The best frozen custard in Wisconsin, and thus the entire universe, is at Kopp's. But the easiest custard to find is at Culver's, a big regional chain. We were at a mall yesterday, Grand Avenue downtown, and the second we pulled into the parking lot the little man started panting "ice cream, ice cream," because he remembers every place he's had ice cream and Grand Avenue is one of those places. So even though it was five o'clock, nearing dinner time, and even though I had virtually no desire for ice cream on a miserably cold, gray, snowy day, we hopped the elevator up to the food court while E went to the stores and ordered us some vanilla, which the kid calls "white." He ate almost all of this, feeding himself huge mouthfuls with his spoon and keeping his clothes remarkably clean given his generally messy ways. When we got home he ate practically no dinner.
It's not that Culver's isn't good--it's just not unbelievably good like Kopp's. It's not as rich as the best custard and the daily flavors are less imaginative. Culver's is a corporate chain with hideous bright blue decor and greasy, ultracaloric fast food. But my ice cream-loving friend isn't as choosy as I am. He shows no sign of enjoying this custard any less than any other. I'm sure that despite my better inclinations some of my snobbery will rub off on him one of these days, but for now I appreciate his refreshing lack of discrimination. It may be a cliché to say that parents have a lot to learn from their kids but it's also true.