Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rhubarb: not just funny-lookin' celery

It's true! They're not even related to one another, though they don't mind you thinking it might be so (actually now that I'm poking around doing, um, "research," they really, really do look a lot alike). No, rhubarb is all its own thing. You could have a debate about whether it's even a vegetable (it's totally a vegetable) but that'd only be because you have a particularly odd affinity for a 1947 New York court ruling where it was decided that since we mostly use rhubarb to make desserts (sorbetto! also pie, but sorbetto!) it must be a fruit which is just a really weird way to make decisions about botany but I'm neither a lawyer or a botanist so what do I know and let's just go ahead and get this out of the way because we all totally knew it was coming since it was the first time any of us (me anyway) heard the word rhubarb:

So you find a lot of places making gluten-free (non-pie/crumble/cobbler/what have you) desserts with rhubarb, do ya? No? Just us, huh? Yeah, that's because we're cool like that. IS a cup comprising a scoop each (or more) of rhubarb and strawberry sorbetti a good idea on these funky-gnarly hot days we've got goin' on right now? It for sure is. And we're still poking around under all the rocks and bushes and nooks and crannies and wherever looking for every single last strawberry we can....wait, that actually sounds like we're bringing you funky strawberries that are less than delightful. Trust that that's not the case; we only use the best strawberries we can find. "Poking around under rocks" was a metaphor. Or a simile. Given I have an English degree, you would think I could remember which, but it's been a while since I took the SATs and I'd like to ask that I at least get a little recognition for having (I'm pretty sure, I had to think really hard about it) used comprising correctly.

Rightright. Mighta had two too many iced coffees today. The run-on sentences (and frequent parentheticals) could be an indicator.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The heat is here.

       Summer has officially arrived on the calendar and DAMN ITS HOT... and then HOLY COW ITS POURING AND THUNDERING... and then ITS FREAKIN' HOT AGAIN!!  Mother nature keeps heating us up and hosing us down and the Philadelphia skyline is either blinding us with reflected sunlight or completely invisible behind a thick soup of humid rain clouds.  Man oh man.

Here’s a shot I snapped on my boyfriends iphone riding into the city yesterday... It had been bright and sunny with no trace of grey two minutes before!!

In brighter and cooler news, berries are back!! Well, not all of them, so far only cherry sorbetto, blueberry and strawberry gelato and sorbetto have made an appearance.  We’re still waiting on raspberry to appear later in the summer.

pictures on next page

Thursday, June 20, 2013

People. PEOPLE. I know we've been over this, but you gotta keep your eyes open! They're trying to deceive you! Big Food, that is. They're sponsoring an award and then giving it to themselvesThey're making their, uh, "meat" look more "real" but still spiking it with who knows how many different kinds of corn (and salt--don't forget the salt). And they're teaching you how to become diabetic, becoming diabetic themselves, and THEN SHILLING FOR A DIABETES MEDICATION (not gonna link to that one or Sarah'll yell at me--SEO and all that, y'know).

So, just a gentle reminder? We make real food here. We know our cows (and almost as important, the guy that tends them). We know the people that make our bread and our bagels and our chocolate...

Wait did you catch that one? We've got our Love Bars back! Super excited, it's honestly, genuinely, truly some of the best chocolate I've ever had, and they're totally our kind of folk.

Not gonna let the weird Big Food people keep me down. Gonna have some strawberry stracciatella and think about cows. 

Totally on a Steely Dan kick late. Deal with it! <puts on sunglasses, runs off to find a margarita>

Para Bailar La Bomba

Many times I've been making a drink on our beautiful La Marzocco FB80, custom painted in Capogiro orange, and hear exclaimed behind me, "What is that?" To my relief I turn around every time to find a gleeful customer perusing the gelato cake freezer and zeroing in on the La Bomba.  This cake is round and covered in coconut. It calls to you from across the room like a toupeed tortoise shell. There is no horror or shock to behold, just pure awe and wonder.  "Is it hollow?," they ask.  "Tell me that's filled with chocolate!," they implore. It's not hollow, and it could be filled with chocolate if you like.  We also have the baby version, La Bombita. It's a single person portion, but I suppose you could share if you're feeling really generous.  They are currently filled with strawberry tarragon sorbetto, so good luck with that generosity thing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gelato Romance

It only comes around about once a year and it’s here folks!  200 year old rose petal gelato!  Keep a look-out for the soft pink petals laid delicately over the creamy floral gelato to the front right of our gelato case.  At least try it because you won’t see it again until next year!

Although the weather has been somewhat rainy over here in Philly, we’ve seen a pretty steady client base.  We’ve been enjoying chatting with all the tourists and catching up with all of the regulars.  I really enjoy these weekday nights, where the cafe is full of you wonderful people enjoying our gelato late into the night. This week is perfect for a romantic date with our romantic rose petal gelato and the increasingly beautiful weather.

<3 Tori

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hooray for Dads!


       I've always felt bad for dads on Father's Day. It's always seemed like an afterthought, a make-up for the grandeur of Mother's Day. It's like Mother's Day brunch is a thing, but what do Dads get? Probably to have to barbecue their own damn dinner while their ungrateful children wait impatiently to be fed. Because what other ideas do we have? Here's a....tie? er... some barbecuing utensils? The point is we, the end products of Dad's "love" for Mom (hopefully), are lazy. We don't appreciate Dad. We sing Mom's praises, get dressed up, drink mimosas with her and tell her we wouldn't be who we are without her.  Then a month later, Dad gets a pat on the back and the small comfort in knowing the attention he IS paying is keeping his teenage daughter from being a slut. 
        So let's give Father's Day a thing. How 'bout Father's Day gelato? I know Dads like ice cream because mine ate a cereal bowl full of it every night after dinner.  It wasn't until I started spending the night at friends' houses in middle and high school that I realized just how exorbitant his portions were.  It's like, geez, save some for the rest of us. I realize now that because there were seven kids, he must have been thinking, geez, I gotta eat ALL of this. NOW. Before they do.  So this Sunday, bring Dad to Capogiro. There's plenty of gelato for everyone. We don't have cereal bowls, but our grande size comes pretty close.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"It's just a little rain."

Well that was a fun morning, huh? Little bit of a shower? A wee drizzle?

No, not really. It was pretty darn torrential here in West Philly (the best Philly). Seems like it's maybe passed for the time being, but who knows what the afternoon's going to bring. I don't think we're out of the woods yet, Ma! Better keep the cows in the shed!

(cows in a shed)

It's pretty likely that this is our new norm, weather-wise. Given the whole global climate change thing, we should probably all adjust to it. Can't just huddle in bed curled up with your kindle every time it rains, no matter how much you (I) might want to. I learned this for sure while I was living in Seattle--if you can't face the day every time it's a little gray and oozy out, you'll miss out on pretty much 8 months of every year. 

Thing is, Seattle has this insurmountable reputation for being incredibly rainy...and it's just totally undeserved. Name any location on the eastern seaboard you can think of, and it probably gets more rain than Seattle. It's true! Philadelphia alone gets five more inches of rain in an average year. It actually hardly ever, like RAINS in Seattle. It just sorta...oozes. For months. Which is kinda grim, admittedly. 

So I left Seattle and came to Philly, and I'm walking to work one day and it starts to rain. I knew it was coming, so I was prepared like a Seattleite--baseball hat, waterproof shell, and a sturdy backpack. 

I got totally drenched. Soaked to the bone. There was actually water, like FALLING from the sky! Not just sorta lurking around in an ominous, mood-setting mist. I was totally unprepared and had clearly forgotten my east coast roots. I texted my sister, with whom I lived in Seattle and who had also just moved back east: "DUDE, will I totally lose all my Seattle points if I cave in and get an umbrella?!" "NO WAY DUDE," she wrote back. "I gotta get one too! S'weird!"

Luckily people are INCREDIBLY FORGETFUL when it comes to umbrellas--in our store, anyway. I've never had to buy one! We do hold on to the nicer ones for a few days before commandeering them, just in case someone does remember that they've abandoned their bumbershoot. 

So to sum up: it's gonna keep raining, probably today and definitely in the future. You can't just mope away rainy days, or else you'll miss out. So do get yourself a legit brolly, else you'll miss out on all our awesomeness, like the untold varieties of strawberry flavors we're cramming into our gelato case on the daily right now! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A gelato by any other name...

Saturday we had a real treat.  One a year we are lucky enough to procure some amazingly fragrant and surprisingly delicious Rose petals to make gelato with. 

These rose petals come from Wyck rose garden located at a beautiful house which belonged to nine generations of a local Quaker family.  Wyck Rose Garden is the oldest rose garden in America and a must see for any fan of local horticulture.

We should have it again sometime this week so make sure you check back and stop in often so you can be one of the lucky few who get to taste is special treat. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013


We might be in a spot of trouble. We've...we've kinda gone on a strawberry binge. I mean, can you blame us? Strawberry season is so brief, so fleeting. It's beyond our powers of control to not binge. Sooooooo we've got your various strawberry gelati. AND your strawberry sorbetti. ANNNNNND because we're a wee-bit snooty about these things and don't want you eating a bunch of corn syrup and artificial colors, we made strawberry granita, which is like water (wooder) ice except not, y'know, maybe a little toxic. (Ingredients in our strawberry granita: Strawberries. Water. Sugar. Magic.)

But we're pretty well overrun with berries. I'd take a picture of the madness except I think the berries might have made off with my phone.  We need solutions, people. The berries are run amok, and I'd sorta like my phone back (need that thing, though). Methods we've considered to rid ourselves of the scourge:

  • Tiny gelato sandwiches. With berries for bread and a single pallentini-scoop of whatever flavor gelato you'd like (it's going to be strawberry and you actually don't have much choice, btw). It's like a little appetizer-sandwich. A gelato slider. An amuse-berry. 
  • A strawberry-tossing competition. It's not much of a competition. Really we'd just pass you a handful of strawberries and suggest you fling them with abandon. We'll award style points, but we are going to have to ask you to take it outside. 
  • Harvest all the strawberry seeds and sneak them into the Tap House's green roof thingy. Then hope for the best and maybe never buy strawberries again!
  • We're going to introduce the BSLSS: Bacon, Strawberry, Lettuce, Spam, and Strawberry sandwiches for everyone. 
  • Normally we reserve our wicked good soup for the cold months, but we've been forced into drastic measures. So. Think gazpacho. But, y'know. With strawberries. 
  • Hats for cats made of strawberry caps.
  • We could head down to World Cafe Live and offer them as earplugs to people heading into concerts. We could also run around Philadelphia indiscriminately smooshing strawberries into peoples' ears, but I could see how that might be misconstrued. 
  • A "need a strawberry/leave a strawberry" jar on the counter. 
  • Dear baristi: YOU'RE SO EXCITED! You're getting paid in strawberries this week! (Good luck on the strawberry black market. There's a glut for some reason.) 
  • Strawberry cocktails? PFF. We're gonna serve cocktails IN strawberries. (It's okay, they'll be really strong.)
  • For your grilled cheese? Yeah, that's not ketchup. S'prise!

We're open to suggestions, of course. But c'mon. It's STRAWBERRY SEASON. People harass about this all year. Do we really have to exhort you to come in?

Little Dragon Mugwort!

My niece has a favorite saying. What the heck in the world? She was four when she started saying it, so she's had a good two years to beat it into my subconscious.  Now I can't help but say it when something really catches me off guard.  Tarragon is Dragoncello? What the heck in the world?! If you were lucky enough to stop by our Rittenhouse location today, you would've been able to dip into our glorious sorbetto marriage of strawberry and tarragon.  I can honestly say I've only known tarragon as flavor for vinegar.  I couldn't even really explain it's flavor profile.  But the fact that it's Italian name is Dragoncello was just too nuts, and of course I had to do some research.  Derived from the Latin dracunculus, all herbs of this species were historically used for treatment of bites from venomous creatures and mad dogs.  Tarragon in particular was also used to temper toothaches. The flavor is supposedly similar to anise, but I ate an entire piccolo cup's worth today and I hate anise, so I can't say that's accurate. It was a bit intense, so I would recommend pairing it with Fior di Latte for balance.  If you like vinegar, but you're tired of the usual balsamic, red wine, or apple cider, just bruise a small handful of tarragon and let it soak a few hours in a nice white vinegar, strain the leaves, and voila!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Strawberry Chartreuse

Our strawberry gelato is back with class this week as Fragola con Chartreuse.  The spice of the chartreuse blends smoothly with the sweet red ripeness of our local strawberries.  This flavor is one of the most refreshing, especially when paired with the Champagne mango, which has zesty cayenne pepper sprinkled on top.

Another interesting flavor Miele e Nasturzi (Honey and Nasturzi flower) looks as beautiful as it tastes

For our beer lovers and in honor of Philadelphia's celebrated Beer Week, we are brewing up some beer gelato.

On gelato tap this week:
   Yard's Farmhouse Inspired Saison Belgian Style Ale
   Saranac Blueberry Blonde Ale
   Weyerbacher Ola Heathen Imperial Stout

Come enjoy a small cold beer (gelato) or pack up a pint!!

<3 Tori