Yeah, the Midwesterners are licking their lips and saying, “Bring it on.”
Unfortunately those two food staples of my “fetching up” years have been absent in the state of California for the 32 years I’ve been living here. Until today! At least the first one, Frozen Custard, has made another rare appearance. The Grand Opening of “Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers” happened today on the Northwest side of Bakersfield. During my 18 years in Newport Beach, I would read about a Frozen Custard in L.A. but by the time I checked them out, the place had closed. California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington just don’t get into the “custard” thing. Freddy’s are predicting they will open another three franchises in Bakersfield in the next year or so. We’ll see.
In my hometown in Indiana, we just had one Frozen Custard called “Original Frozen Custard.” That’s original enough. Generations of locals went there as kids, first dates, and a high school hang out. It’s directly across from the large city park so the location always guaranteed a packed lot every summer night.
Custard is richer than ice cream. It starts with an ice cream base, adds extra butter fat and egg yolks and it goes through a freezing process that creates a dense, airless, creamy frozen custard
A franchise from Wisconsin, Culver’s Butterburgers and Frozen Custard, has now moved into my old home-town and they have done all right but their custard can’t compare to the “Original.” Most Midwestern towns have two or three Frozen Custard places to choose from, but the entire state of California would only get passing tastes before another franchise bit the dust. There are 190 Culvers in Wisconsin, 90 in Illinois and 40 in Indiana. In the entire West Coast (Except Arizona) there are ZERO Culvers Frozen Custard places. Good luck to Freddy’s. I’ll let you know my comparison tastes to my hometown fav.
Likewise for Breaded Tenderloins; they just aren’t in demand in this strange state; maybe because it’s a heart-attack in a bun. I featured them as a lunch item in my restaurant back in the Midwest.
You start with a ½ inch thick boneless pork loin and then pound it thin (I had a machine that pressed it out into a loin the size of your dinner plate), add breading and freeze. Throw the frozen breaded loin in the deep fry, when it floats, it’s ready.
When I first moved to California in the ‘80s, my son and I almost started a Gringo-Mexican restaurant using our two Midwestern core products. We were going to use the breaded tenderloin for a “breaded carnitas” burrito and of course our dessert would be “deep fried” frozen custard.
I think we had a unique idea and maybe they would now be as popular as Jack-in-the-Box. Ha!