Capogiro Gelato Artisans: Italy In A Cup

Italy In A Cup
Capogiro's gelato case view at Rittenhouse location.

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, oh my! When you have all the varieties of cold delicacies within your reach, which do you choose? Gelato is the way to go, trust me; even National Geographic deems it so.

The National Geographic book Food Journeys of a Lifetime ranks the top 10 places to eat ice cream (factoring in ice cream’s Italian cousin, gelato.) Their number one ranking for a cold treat on a summer’s hot day or a sweet craving during a winter’s storm is Philadelphia’s local gelateria- Capogiro Gelato Artisans.

Capogiro is ranked number one out of the world. Yes, that includes Italy, the original makers mark of gelato. For authenticity sticklers, do not fret because owners Stephanie and John Reitano have studied, practiced, and taken a number of flights to the great boot shaped country in order to maintain the Italian flavor, aesthetic, and criteria for their coveted shop in the states. So I gave it a try, and then another, and by the time my taste buds could no longer distinguish the flavors, I could paint a double rainbow with the amount of spoons I had in my hands. I stood there with my bundle of spoons next to my chipmunk cheeks as if I were 5 again.

As you enter the café at any of the four locations, you are graced by a fully stocked case of silky smooth looking gelato, garnished with fruits, coffee beans, and associated nuts. Shortly after you subconsciously realize you’re overwhelmed by the plethora of selections, you’ll see a smiley barista standing behind the case. By the time you actually step up and embrace the convex view of the gelato, you cannot help but try to become one with the case. Slowly but surely, your inner child overtakes you and the next thing you know, your face is nearly kissing the glass, your pupils are enlarged because of your sweet attraction to Pistachio, and you just cannot wait to have that piccolo (grande) cup in your possession.

The gelato is made in house every morning and is brought out by noon. The ingredients are nothing but the freshest products you can gather on a Saturday morning farmer’s market stroll. The gelato flavors are not only seasonal but unique to the tip of the tongue. Flavors range from the everyday favorites Amish Milk, Stracciatella (Italian Chocolate Chip), Bacio (chocolate and hazelnut); to liquor filled Amaretto, Thai Coconut Milk [with a touch of Malibu Rum], Bourbon Vanilla; to a vegan selection of sorbettos, Apple Brandy, Grapefruit Campari, and a twist on an iconic flavor, Avocado.

It’s hard to narrow down a favorite flavor since I vascillate between their rotating (more than 375) flavors every day, but if I was desserted on an island and could only have one flavor, it would have to be the Cioccolato Scuro (rich, dark, and serious chocolate). This flavor is a delicacy and is most often compared to as brownie batter, but I say it is like treating yourself to a chocolate spa at Hersey Park. I will gladly scurry away with a pint of Scuro to any island.

Aside from gelato, the café also serves coffee, an array of delectable baked goods, and Panini. Capogiro only offers the best, so the coffee they serve comes from a world-renowned coffee-roasting company – La Colombe. The baked goods are baked by one of Capogiro’s own baristas and they are so good you’ll be feeling the pleasant state of lethargy after consuming a brownie (or two). Also, the Panini are made fresh in the morning and are offered to be toasted or not to be toasted; I would go for the toasted option because, melted cheese.

Even though this sweet sensation café may reside in Philadelphia, the flavors will surely take you back to its roots of Italy, fantastico.   

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