Craving Croinuts at Capicola’s


Capicola’s Gourmet Sandwiches is located on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Located in Torrance on the bustling Pacific Coast Highway, Capicola’s Gourmet Sandwiches is known for its unique, fresh, one-of-a-kind sandwiches. (Yes, the type that is definitely sure to leave you feeling filled after a meal, not still hungry for more). Its menu provides many sandwichoptions—as well as pizzas and soups—for the hungry diner, including the famous “Rise and Shine Panino,” which features a savory medley of eggs, prosciutto, Roma tomatoes, melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and Capicola’s Special Sauce, and the “Capi’s Special,” a mix of salami, fresh Mozzarella, capicola, prosciutto, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, Roma tomatoes, romaine, extra virgin olive oil and Capicola’s Special Sauce.

But Capicola’s is also the first shop that started the California Cronut craze, according to owner Anthony Accetta.

An assortment of flavors is always available for the hungry customer.

Accetta’s version of the New York-based pastry is called the “Croinut”—priced at $4.99 each—which the store started selling on June 1. Ever since, “Croinuts” have steadily been selling out.

“I modeled the ‘Croinut’ after the Zeppole [an Italian dessert],” Accetta shares.

Having an Italian mother, Accetta grew up eating dishes similar to the Zeppoli, cooked to perfection with homemade recipes. Once the Cronuts debuted in New York, Accetta asked his mom if she had a similar recipe to make an authentic, West Coast version of the best-selling pastry.

“When I asked her [my mother] for the recipe, she told me I grew up eating these [Cronuts],” Accetta laughs.

Different “Croinut” flavors are featured every day.

The rest, as they say, is history. Accetta bases his “Croinuts” off of his mother’s recipe, and he comes up with all the flavor combinations. The store sells up to 24 flavors of “Croinuts” at one time. Some of the many featured “Croinut” flavors include “Salted Caramel with Godiva Chocolate,” “Honey Pecan,” “Nutella,” “Banana Cream,” “Peaches ‘N Cream,” “Tribute to Elvis” (made with bananas, peanut butter and filled with Bavarian cream, of course) and “Pecan Honey Orange Glazed,” among many others.

Two of Accetta’s favorites are the “Toto Sicilian Grand Marnier” and “Cinnamon Glaze”.

The “Toto Sicilian Grand Marnier” includes soft, fudgy, brownie-like cookie pieces atop the “Croinut.”

“The ‘Toto’ is filled with Bavarian cream and topped with Sicilian brownie cookies crumbles that are made with coffee and chocolate,” Accetta explains. “It has a flaky and soft interior with a crisp, crunchy exterior.”

The “Toto Sicilian Grand Marnier” is definitely a work of art and delightful to taste. The Bavarian cream filling is light and complements the pastry perfectly. Meanwhile, the chewy, fudgy, brownie-cookie hybrid pieces that top the “Croinut” provide additional texture and consistency. With the unique taste of the “Croinut” itself—flaky and crispy on the outside; soft and doughy on the inside—combined with the rich, chocolate cookie bits (but not overwhelmingly chocolate), this “Toto” features the perfect medley of sweet flavors.

Accetta prides himself on providing the public with freshly made products.

“All of our toppings are fresh,” he says. “For example, we have chocolate and lemon wafers imported from Italy.”

Capicola’s features up to 24 different “Croinut” flavors at one time, with about 17 flavors featured during the weekends. “Croinut” flavors change every day—save for the most popular ones—so customers never know what they’re going to see.

“People line up really early [for the ‘Croinuts’] on the weekends,” Accetta says. “Our lines usually go out the doors. We sometimes sell out of ‘Croinuts’ by 11 a.m.!”

The store sometimes sells out of “Croinuts” so quickly because Accetta gives the delicate pastries a five-hour shelf life—to ensure that every customer receives a fresh product—and does not bake more once they are sold out. Accetta also recommends customers to not put their “Croinuts” in the fridge if they buy them to go.

“Some of my customers said they went to New York City and tried the original Cronut, but they liked Capicola’s ones better,” he states proudly.

Although we only sampled the “Toto” Croinut flavor on our first visit to Capicola’s, we will definitely be back for some of the restaurant’s gourmet sandwiches—and possibly new Croinut flavors—the next time we return. The cozy eatery is located at 3160 Pacific Coast Hwy. in Torrance.

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