Thursday, August 29, 2013

Raspberries: Our Hairy Little Friends

Seriously, this really is the best time of year for sorbetto, isn't it? Berries and stone fruits and I keep WAITING for the melons to get here because I REALLY REALLY like the cantaloupe sorbetto with Vieux Carre absinthe.

But sometimes you're (I'm) looking at the little orbs of tasty and thinking, "Why they so hairy, tho? S'weird." But it's really not that weird. The little hairs on yon raspberries are actually the leftovers of the pistils and, since I'm sure you didn't pay NEARLY as much attention in AP Biology as I did, the pistils are of course the female bit of the flower. How does that work, exactly? You're kidding, right? Do you know how long ago I took AP Bio? Jeez.

So I'd show you a picture of the wee little hairs, but alas we've already sorbettoed all the berries, thus you'll have to content yourself with this picture of the sorbetto itself:

(There's some blueberry sorbetto poking out of the back there because it's another of my favorite, wicked-vivid colors.)

Speaking of sorbetto, my sister always refers to it as "sore butt," so now, after I've egregiously verbed sorbetto, I'm left thinking about "sore butt toed" and giggling a little. No real idea why. But as is true of most of our best flavors, the berries are only around for so long. Really, you should get in here and have some. I've been trying to coerce people to come in and pair it with the cioccolato scuro, but I feel like no one ever listens to me. Least of all my crew, but that's probably to be expected.

Also to be expected? This:

(Actually I super wanted to post a song about, y'know, raspberry-colored French hats, but The Artist is a bit Cranky McCrankerson about the whole online video thing and he doesn't want you to see it. Not like anyone's objecting to The Clash, though, right? Right.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Love (Bars) is in the Air

        Love Bars are back! These things are no joke. Everyone knows we're pros at serious dark chocolate, but Love Bars make our Scuro look like Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. Sorry, topical reference that had to be made, but, SERIOUSLY, the cacao counts can get up to 90%. Our Scuro is actually nothing like Miley Cyrus. It's incredible and talented and will have a long and storied career ahead of it. And it's definitely not made from the guy who sang Achy Breaky Heart.
        If Love Bars were a pop star, they'd be beautiful inside and out. They dress well, they're conscientious, and they're a hit at parties. I'm racking my brain to complete this metaphor, but I can't think of a single real person with whom to make that comparison.  The only handsome, well-intended famous person that comes to mind is Paul Newman. He's kinda always on my mind (I have a thing for dead movie stars), but he was not a pop star in the slightest sense.
       Ok. So. Our Cioccolato Scuro is NOT Miley Cyrus, and Love Bars are Paul Newman. For more on why Love Bars are so Paul Newmany, check out Grid Magazine's March 2013 article.  And don't forget to stop by 20th Street and buy them before everybody else.  They go fast, people!

America's Grape: Purple things taste special

What have I been eating throughout the day that probably adds up to about 3 grandes?
Uva Americana sorbetto! 
What’s an Uva Americana you ask?  Well, it literally means American Grape!  The name we recognize it as is Concord grape.  But Uva Americana is just so much more fun to say, and since gelato flavors are all I know how to say in the language, I absolutely insist on saying the Italian.  (Shout out to my brother, who I taught how to say a lot of gelato flavors before he travelled to Italy last week.  I’m sure words like “nocciola”, “stracciatella” and “bacio” will get you far in conversation…)
Many people appreciate the fermentation of grapes in the form of vino, but not so much with the concord grape - at least not since I went through that weird cheap wine phase in college:

This grape was largely popularized by the temperance movement and Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch, who produced an unfermented (and therefore non-alcoholic) grape beverage to be administered as communion wine.  
Really, sorbetto is the perfect vehicle for these American grapes.  They’re naturally super-sweet and vibrantly purple which leads to this prettiness: 

And lastly, what would an older millennial like me end a blog post with other than some 90’s nostalgia? 

Remember: Purple things taste special.  And Uva Americana is VERY purple.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

We're finally at least as cool as Capo20!

See, I've always actually been a little jelz of Capo20 and their fancy gelato cakes and bombas and all. We're not quite up to doing all of that, given that there are so many other delectables we prepare for you every day. Leaves us a little hesitant to shift our attention elsewhere. But! BUT! We got our hands on a wee little counter-top freezer. It's shiny! And now it's full of seven--SEVEN!--different kinds of gelato sandwiches on fancy-schmancy cookies. I tried to get a decent picture, but this:
is totally not doing it justice. You'll just have to take my word for it that they're wicked good. So come try one! We're here all the time, obvi.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

pack up your seersucker

I definitely HATE when I see Halloween decorations in stores in August, Christmas in October, Valentine's Day in December.  It's, like, whoa whoa whoa, Mr. CVS, Mr. Rite Aid, M. Target (that's French.) Let's pump the brakes, and let me enjoy something before you give me visual cues to plan for something much further into the spacetime continuum.  I'm from Arizona, so I could never tell what month or season it was.  It's hot there. And sunny. Pretty much all the time.  Not many deciduous trees. With that said, let's get excited for fall!  I loves me a scarf and hat, and I get cold when it drops below 75. I'll be the dork wearing too much clothing while all you Philadelphians are squeezing every last drop out of your flip-flops and tank tops. What's this I hear about Labor Day? You all barbecue or something? And you have to stop wearing certain kinds of clothing or you'll burst into flames, er...? No more seersucker.  No more white. A lot more rain and hurricanes. At Capogiro we have apples and pears to look forward to.  Watermelon's first, though.  What else? I can't remember!  That's why I love working here.  It's like the flavors are my friends that go on vacation for a while, and when they come back I forgot they told me they'd be back so soon. I'm kinda more happy when I'm surprised.  Bring on fall. I'm ready!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Well, well, well, summer is slipping through our fingers isn't it?  The heat is behind us, my friends, and we have made it through this hot and humid summer safe and cool inside Capogiro.  The summer flavors aren't gone yet, even though fall is within sight, tempting us with all those spicy flavors.  We'd like to know which summer flavors have been your favorite.

Take a second to tell us what you think!!!

What Summer Flavor is your favorite? free polls 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Just because we're outside doesn't mean we're lost!

Hey you know how much we love the Night Markets, yeah? It's that time again! This go-round we're going to be down on South Street, and word is it's going to be the biggest one yet. And I'm sure lots of you can walk to South Street, so you're sorta shy on excuses. Besides, the weather looks pretty much perfect, so. Come out and see us and all the other folks in this town who like making their food portable. Though if you don't see me it might be because I'm tucked into Ishkabibbles for a minute...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dark 'n Stormy

This isn't really a seasonal flavor, at least not to me, but I freak out when we have it. Dark and Stormy sorbetto. It's so good and refreshing, just perfect all around. The combination of ginger and lemon makes me so happy. And I know I'm super bias, but our Dark 'n Stormy sorbetto is quite possibly one of the best things ever. Dark 'n Stormys are also the only cocktail I really like that isn't made with whiskey. So you can see how this combination of greatness put into sorbetto form would get me excited. Our Dark 'n Stormy sorbetto base flavor is lemon, which is not traditionally used in the cocktail. I am more of a lemon person than lime, so it suits me just fine. Now it's time to learn yourself some things.

The Dark 'n Stormy originated in Bermuda and is considered the national drink. It is a classic highball cocktail served over ice. A group of sailors in a ginger beer factory run by the Royal Naval Officer's Club found that ginger beer mixed well with the local rum, Goslings Black Seal. The drink will sometimes be garnished with a slice of lime, but that is an optional addition.

 The classic way of making a Dark 'n Stormy is to pour the ginger beer over ice, then top with Goslings Black Seal Black Rum. This creates a visual effect by separating the spirit from the ginger beer. The name of the drink was thought to have been inspired by this visual effect mimicking a dark cloud over the sea. It is "the color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under."

So now you know all this information that you probably didn't need to know. I'll get to my point. Our gelato and sorbetto is insanely awesome and we change the flavors everyday so you never know what to expect. (except is you check online...) Stop in at one of our locations and hope we have Dark 'n Stormy. I'll be the one eating all of it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Not only did I grow up with an Italian family, my neighbors that bordered my backyard were Italian.  In the summer, my twin brother Joey and I spent a lot of time playing in the backyard.  Antonia and Joe, born in Italy, lived in the house behind us.  Both had strong, rolling, thick Italian accents.  They were the embodiment of Italian culture.  My own Italian grandmother would come to my house to visit them, and I would sit with my grandmother near the fence, listening to the Italian flowing over it.  Antonia and Joe worked a beautiful garden in their backyard, full of flowers, tomatoes, sweet red peppers, green beans, and an old fig tree.

Antonia, like any Italian woman, had the constant and unceasing desire to feed people, especially children.  Her accent would roll out over the fence under the sun, calling to me and my brother, immediately distracting us from our play, to come to the fence that we shared between yards. She would feed us homemade Italian cookies, carrots and tomatoes from the garden, and other sweets.  My favorite were the figs.  I remember standing on tiptoe by the fence with my brother, craning our neck to get a glimpse of the gnarled old fig tree that stood in the corner of their yard.  We would look for the ripening figs.  We would wait for Antonia to lean over the fence that seemed so high to give us those sweet, sugary, figs picked right from the tree.  She would laugh as we ate them, and smile, and speak softly to us in a mixture of Italian and thick English.

The taste of figs brings me right back to those innocent days, the hot summers, and the kindness of my Italian neighbor.  It is fig season once again, and every taste of our Fig sorbetto brings me back to the summers of my childhood, and makes me think of my beloved Italian neighbors, Antonia and Joe.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Conflicted fruity heroes

It's undeniable that my Italian is...not super great. I studied German for a long time, but that certainly didn't do me any good since I don't really remember any of it. And there's really not much crossover between German and Italian in terms of pronunciation or spelling or usage or any of that. Which is to say that they're entirely divergent, and what little German I do know--which is less than enough to have a conversation with a relatively dim-witted German toddler--does me no good at all in trying to learn more Italian.

But I have to admit that sometimes I get pretty delightfully caught up by some of the Italian names we use for our flavors. Like...pescanoce? Love it. I like to imagine that it actually means "peach of the night," which isn't all that bad a descriptor for nectarines, I guess. "Peach of the Night." Makes the nectarines sound like they're some sort of fruity vigilantes with parent issues and an unlimited budget. But like I said, I know very little about speaking Italian. I'm learning, though.

And hey did you know? I didn't know--nectarines aren't actually different from peaches, at least not in the sense that black raspberries are different from raspberries. Nectarines totally ARE peaches, just without the fuzz. Learnin'!

So is this the best time of year for sorbetti? It really probably is. The berries are rolling deep and we've got stonefruit all over the place. Everyone's into convenience, right? Gotta be multi-tasking! Gotta have one hand free to be twaddling about with your phone! So frappe up your gelato and take it with you! Blackberry gelato whipped up with some scuro? Oh heck yeah.

Summer's waning, but the upshot of that is that we'll see the melons soon! No, not like that. (I don't think. Who knows what the weekend portends?!?) And seriously, blackberry gelato is the coolest color ever. C'mon in!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Apricotta Tart.

I love cooking, baking, cocktail making and all things culinary. So I decided to take advantage of the fact that apricots are in season right now and find some recipes for awesome baked goodies. I found a recipe for an apricot ricotta tart using King Arthur flour that I would like to share with you. I've been using King Arthur flour since I was little and would help my mom bake, so I know it's good. Another thing that would go great with this, is our apricot sorbetto. Too many apricots you say? Pssch. Never too many.

King Arthur Apricot Ricotta Tart

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon orange oil OR 1 tablespoon orange zest (the zest from 1 orange)
1 egg
1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) Mellow Pastry Blend or unbleached all-purpose flour

1 7/8 cups (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia OR orange oil
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
8 to 10 fresh apricots (1 1/4 pounds), divided

1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) brown sugar
3/4 cup (6 ounces) water
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

Crust: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat in the egg and half the flour, then add the remaining flour and mix until evenly blended. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a thick disk, wrap it well, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heavily flour your work surface and the dough. Roll the dough to fit a 10-inch tart pan or a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Place the dough in the pan, and prick it all over with the tines of a fork. (The crust will be blind-baked -- baked without any filling -- but it doesn't need to be weighed down with beans or rice or pie weights, as long as you prick it thoroughly with a fork.)

Bake the crust in a preheated 425°F oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350°F, and bake it until it's golden brown, about another 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and cool it while making the filling.

Filling: In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, cream, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, Fiori di Sicilia or orange oil, and flour. Set aside.

Peel and slice the apricots. To quickly peel apricots, fill a large pan with hot water. Bring it to a boil, and place the apricots in the pan. Bring back to a boil, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the apricots from the hot water and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. The skins should slip off easily.

Assembly and Baking: Stone and slice the apricots. Pour the ricotta mixture into the tart shell. Place about 10 slices of apricot over the filling; they'll sink partially -- it's OK. Bake the tart in a preheated 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, until the filling looks mostly set.

Sauce: Place the remaining sliced apricots into a medium-sized saucepan. Add the brown sugar, water, and brandy, if you're using it. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the apricots are cooked through and the sauce starts to thicken. Remove the sauce from the heat, and transfer it to a serving dish. It can remain at room temperature while the tart cools.

Let the ricotta tart cool for several hours before cutting it into wedges. Spoon the sauce over each piece before serving, or serve it on the side. Refrigerate any leftover tart. Yield: 1 tart, about 10 servings.

For you health nuts or people watching what you eat, here is some nutritional information for you.

Nutrition information per serving (1/10 of tart with 3 tablespoons sauce, 186g): 411 cal, 19g fat, 10g protein, 2g complex carbohydrates, 30g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 140mg cholesterol, 178mg sodium, 233mg potassium, 325RE vitamin A, 5mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 112mg calcium, 136mg phosphorus

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Nuts about Nutella

I confess, I am a redditor, and today while mindlessly browsing posts, I found this beautiful machine:

Boy, do I wish I had one of these in my apartment.  Luckily, I work at Capogiro, where we make Nutella gelato pretty frequently.  As a Capogiro barista, I spend lots of time sampling the Nutella gelato... just to make sure its good enough for the customers of course ;)  Our gelato is made with fresh hazelnuts and real cocoa the morning it is served to you. It’s really amazing how close a match our gelato is to the real thing.  Whenever I have a particularly overwhelmed customer, who can’t even begin to cope with the variety of our flavors, I scoop them a big gloppy sample of Nutella, and nine times out of ten they’re like “Okay that one!”  If I haven’t pushed a sample of Nutella on you yet then come back and try it!

Well, I’m off on a vacation for the rest of the week, but I’m sure I’ll be craving gelato while I’m gone!!

<3 Tori

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Don't make plans for this Sunday!

Or rather MAKE plans to come hang out with us this Sunday! We're going to be out and about in the sunshine (let's hope there's sunshine!) We're getting together with the Brooklyn Flea folk and some other, lesser, less savory Philadelphian ice cream folk (totally kidding--we really dig the creamy community in this town and think there's lots of room for all of us) for a big outdoor shindig at the Piazza at Schmidt's.

Brooklyn Flea (if you didn't follow that there link and poke around yourself a weebit) is...sort of a pop-up flea market thing? Or not really a pop-up, but it sort of travels around a bit? You're wondering about why an event with Brooklyn in its name is going on Philadelphia, aren't you? Yeah, maybe you are. It's because it was founded in Brooklyn (natch) a few years ago, but they've expanded their reach into our fair city because, believe it or not, many cool things do as a matter of fact happen outside of New York City (good luck convincing a New Yorker of that, though).

So along with some of the best frozen delectables from Philadelphia (there'll be other people serving ice cream and whatnot, but what do you care? We'll be there (still kidding!)) there will be all kinds of recycled and repurposed furniture and clothing and various stuff to make your home a bit more excellent without having to bow down at the feet of a gang of Swedish quasi-gangsters. And recycling and repurposing is an excellent way to be a friend of the earth, and we all like the earth kind of a lot.

So! You can find us at the Piazza along with a rag-tag motley group of other ice cream-like folk whom National Geographic did NOT call the best place to eat ice cream in the world from 10-5 on Sunday, rain or shine.

Also! I just got back from vacation in Canada and can bemusedly report that take-out beer is EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE there than in Philadelphia. You don't believe me I know, but it's totally true! But I caught a big fish, so everything evens out in the end.

Chinotto - A Brief History

So for a few years now, one of my favorite drinks at Capogiro has been the San Pellegrino Chinotto. It's not the most popular of the San Pellegrino soft drinks, but I like it the best. People often ask what it is and what it tastes like. I have responded with "it's a sparkling citrus drink that is bitter and kinda tastes like coke." I didn't really think to look up what it is or how to describe the taste until today. Here's what I have learned.

Chinotto comes from a citrus fruit called Citrus Myrtifolia. This fruit is commonly found in Malta, Libya and regions in Italy. They have a sour and bitter taste and are one of the key ingredients used to make Campari. The Chinotto soda is actually described as having a similar taste to cola, but not as sweet and much more bitter. (good job me) Chinotto sodas have been around since the '50's and are produced by a number of Italian companies.

A friend of mine who is a bartender tried it and thought it would be a really good ingredient in a cocktail. I did more research and found a website with a few different cocktail recipes using Chinotto. One of them caught my attention and I thought I would share it with you.

I think it's pretty fitting and also sounds like something I would drink. If anyone comes up with other Chinotto cocktail recipes, please send them my way. Until then, I will be experimenting in my "lab" (studio apartment) with my fellow "researchers" (two fat cats) and trying to come up with more recipes.