by Laura Johnson
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icecreammachine.jpg Just recently my mother asked me to pick up some vanilla ice cream she wanted to serve with a pie she had made. I came home with a gallon of 'Pet' vanilla ice cream. She asked me why, out of all the brands at the grocery store, would I choose 'Pet?' I told her   grocery store ice cream,whether it be Ben and Jerry's, Hagen Daaz or Pet all tasted the same to me and that Pet was the cheapest. 

When I was growing up, my mother would make homemade ice cream in the summer from the local peaches using a hand-cranked ice cream churn. We would take turns "churning" and adding endless amounts of rock salt for what seemed like hours until it was ready. That is what ice cream is supposed to taste like and if you've never had homemade ice cream, do yourself a favor a buy an ice cream churn. They make electric ones now with no hand crank churning required.

My best friend, Missy is by far the biggest food snob that ever lived (sorry Missy, but you know it's true). If she finds something she really likes it becomes an obsession that consumes her and all of those around her. Years ago she got on a steak 'tare tare' kick after she moved back to Georgia after going to college in Malibu. (Maybe it wasn't 'tare tare,' it was carpacchio but you know what I mean.) She claimed there wasn't any good carpacchio around here so she bought hew own professional, industrial size meat slicer just like the ones you see in the grocery store deli department. She carried that thing around in the back of her car for months and would whip it out and slice up some meat when she came to visit.

capagiro.jpg Missy lives north of Philadelphia now and her latest obsession, which has lasted much longer than most, is a gelato store in downtown Philadelphia (there are actually 2 of them) called "Capogiro." The story goes is that this couple went on a vacation to Italy several years ago and decided there weren't any good places to buy gelato in Philadelphia. The wife, her name would be Stephanie,  decided to learn how to make it and after much research, opened "Capogiro." Several months ago when I was visiting Missy, she proudly opened her freezer door and displayed her approximately 20 quarts of Capogiro gelato. I must mention that 1 pint cost $10, a far cry from the $3.99 I paid for a gallon of Pet.

She took out at least 10 of them, stuck spoons in each one and invited me to sample. I was amazed at the intense flavor of each of them and asked her if I could sample the other 10 quarts. All of the ingredients are of the finest quality, starting with milk from a small herd of Amish cows in Lancaster, PA. They make 27 flavors each day, depending on the season, using locally grown berries and the freshest fruit available but also import pistachios and all sorts of ingredients from Italy.

I have been to visit Missy several times since I had my first Capogiro and it has become a routine that we drive down to Philadelphia and visit both stores because sometimes they have different flavors. They are happy to offer you have as many samples as you like, which can be the hardest decision you will make all day.

gelatofruit.jpg Below is a list of Missy's favorites. I have tried a lot of them but some have not been in season since I have become a fan. Don't be despaired and wish you lived in Philadelphia after you read the list because they deliver! It comes packed in a nice box with dry ice. Be warned that it really does taste as good as it sounds and you may easily become obsessed.

Cranberry and Heirloom Apple, Sicilian Blood Orange, Rosemary Honey Goat's Milk, Pineapple with Mint, White Peach with Prosecco, Marscapone and Fig, Thai Coconut Milk with a hint of Rum, Green Mango with Chilli, Carambola (Star Fruit) with Tart Lime, Champagne Mango, Chocolate and Banana, Lemon Opal Basil, Uva Rossa (tart red grapes), Burbon Butterscotch, Burnt Sugar, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Candied Kumquats and her most favorite, Sweet Lychee.  Be sure and click on the "Daily Flavor List" at the bottom and notice there are 2 locations to choose from at the top.

Capogiro Gelateria on Urbanspoon

Laura grew up in a small southern town in Georgia on a cotton and pecan farm where life centered around family, friends and good food. She has lived in Atlanta for 20 years and has been a Flight Attendant for a major airline for 18 years, traveling the world in search for the next best meal.

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