The next store in the Capogiro gelato empire is due to open this week on the 1600 block of E. Passyunk in South Philly, competing with neighborhood favorites like John's Water Ice for the crown of Summer Treat of Choice. Now, this may be heresy to some, but it took me a while to take to Capogiro's ice cream. I've spent a fair amount of time throughout Italy and can safely say I understand gelato. I use one flavor in particular to test the authenticity of a new type of gelato: yogurt. If the yogurt is more sweet than tart, forget about it. It needs to taste like fresh plain yogurt, just cooler and creamier. Unfortunately, Capogiro's didn't make the cut when I first tried it years ago. And their dark chocolate, while delicious, has a consistency more akin to tar than gelato. Plus, I found their attempts at exoticism to go a bit overboard- Rosemary Goat Milk Cream Thai Basil Peppercorn etc etc etc.
I have had shouting matches with Italians and non-Italians alike over the authenticity and deliciousness of Capogiro.
That said, in the name of peace, love and understanding, I would still go there from time to time. And it was on such a random occasion that I tried their Tahini flavor and a fan was born. Calling it Tahini is just a fancy name for sesame. It was subtle and nutty and creamy and delicious, and I decided to start sampling their wares with a more open mind. I still stay away from the multiple flavored gelati. I prefer the fun of making up my own combinations... yogurt and dark chocolate, pistachio and burnt sugar, lavender and crema...
So I am actually very excited for the new Capogiro, just blocks from my house. And besides, I don't like John's Water Ice anyway. (I'll address that little nugget of blasphemy in a later post. Promise.)
Updates: Capogiro E. Passyunk is now open. The West Philly shop is slated to open this Friday, the 22nd (featuring a bar and a non-gelato Italian menu). And Bon Appetit named Capogiro one of the top 10 ice cream shops in America. (5/19)