How did we celebrate National Frozen Custard Day on August 8? It was the perfect excuse to take a bit of a field trip to the legendary Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis, Mo. Known for their frozen custard concretes, which are so thick they can be held upside down, Ted Drewes has been a St. Louis landmark since 1930. One taste and it’s easy to figure out why. In celebration of National Frozen Custard Day, let’s explore, in a little more detail, the story behind this yummy delight.
IS IT CUSTARD THAT’S FROZEN? IS IT FANCY ICE CREAM? WHAT IS THIS STUFF?
I don’t mean to be dense (or do I?), but what exactly is frozen custard? Come to find out it’s good to be dense, if you’re frozen custard that is. Let me explain …
According to thekitchn, there are a few key differences between frozen custard and ice cream. The biggest of which is frozen custard is dense, while ice cream is light and airy.
Frozen custard is made from milk, cream and egg yolks. Ice cream is made from milk or cream (or a combination of the two). In addition, the FDA mandates ice cream must contain a minimum of 10 percent milkfat by weight. Frozen custard, on the other hand, follows the same rules but also must contain 1.4 percent egg yolks by weight. So the difference is the egg yolks? Kinda …
The density of frozen yogurt compared to ice cream is directly related to the machine that’s used to produce it. An ice cream maker churns air into the ice cream base as it freezes it but a professional custard machine works as little air as possible into the custard base, which makes it so creamy and delicious.
While Coney Island claims to be the birthplace of frozen custard, the Midwest has cheerfully adopted the dense, frozen delight as one of its own, especially after its buzzed about appearance at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. Fast forward more than 80 years and you’ll find frozen custard is more popular than ever in America’s heartland.
In fact, Taste of Home recently named frozen custard as number 19 on its list of “30 Best Midwestern Recipes Ever, Ranked.” And let it be known that Milwaukee, Wisc., has proclaimed itself as the “unofficial frozen custard capital of the world,” bragging it has “the world’s largest concentration of frozen custard shops.”
But Milwaukee hasn’t cornered the market on all things frozen custard. In fact, our hometown of St. Louis, Mo. boasts the king of frozen custard himself, Ted Drewes. Come to find out, Ted Drewes’ rich, frozen custard history dates all the way back to 1930, a whole three years prior to the Chicago World’s Fair. Ted Drewes has been featured on “Feasting on Asphalt,” hosted by Alton Brown, recommended by Bobby Flay on the “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and featured in a “Route 66” episode of Man v. Food Nation, hosted by Adam Richman. Let the frozen custard bragging rights begin!
Want to taste what all the fuss is about? A limited selection of Ted Drewes frozen custard treats is available on Goldbelly.