Thursday, February 27, 2014

Good news? I guess?

So the Sriracha factory near Los Angeles got the okay to keep producing for the time being, which I'm sure is a relief to...literally dozens of people, I guess. I just can't get that up in arms about it.

For one thing, it's just hot sauce. And it's not even my favored hot sauce--that'd be Tapatio, which I'm struggling to find on the east coast. Don't get me wrong--sriracha's fine. I like it on eggs, unless they're scrambled or an omelette, in which case it's ketchup for me. But there are definitely a few people who go nutsy for it in particular, and I guess I just can't get on board. It's not like there aren't alternatives. If nothing else, there's always  Sambal Oelek from the same people which...I mean, to me it strikes me as being pretty much the same sauce, just without the garlic. Which, sure, you could make a point that without garlic it's a completely different thing. But then again if you're that devoted do sriracha you're maybe one of those people who are just looking for "Asian ketchup," and frankly it's a little lame of you to be so reductionist.

I guess really I just think that an all-purpose condiment--"It's great on everything mewmew!!!"--kind of defeats the purpose of eating a different meal every day. Sure, sriracha's okay on pizza, but if you put it on your pizza and your steak and your eggs AND your potatoes AND whatever else...really everything's just going to taste like sriracha. To be honest, that's basically the same thing as being a picky fourteen year old who won't eat anything that doesn't have ranch dressing on it. (Ranch dressing is also fine, provided you're not putting it on bloody well everything, which, as I make it further into this post, I think is maybe the central point I'm trying to get at here.)

So for sure, sauce up your stuff a bit! But not every time. And not on everything. And maybe not with only one condiment ever. It still strikes me as weird that people put sriracha on tacos. Would you put buffalo hot sauce in your pho? You...would? ...Really? Man. I'm not sure I can actually help you then. Good luck though!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A little bit my own personal nightmare

So if you're wondering what you could get me for my birthday in 2016, I'd be perfectly satisfied with you flying me (and also procuring tickets to a few events, naturally) to the Summer Olympics in Brazil. I do like me some Olympics! Either season is fine. But then there's the whole thing about the sponsors and their branding.

At the summer games in London a couple of years ago, there was quite the hullabaloo over who would be allowed to serve french fries (chips, chap, given that we are talking about the Brits). Which is to say that BY GOLLY AND BY BEGORRAH, ONLY McDONALD'S WILL BE SELLING FRIES (chips) IN THIS HERE OLYMPIC VILLAGE. The sacred cow of brand identity must be fed, I guess. I don't really get it, but I really like that there was a particularly British exception made: restaurants could serve fries (chips) ONLY IF they were served alongside fish. Serving fries (not chips) to go with a lovely piece of fried fish would understandably be an affront to British sensibilities. 

But then I read this week that there's the same sort of malarkey going on around coffee at the Sochi games, and (maybe predictably) McDonald's is at the center of the wee little poo-storm. It seems that since McDonald's has been an Olympic sponsor for going on 259 years, they also have the exclusive rights to sell coffee drinks in the Olympic village. (Do the most highly tuned athletes walking the earth actually eat McDonald's? One has doubts.) BUT, special snowflakes that they are, the NBC media folk apparently installed their own Starbucks in their media center. 

Which is all well and good; multi-billion dollar transnational companies fighting over logos on cups doesn't actually interest me that much. But what gives me pause: can you imagine being trapped in a world where your only food choices are...multi-billion dollar transnational companies? A world where whatever you might drink or eat has been put through the commodities wringer and had ever bit of both soul and profit margin extracted from it? And you're maybe stuck drinking bottled water because the local tap is a bit suspect? Honestly, it all kind of terrifies me a bit, particularly when I look into a potential future where independent businesses have all become extinct. 

So, y'know. When you're out and about this weekend and you need a weebit of caffeine...maybe DON'T patronize the big green monster. There's a ton of great, locally owned places to get espresso (and maybe even some gelato, obvi) in this town. Do that instead. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014



Myself and barista Matt Sick had a very interesting night at Capogiro on Sunday.  The weather was actually pretty nice (and by that I mean not blizzarding) and the store pretty busy when all of the sudden PSSSHOOOOOOOOMMMMMM.  Lights out.  For the entire block.  Capogiro 13, El Vez, RAW, and Zio’s pizza all lost power during prime time dinner service, with their restaurants full of people midway through meals, dessert, and coffee.  Duross & Langel, Springboard Media, and Doggie Style also lost power but their customers weren’t in the middle of a meal. (probably)

After talking with Peco and realizing that the power outage would last all night, we had to close early, around six.  But before we closed, we got a mad rush of people who still wanted gelato.  Capogiro customers are truly dedicated, gelato-loving people.  I’ve seen them come in for gelato in below freezing weather, during blizzards, during tornado warnings, and on Christmas eve.  And now I’ve seen Capogio customers coming in for gelato when the store was pitch black and the gelato rapidly melting.  THAT’S HOW GOOD IT IS.  People will eat it in the dark!!!  They will use their smartphones flashlight feature to see the labels and order.  We’re so fortunate to have a product that good!

Thank you to all our very understanding blackout customers, and apologies to all who came expecting capogiro later that night and were disappointed.  Today we are back open for business!!  (with full lighting)

-Tori Styner

Friday, February 14, 2014

So we've made it through another one

Admittedly, and I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, I've been the one clamoring for us to get some real winter weather. We can all agree that the last couple of winters have been lame, right? I mean, if I wanted endless months of 40 degrees and rainy, I would have stayed in Seattle. But am I ready to admit to having wearied of all the snow we've gotten this year? I am not! The secret is to have a legit pair of snow boots, a lesson I learned my first winter in northern Vermont.

I'll say, though, that I do kind of wish for the studded tire equivalent of boots. It's not so much tromping through the snow that's a bother as it is the constant risk of falling and busting one's ass because the neighbors are too lazy to shovel and salt their bit of the sidewalk. West Philly's proving to be super hit-and-miss with this. For whatever reason, the folks who manage the old West Philadelphia High School grounds...guys. Listen. If you plow all the fresh snow off of a sidewalk but don't salt--particularly when that bit doesn't get any direct sunlight this time of year--you end up with a block-long skating rink. It was a rough shuffle getting to the store this morning, is what I'm saying.

Took this picture walking home late at night after closing the store...what, two storms ago? Maybe three? Can't remember, but:

My Los Angeles crowd all recoiled in horror, but the consensus among my east coast friends was that seasons are awesome, and one of my friends currently in San Francisco (originally from Delaware, though) noted that she'd greatly prefer feet of snow to a years-long drought, which I thought was a really solid point. California agriculture could be in some real trouble, you know! So today's probably the day to come in and get avocado on...pretty much everything. 

We're going to make it through this winter! Promise. We'll be back to the days of 102% humidity and air quality warnings before you know it. And what the Left Coast crowd doesn't want to tell you? They secretly all hate palm trees. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Surprising Gifts of the Cold Season

Everyone on the Northeast coast is well aware that the ground is as frozen as the air, and we are all over the weather, but we do have to thank our winter season for some of our favorite fruits!  It may be cold, but there is a lot of fruit still in season that we incorporate into our gelato and sorbetto every morning.  Here are five fruits and veggies  that you may be surprised to learn are in season right now:

This vitamin A and C rich nutrient is in season right now.  Originating in Europe as one of the most common green vegetables, Kale has found a hefty place in the American diet, and grows exceptionally well in the winter.

Packed with all the vitamin C you need to ward off sickness, these citrus are among many that thrive in the winter.  Capogiro makes a particularly potent Mandarino sorbetto that has been very popular this year.

Another fruit containing a good amount of vitamin C and A, this is a less common, but super delicious fruit of the winter.  For those who have never seen or tasted one, come on in and get a sample of our Persimmon Sorbetto, you are guaranteed to fall in love with a strange new fruit.

High in vitamin C and potassium, kiwis are an excellent tart treat to keep you thinking of summer, even though their growing season is actually in the winter. If you don’t like the taste of kiwis, you can actually use them as a meat tenderizer. If you do like kiwis, you will love our kiwi sorbetto.

Grapefruit campari is one of the best sorbetto that Capogiro makes, and its way more prominent in the winter.  Yet another nutrient rich fruit, particularly in vitamin C.  Stop in and give it a sample.

Most of these foods will not only make your tastebuds sing, but help you fight winter chills and colds with all of their nutrients!!

-Tori Styner

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Weird food politics at the Olympics? Weird!

Olympics! I'm a big fan. BIG fan! I'm not a jingoist or anything, but I really do like the idea of people competitively representing their countries in wholesome, meaningful ways that don't involve uranium, be it enriched or depleted.

But then, you know. There always seems to be SOME kind of weirdness going on behind the scenes and away from the usual competition. It's probably because of all the money involved and the predictable chicanery of how all that money gets slipped into various pockets (but never the athletes'. Heavens no! They must remain pure and unbesmirched by such lowly concerns as compensation and, like, their livelihoods, much like America's own "student athletes!")

And there's for sure some larger, weirder weirdness afoot in Russia. The accommodations sure seem...lacking, especially for the media. And c'mon man, lay off the dogs! Granted a bunch of strays running around isn't always as charming as it may sound--ask my aunt about all the satos on Vieques sometime--but there's probably SOMETHING better to do with all of them than a mass slaughter.

But now things are getting snippy about Greek yogurt bound for the American delegation. On one hand you have a country--its senators even, which seems excessive and maybe misguided, but whatever--arguing that their athletes are dependent on this one particular product because it's been part of their training regimen this whole time, and I can attest myself that protein after a burly workout can be an even better pain reliever than, you know, pain relievers. On the other hand, you have a country who sure does love its bureaucracy and is noting that the proper forms have not been filled out. Maybe we could get the Brits to help out? They always seem so confident of their talents at navigating through red tape.

But on the other other hand...maybe not? Maybe the American athletes could find a local alternative for their yogurting needs? EVERYwhere has its own particular ways of making and serving yogurt. And at this point, everyone knows that the manufacturing process for Greek yogurt is crazy-wasteful and rough on the environment, right? Right, of course you knew that.

So yeah, I guess I'm on the side of...well, no one's side really. I just sort of think that if you're going to fly halfway around the world you should probably make it a point to try the local food instead of insisting on exploding the carbon footprint of an already dubious product just because you're a picky eater and have to have THIS ONE THING because...what. Do they really not have yogurt around the Black Sea? Color me skeptical.

You know us, and you know how important local foods are to us. Which is why we're so lucky that Pequea Valley is so close and so good. Product shot!!

So yeah. Eat local! And here's hoping the Canadians get the collective grin knocked off their cheerfully and politely cocky...enh. Who am I kidding? They're all so nice, even when they're pummeling you in the neutral zone. Hockey reference!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tea Crazy

It seems like the snow and cold will never end!!  Good thing we have a wide selection of teas to keep you warm and to keep the colds off!  Many people think of Capogiro as their primary spot for gelato and LaColombe coffee, but did you know we have a selection of 15 different teas??

We proudly serve Two Leaves and a Bud organic tea, and it is one of the best bagged varieties out there.  Their bags are made of a fine mesh and are pyramid shape.  They look just beautiful steeping.

Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Menu
 Earl Grey
 Mountain High Chai

 Jasmine Petal
 Orange Sencha
 Tropical Green Goji
 Gen Mai Cha

 Acai White Tea

 Alpine Berry
 African Sunset

Next time you are in, take a look!!

-Tori Styner