Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Movie time!!

Hey all,

I was doing some youtube surfing and found a video about Capogiro starring our owner, Stephanie Reitano!  It’s a fantastic video that explains the finer differences between gelato and ice cream and gives an inside look on how we actually make our gelato.  Although I’ve worked for almost two years at Capogiro on 13th street, this video taught me a lot!

In other news, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous and the store has been packed all week, all day.  Stop in soon to taste our blackberry gelato!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Capogiro Welcomes George Alexander Louis!

So I don't know if y'all are keeping up with the news, but a ROYAL BABY was born. Yeah, royal baby. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but this could change our lives forever. This baby is heir to the throne. That may sound like no big deal, and why should you care about a baby ruling a country you probably don't live in? I'll tell you why. Remember a little boy named Joffrey? He was just a kid, that was heir to a throne. That seemed like fun and games, until Ned got his head all chopped off. That effected the seven kingdoms. You know what else there are seven of? Continents. Coincidence? I think not. People have been obsessing over this baby since before it was born. They're already making him feel super special and spoiling him. Pretty soon he's going to be talking back to Kate and then Charles is going to have to leave and go put George in his place. It's going to be a mess. So I think instead of talking about George and how great he is and putting pictures of him all over the internet, we should be talking about way more important stuff. Like how someone keeps thinking it's a good idea to make a live action Akira. I mean, come on. Let's leave this baby alone and instead drink lots of coffee and eat lots of gelato while discussing poor choices being made in the entertainment world.
I have to go home now.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Berry Confused Customers

Since the kick off of berry season a couple weeks ago, I have been noticing a plethora of berry confused customers.  "I'll have some of that strawberry," they say as they point to raspberry, or "I'll have some of that blueberry," as they point to black raspberry.  No fear people, I have a phd in berry identification from Harvard University, which has the most prestigious department of berry research in the galaxy.  Please take out your notebooks, the lecture is about to begin.

Lesson 1:  Strawberry vs Raspberry
When confronted with a mysterious red and icy cold treat, look to see how much potassium you can see. This is a dead giveaway when differentiating between raspberries and strawberries and probably the easiest thing to spot.  Strawberries have more potassium than raspberries, so if you spot a lot of potassium, then you got yourself a strawberry gelato.  Also, raspberries are darker red and usually hollow because they stem has been removed.  Strawberries are bigger than raspberries and have their seeds located on the surface of the fruit.

Lesson 2: Blueberry vs Cherry
Blueberries tend to be more depressed than cherries, so the first thing to notice when trying to differentiate between blueberry and cherry, is how sad the fruit seems.  If the gelato is blue in color and small-looking, it is probably a blueberry.  Cherries, on the other hand, tend to have gambling problems (especially the Bing Cherry) so if the fruit appears to be a risk taker or appears to have a gambling addiction, it is probably a cherry.

Lesson 3: Raspberry vs Blackberry vs Black Raspberry

This is possibly the most challenging task you will ever undertake.  Getting a certification to differentiate black raspberries from blackberries takes at least seven years of non stop schooling. The main difference though, is that blackberries have a green stem visible, while black raspberries are more hollow.  Black berries and black raspberries are purple/blue when squished, and raspberries are red.

Well now, hop out into the world with all this highly interesting and useful knowledge. Use it to get dates!  Use it to impress in-laws!  Use it for your thesis paper!  Or just use it to order gelato!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

This isn't actually an admission of wrongness.

as much as that might cause Sarah to give me her over-the-glasses look. BUT! I've discovered peaches. Peaches are good! It's probably relevant to point out that I was essentially the last one in the northern hemisphere to discover Mumford and Sons. When I said as much on Facebook, one of my friends pointed out that M+S have been the soundtrack of essentially every espresso cafe in America since 2009 or so and noted that maybe I was somewhat behind the times. But hey, when you show up late to a party, you get to make an entrance!

S'anyway, peaches. They're kinda great! They first showed up in our kitchen last week and, being curious, I gave one a squeeze--strictly in a professional sense. I was wondering how ripe they were in case they were going to need a couple of days before they were ready to gelato-ize.

So I squeezed one smooshed, just ever so delightfully and tastefully. And there was something about that little bit of give that actually got me to turn the corner. I'd always been kinda down on peaches. It was the fuzz that turned me off, mostly. Which is weird because I'm one of those people who cheerfully eats kiwi without peeling them (I'm thinking the kiwi thing is one of those quirks that are best left off of my Ok Cupid account). And...I dunno. The way with so many peaches (and most stonefruit) where the pit never separates cleanly from the flesh? Something about that has always made me a little mad, like I wasn't getting all of the fruit that I deserved.

But then at some point in the last couple of years, I finally had a real, perfectly ripened, appropriately in-season, non-GMO peach. And it was pretty good, but it wasn't until last week that I really, really became a convert. I finished up putting away all the goodies we got from our Big Kitchen, found myself one of the more perfect (they were all pretty perfect) out of the thirty or so pounds of fruit we'd received (it takes a LOT of fruit to make sorbetto and gelato as good as ours, dontcha know), and took a bite.

You know that moment people talk about when a perfect peach kinda explodes all over their face in the best possible way? I totally had that moment. And of course once you've had an epiphany you have to share. So I told my baristi that they each had to eat a peach--Kait was especially stoked, she's definitely been reveling in all the wicked good fruit we've been getting ever since strawberries marked the beginning of our season. Annnnnnnnnd then one of our old crew came by to say hello for a minute and I knew I had to give him one. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd then one of my old managers came by with her husband, so of course I had to give each of THEM a peach, too. It was right about then that I realized I needed to ease up on giving away all of our peaches, else we end up without any with which to make gelato.

So peaches. Who knew?! Alrightalright, everyone already knew. But you should come in and have some anyway.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


If you're one of the many in this sweltering heat,
melting with sweat just from walking down the street,
stop on in at Sansom and Thirteenth
for a cooling treat with flavors that can't be beat.

We have a pallet of flavors from Kiwi to Cioccolato,
and just in from Lancaster our Peach (Pesca Giallo).

Decadent Argentine caramel goes into our Dulce De Leche,
or for a light summer treat try our Uva Rossa or Uva Verde!

With new flavors daily and aromas to make you drool,
Capogiro is definitely the tastiest way to stay cool.

-Cory H.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why it sounds the way it does in here

It's always a pretty solid compliment when we hear from the people in our store that they really like the music we're playing at any given time. It happens more often than you think! And we play a broad, brrrrrrrooooooaaaaadddd mixture of music. Most of the time we're running on internet radio, but we've put a fair amount of work into tailoring the stations so that they're satisfactory. Because listen, as much as we want you to enjoy what's shufflin' into your earholes...we're the ones who are here for eight hours (frequently more, if you're a bosspants like some of us). We really, really want you to like the music you're hearing. We really do! But we also sorta have to not go crazy while we're here.

I've talked to staff in other businesses about the music they're listening's my worst nightmare. Your favorite 24-hour deli? The one with all the coffee and sandwiches any time of day? You know the one I'm talking about. They get one cd that they have to listen to on repeat...for months. MONTHS. And they're open 24 hours! Can you imagine a rainy 3:00 AM shift? The store's totally empty, you've been bored for hours, there's nothing to do...and you have to listen to Tears of a Clown. Again. For the fifth time tonight. Whether you like it or not, because you have absolutely no control at all over the music.

Honestly, it's enough to make me start feeling itchy and feral just thinking about it. Why do businesses DO that?! For one thing, you're guaranteeing that your establishment will have essentially no individual character. Customers are walking in and thinking "Oh good. Collective Soul. Because I DEFINITELY haven't wanted this song to die in a fire since the first time I heard it." For another...think of your crew! They have to be there all day listening to that dreck! It's always been incredibly important to me that the people working have some agency when it comes to what they have to listen to. Probably comes years of being a cook in mostly closed kitchens.

I guess I should have pointed out at the start that I' Picky? About the music I'm surrounded by? Perhaps even a bit vocal if something, But that's kind of a running theme among the crew here. We're proudly picky! We don't like crap music! (I say that...and yet I know that when I'm not here they're listening to Bieber.) But at least you know there are actual humans behind what you're listening to when you're with us and not some rando programmer who lives thousands of miles away and has no idea what the weather is like in Philadelphia that afternoon and maybe this selection isn't REALLY what anyone here wants to be listening to?

 Yeah, it can be a little schizophrenic. There have definitely been instances when we've gone from this to this to this in rapid succession. But that's kind of great, I think. It's definitely lively, if nothing else. And it's kind of like the weather this time of year: if you don't like what's playing...just wait ten minutes. It'll probably change! So come in and ask me to put on my hiphop playlist. It's pretty legit.

Better Living Through Keeping Chemistry Out of It

How sad is it that we are so accustomed to flavor enhancers, extracts, and "natural flavors" that a taste of our banana gelato elicits responses like, "Wow! It tastes like bananas." and "How do you make it taste so real?" It tastes real because it IS real. I mean REAL real. Not just "natural." There are, like, four ingredients.  Have you every looked at an ice cream ingredient label in the grocery store?  There are at least 10 things there. Preservatives, flavors of various origin, added color, and sugar, sugar, sugar. Did you know that the product label "All Natural" has no real definition by the USDA or the FDA and is therefore just a marketing tool? It's like the 90s fad of "Lite" snacks that contained the fat substitute olestra with that minor side effect of anal leakage. Just shovel as much as you want in your mouth cause it's leaking out the back. Blech.
          Rest easy. There's no chemical engineering here. The banana is made with bananas, blueberry is made with blueberries, the cherry is made with cherries.  We blend the fruit specific to each batch every morning. If you're here for breakfast you can hear the whirring of the blender, the chugging and slurping of the batch freezer.  It's kinda like the tinkering and toiling you imagine in Santa's Workshop or the Mines of Moria (nerd alert). That is not a comment on the stature of our kitchen staff either.  They are magical, but they are not elves at the North Pole or dwarves in the Lord of the Rings.  They are regular humans of average height using regular food that came right out of the earth.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mmm....Macamadamia nut gelato

So we make a ton of nut flavors and I frequently realize how little I actually know about each of the nuts that we use.  I almost always find something really interesting and unexpected like how cashews are actually poison until they are roasted and you can't even touch the raw ones with your bare hands because of the toxin they contain (the same toxin that's in poison ivy).

Today I realized that i didn't know squat about macadamia nuts and thought I'd look into them a little bit.  First off they are the first edible thing that I have found to originate in Australia thought I'm sure there are many more. 

Each woody fruit of the evergreen plant contains one or two seeds and the flowers of the plant can be pink or purple.

Though native to Australia the USA has been a top producer of macadamia nuts since 1881 when they were first introduced to Hawaii as a windbreak for sugar cane crops.  Australia only regained the top producer status in 1997. 

There are only two Macadamia cultivars that are edible raw.  Like Cashews (and most everything in Oz) the rest are poison until roasted and processed.  They actually contain a form of cyanide... BUT WORRY NOT!! the food industry is very cautious of the processing of toxic nuts and the leaching and  roasting processes neutralize any potential danger. We use the ready to eat raw but still roasted macadamia nuts in our gelato so it is 100% safe and edible with no worries for any of us.

And finally is goes really incredibly well with some dark chocolate gelato (Cioccolato Scuro)


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Oh hey there!

Uhhhhhhhhhhwhut're you doin' here?! It's the Fourth of July! You should be grilling things and throwing things and drinking watery beer (between the heat and the holiday, I really am advocating for a super-light pilsner or lager) or maybe looking for a shady spot on the Parkway where you can't hear the inoffensively mild-mannered pop stylings of John Mayer! But you! Kind enough to stop by the blog. I know you're really just killing time until The Roots go on. And the fireworks are so LATE tonight! Hey all your Capogiros are open all night tonight! It IS hot out, but it's that good kinda hot that lends itself to walking around. Come stop by, we'll be here.

Bonus extra video shenanigans because it's a holiday and my friend tossed it up on Facebook for a multitude of reasons that we'll not be getting into but anyway! Still better than John Mayer...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rainy daze

I love the rainy days of summer.  Don't get me wrong I love the beautiful sunny ones too but the rainy days give us all a chance to slow it down a tad and relax a little bit more.  They're the perfect for watching some movies with a pint of your favorite gelato. 

I get the idea that a lot of people feel like on a nice day they are required to complete some task, to make sure they have actually done some thing that day to make it qualify as a real and complete day, especially in the summer.  Maybe this is just part of being in the rat race.  I don't think it's really a bad thing.  Motivation is what gets things done but sometimes everyone needs a break from feel compelled to go out and feel like it's ok to just relax.

That is why I appreciate the rain. When it's rainy people are more inclined to allow themselves to slow down. 
Why rush my way through the store just to go back out into that mucky rain to be splashed by passing traffic?

Oh it's raining I'll just stay in a read or spend time with my dog (or cat/ferret/goldfish/tarantula/magical unicorn/dragon/or whatever other pets you might fancy having).

I also really enjoy riding my bike home at the end of the night when it's warm out and raining.  I love the quietness of the road after midnight while it rains and the clean smell in the air.  I'd prefer not to be rained on on my way IN to work but the trip home has the promise of a warm shower and fresh clothes at the end of it.  Followed by a nice scoop of chai tea gelato that I try to keep on hand as much as possible.