.  I come from the desert, where moisture plus heat equals an odorous opus of oleander, creosote, and palo verde.  To curse the rain is only to deepen the dormant sleep of some of nature's most beautiful botanical creatures. But here, in the city, I will curse the rain.  The humidity serves only to coax the foulest of odors to take refuge in my nasal cavities.  I don't know what I would do without my Capogiro. Coffee brewing, everything bagels toasting, bacon frying. I implore you. Take refuge in my gelateria. WE HAVE BACON.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Cirque du Soleil is coming to town and Capogiro is invited!!

Ask your favorite barista for a flyer that will get you 10 percent off the new Cirque show, Totem!!

Our gelato is welcoming the carnival with decadent swirls of salted caramel, dulce du leche, and tiramisu.

Make sure you come visit us this week, try out these awesome flavors and pick up a flyer.
We cocoLove you all.

<3 Tori

Friday, May 3, 2013

We're nuts about coconuts! (And it could be that I'm leaning too heavily on that particular naming convention)

It's funny, I never really liked coconut anything before I started working for Capogiro however many moons ago it was. Definitely one of things for which I developed an unexpected appreciation. But ever since I've been here, our Thai coconut milk gelato has been one of my standbys. A coconut-bacio frappe is sort of a staple to fix my head when I'm having a weird day.

And again it's been one of those opportunities for me to learn more about the food we serve...because what IS a coconut, anyway? I mean, it's pretty clearly not a nut. Right?

Right! It's definitely a fruit. A drupe, to be taxonomic about things, so a coconut has more in common with a peach than you might think. And we're not kidding when we say it's Thai coconut milk--this is one of those instances when we insist on a particular ingredient, same as with the pastes for our nocciola and pistachio gelati.

I sorta wish we could say that we're getting pounds and pounds of fresh coconuts in from Thailand and smooshing them to extract the milk ourselves...but I can't. It'd take A LOT of coconuts to yield enough milk for us to get you your gelato every day. Besides, we've got so many other wicked good flavors to make every day that there's only so much time we can spend obsessing over any one flavor.

S'anyway. Coconut gelato is for sure one of our staples, and it's definitely a go-to for combining with any of the sorbetti. Or scuro. Or Madagascar Bourbon vanilla. Or any of them, really. Could be that I'm a little hungry and lacking decision-making prowess right now.

It could also be that this whole post was an excuse to share this video, but I feel like I'm pretty blameless here. I mean, Harry Nilsson in a gorilla suit? Necessary on many levels. Regardless, it's gonna be a beautiful weekend. You're coming in, yeah? We'll see you soon!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tomato Sorbetto Sweeps the Nation!!

Run and get some gelato!

Hey guys,

We all had a great time on Saturday at PIFA (Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts)!!  Thanks to everyone who came to visit us at the cart between the pirates and the human fountain!! Thanks to everyone else that broke away from the crowd for a little to come say hi at our storefront :)


andddd COOL SIGNS!!

Also, come chill with us after the broad street run next weekend!!

<3 Tori