Few things signal the arrival of spring – and, hot on its heels, summer – more acutely than a sudden hankering for the chilled sweetness of good ice cream or gelato. These days, like everything else – books, clothes, fine wine – artisanal ice cream, gelati and sorbets can be purchased online and delivered right to your door.
The newest and best of the crop is US-based, and as such a good place to shop for friends who live Stateside (unfortunately it doesn’t deliver internationally). Philadelphia-based Capogiro Gelato stocks organic, handmade gelati and sorbetti, mixed fresh in small batches every day. Each order on the site consists of six pints ($60, plus shipping) of original and sometimes adventurous flavours such as Cioccalato Messicano (for a little kick of spice), Rosemary Honey Goat’s Milk, and Mascarpone with Heirloom Apple. Sorbet options, meanwhile, range from Honeydew to Lime Cilantro to Pompelmo con Campari (a zesty grapefruit ice dressed with a Negroni-liquor twist).
The site allows you to choose and build your own flavour combinations for a gift, or you can opt for one of its suggested groupings. There is, of course, an Italian Classics collection ($60), which includes Nocciola Piemontese gelato and Espresso sorbetto; or the more original – and intriguing – Herbs and Spices medley ($60), which includes bold Saigon Cinnamon gelato and local Lancaster Mint Stracciatella.
Many of Capogiro Gelato’s ice-cream and sorbet varieties are seasonally driven, and incorporate the ripest, most regional ingredients whenever possible (cilantro from Lansdale, PA; hormone-free milk from a nearby Amish family farm). Hard-to-find ingredients such as AKA mangoes, La Colombe coffee beans and Hawaiian macadamia nuts are also incorporated into some 20 plus daily offerings, which change on a regular basis. With 383 flavours created to date, this site is a wonderful place to expand the palate past plain vanilla, and to indulge yourself – and those you love – with heretofore unheard of concoctions, such as Single Malt Scotch and tart Uva Rossa (red grape) varieties.
Orders generally take one to two days and can be shipped (in neatly packed, insulated boxes) all over the US – thereby providing, so far as food-based websites go, near-instant gratification. The days are getting longer, the temperatures milder: ice-cream season is here, and this is a very good place to find it.