When we are traveling in the midwest, one of my favorite places to eat is Culver’s. It is not Tom’s favorite (he prefers Subway) but he indulges me from time to time, especially since we discovered fried cheese curds. On our fast trip to Ohio last month, we ate at Culver’s on our way to Ohio and then again on our way back.
Culver’s is a fresh fast food chain that started in 1984 in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Today there are over 450 Culver’s franchises spread throughout the United States. Most of them are in Wisconsin and Illinois, but there are also quite a few of them in places where people from Wisconsin retire: Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Culver’s uses all fresh ingredients. Their butter burgers are their signature sandwich and they are always made from fresh meat, never frozen. The salads are the freshest I have ever seen at a fast food place. Even their signature frozen custard is made fresh at each location with real milk. With frozen custard made from milk and butter burgers, you can see their Wisconsin roots.
My favorite thing to get is a fried chicken tender snack. The chicken tenders are the moistest, juiciest tenders I have had at any fast food place. I also like their salads. Tom’s favorite thing is the fried cheese curds. Of course, everything is better battered, but the cheese curds are very good.
Cheese curds are the solid parts of soured milk, which sounds yucky but is really delicious. Cheese curds are the sweetest, softest, mildest part of cheese. They start off with fresh, pasteurized milk. During the pasteurizing process, rennet is added to clot the milk. After the milk has been pasteurized, the result is a mixture of whey and the early stages of the curd. This mixture is then cooked. Next, it is pressed to release the whey from the curd, thus creating the final product of cheese curd.
Culver’s has two flavors of frozen custard available all time: vanilla and chocolate. They also have a “flavor of the day” which changes every day. For instance, in June they had caramel pecan, raspberry cheesecake, turtle, orange creamsicle, brownie thunder, Andes mint avalanche, twix mix, . . . It’s a good thing I don’t live close to a Culver’s because I would have to try every flavor! I usually get a chocolate milkshake, but sometimes I try a concrete mixer – vanilla with a flavor, fruit, or candy mixed in.
Everything I have tried at Culver’s is delicious. It is also fast and fresh, so we can stop by when we are traveling, pick up something healthy (or not as we choose) and something sweet. If you have a Culver’s near you – try it! If you see one when you are traveling, stop in. I’m sure you will enjoy whatever you order.