When you walk into the front door of Brad’s Breads, you will be hit over the head by a wall of delicious smells: fresh, warm homemade bread to the light, sugary cruffins, the gooey, sweet caramel rolls and rich, dark coffee. But wait, there’s a new smell in the air today. Cold, fruity, creamy Italian gelato? That’s not a smell often present in Northwest Iowa.
Owner Brad Gabel came up with the idea to sell the Italian delicacy as a complementary item at the bakery because of his mission to bring new foods to small towns in the Midwest. For example, cruffins, a fan favorite at Brad’s, originated from Australia, and crepes were originally a French or Italian dish. Both are virtually unheard of in most small towns around here, but Gabel saw an opportunity to broaden the community’s palate through his shop. As a result, Orange City and the surrounding area love to check out what new goods appear under the counter when they stop in.
Gelato, Brad’s most recent addition, became a huge hit over the summer as an alternative to ice cream. Regular customers, children and athletic teams alike, would come in week after week to try all the new flavors, but many did not understand the difference between ice cream and gelato. So, Brad’s set a sign up to inform people about the difference.
Gelato and ice cream both contain three major ingredients: dairy, sugar and air. But the difference between the gelato and ice cream comes from the proportions these ingredients appear in both sweet treats. On one hand, ice cream contains a larger proportion of air and cream than gelato, making it much fattier. The faster the ice cream is whipped, the more air is folded in and the fluffier it gets. At the same time, ice cream runs the risk of having those pesky crystallizations appear because of how much air is inside it. Gelato, on the other hand, does not have that.
Gelato contains more milk and sugar than cream and air, making it a lot denser which gives a richer flavor than most ice cream flavors. Gelato is also served warmer than ice cream; most people eat it at 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit compared to ice cream’s five degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, gelato does not keep as long, so you can be certain that the gelato is always fresh at Brad’s.
In fact, the gelato is so fresh that they change what flavors are served weekly. NW alum Mikaela Opgenorth makes the gelato all from scratch and enjoys experimenting with new ingredients and flavors. Previous flavors have included: lemon sorbetto, honey walnut,
turtle, pistachio, mojito, vanilla and everyone’s seasonal favorite, pumpkin spice.
“I tried the lemon sorbetto,” junior Emily De Ruyter said. “It was the perfect, refreshing treat for a summer-like evening and quite satisfying!”
One important thing to note is that the hours gelato is sold at Brad’s is different from the hours the store is open. Gelato is not sold on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, but they are open Wednesday through Friday from 1-9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Be sure to stop by and grab some coffee and gelato during that time.
“It’s so great to have all the Northwestern students back on campus!” a spokesperson from Brad’s said. “We love having them stop in, grab coffee and do homework.”