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Tuesday
Sep112012

An Open Love Letter to Capogiro Gelato, Philadelphia 

Unicorn and gelato

I am sort of embarrassed that I have not yet written about Capogiro Gelato in Philadelphia.

I first came in contact with the ambrosial gelato experience that is Capogiro about a year ago, when I was in Philadelphia for my book tour for CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life . I asked that designed-for-crowd-sourcing tool known as Twitter where the best gelato in the city could be found. The refrain echoed resoundingly: CAPOGIRO. Wonderfully, there was a location not far from 30th street station, my point of entry into the city. 

Gelato from Capogiro, Philadelphia

I walked from the station to their location on 20th street, where I tried two flavors: Lancaster pumpkin with walnut gelato.

Oh. My. God. 

This is some of the best gelato I have ever tasted, and I have tasted a lot, let me tell you. The pumpkin was mellow and sweet, and the walnut tasted rich and smooth, with an aftertaste that reminded me of lightly salted butter (god, is that ever a good thing). The overall experience was made even more magical because of the fact that I was hoping for a mere gelato fix, but ended up having one of my most exquisite gelato experiences to date. What a wonderful suprise. 

I was in Philadelphia for 2 days on that visit, and I visited Capogiro about 3 more times (you do the math). While I'd say the pumpkin and walnut combo was still the best one-two punch, I had several other very good experiences, including macadamia with dulce de leche; chocolate malt with marshmallow; burnt sugar with cashew.

Pistachio and burnt sugar gelato, Capogiro

When I returned to Philadelphia this year to reside in the fair city for a while, it became my personal mission to try every flavor in their case. 

Gelato from Capogiro, Philadelphia

One of the things I've loved best about discovering Capogiro is their creatively curated case: the flavors vary by day, so you have a chance to curate your own flavor experience each time you go. From the classics (vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, stracciatella, pistachio) to some more exotic (candied black cherry, burnt sugar, bananas foster, marshmallow) and then seasonal (peach; pumpkin, etc, when in season) Well, while I wouldn't say I've hit every flavor, I have done a very good job. 

Not that you asked, but my personal favorite flavors (the ones I have to get every time I go) are the following. I'll mix up what I pair them with, but I will always choose one of the following as my first flavor when I go. Don't get mad at me if they don't have the one you're crushing on when you visit, though!

-Sorrento Walnut: I think they secretly lace this flavor with crack, because it's just so good. Also very good: cashew, macadamia, hazelnut, pistachio. But the walnut is my smooth jam when it comes to a nutty gelato.

-Burnt Sugar: It's dark and toasty in flavor yet so smooth and creamy in texture; richly interesting.

-Philly Cream cheese: Gilding the lily? Perhaps, but it's like the gelato equivalent of cream cheese frosting. Pair it with a fruit gelato (I loved it with the peaches and cream, when in season)

-Cioccolato Scuro: If I am in the mood for a deep, dark, rich chocolate that WILL stick to my teeth and imbue my soul with pure chocolate happiness, this is the flavor to go with. If you're brave, pair it with something like chocolate hazelnut for a chocolatey one-two punch. Om nom. I've also really enjoyed it with the avocado gelato - live a little and try it.

-Marshmallow: I know, I know, this one is kind of the dark horse, because I wouldn't classify myself as a marshmallow lover. But it's a smooth, rich flavor that is perfect when matched with either a chocolate variety or a nutty or caramelly variety; it really just works. Trust me on it.

Capogiro, I love you. You've made my time in Philadelphia so much sweeter, creamier, and richer (in more ways than one). You've inspired my creativity and flavor profile skills, and even if I don't stay in Philadelphia forever, I will remain your loyal customer every time I return!

 Capogiro, multiple locations in Philadelphia; online here.

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