I’m not ashamed to admit (and on a website dedicated to the culture of gelato, which makes it a bit more embarrassing) that there was actually a time in my life when I asked that question. I had never heard of this internationally beloved treat (and, no, my home was not located under a rock). Based on its name alone, I thought gelato was a type of mousse or had some kind of relation to gelatin dessert. Now that I’m fully educated on the artisanal Italian treat, I can look back on the days of my dessert ignorance and smile at my young, unaware self. However, I’m sure there are many others out there just like I was—completely oblivious to the bliss that is gelato—and I owe my consistently increasing knowledge on the delicious subject to PreGel.
Well, just slightly under a decade ago, a vacant, wooded area in Concord, North Carolina was developed into the corner of Fortune Ave NW and International Drive to become home of the majestic, pristine, white edifice that would broadcast the name PreGel … and consequently confuse most people that drove by. With such a unique name and eye-catching appearance, the futuristic structure would inevitably cause wonderment of passerby. Therefore, as marketing communications, otherwise known as “the voice” of PreGel, allow me to explain a few things about the company.
- PreGel is actually pronounced pre gel (some people have pronounced it as pree-gull or pray-gull).
- We don’t produce gels of any kind. The company’s attention-grabbing name is pretty clever. It stands for Pre-Gelateria or Pre-Gelato. Why? Because if you’re going into business or already have a business in the sweets industry, PreGel has all the ingredients and supplies you need … for everything!
- No, the company doesn’t make finished product. It’s a business-to-business company, famous in the foodservice industry for producing shelf-stable, semi-finished dessert ingredient solutions.
- Yes, you read that right. I said “solutions.” PreGel coined its ingredients as “solutions” because they’re versatile, easy to use, and customizable, meaning a chef can make all kinds of unique frozen dessert flavors and other culinary creations with them.
- What kinds of frozen desserts and culinary creations can a chef create, you ask? Well, there’s gelato, ice cream, soft serve, frozen yogurt, pastry and confections, and specialty beverages. And that’s just the short list.
- The company is also very resourceful, even going so far as to sponsor a gelato-inspired web resource to further support the growing culture of gelato in North America.
It’s a pretty amazing company, with pretty amazing products, and pretty amazing people. So it’s fitting of an equally amazing facility. Even rock star chefs from all over the world have made appearances in PreGel’s International Training Centers (there are five in the U.S.!) to lead seminars!
So, I’ll admit it. I may be a bit biased about PreGel because the North Carolina headquarters is a fantastic work home, where I’ve learned so much about the dessert world … and gelato. So now I can answer the question “what is gelato?”
The answer: Gelato is the Italian version of ice cream with an artisanal aesthetic. Made with authentic ingredients, gelato is known for its intense flavor, soft, smooth texture, and clean taste. As a matter of fact, gelato means “frozen” in Italian.
…thanks PreGel America – the big, white building on the corner.