Culver's Custard in This Week's "Just Desserts"

In the end, we get what's coming to us. Let's hope it's sweet.

Now that the roses have wilted, the candy's been picked over, and the smoochies exchanged, America has turned its attention from hot romance to ice cold snow with the start of the Winter Olympic Games. And what a more fitting way to celebrate gold medal winner Hannah Kearney's years of dedication and physical endurance in freestyle skiing than with a 20-minute visit to the new Culver's on Camelback for a shivery showdown of ridiculously fattening and fabulous frozen treats.

Since opening its first restaurant in 1984, Culver's frozen custard, along with long-time Wisconsin dietary staples -- cheese curds, sausage and Friday night fish fries -- quickly became part of the state's food pyramid and has been making its way to the rest of the country ever since. Although similar to ice cream, custard is richer and creamier due to a higher (much higher) butterfat content, slower production process and approximately 80 percent less air blended into the mix.

When asked for the three best representations of the Culver's dessert cache, co-owner Brian suggested a triage tasting of the classic (turtle sundae), exotic (mango-strawberry Cooler), and individual (chocolate, peanut butter and banana Concrete Mixer.) The turtle sundae, made with vanilla frozen custard, hot fudge, hot caramel, whole salted pecans and topped with a giant cherry, was simply a deliciously smooth and savory dessert dream -- tough to beat. The mango-strawberry Cooler, Culver's version of shaved ice, was way too sweet and might have been better as a Smoothie (a Cooler with custard). Culver's Concrete Mixer, well, mixed (not blended like the Dairy Queen Blizzard) chocolate frozen custard, peanut butter, and banana into a thick and tangled tower of taste. Its first bite was as consistent and satisfying as the last. With over 30 toppings and mix-ins to choose from, good luck finding a favorite.

Overall, a successful salute to Olympic dedication or any other reason you can think of. And with quotes from Job and Proverbs displayed in this Culver's interior, you'll understand why it's been said that when God wants ice cream, he gets frozen custard.

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