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MUSG custard crawl explores Milwaukee favorites

Marquette+students+at+this+year%27s+Custard+Crawl.
Marquette students at this year's Custard Crawl.

Marquette students at this year's Custard Crawl.

Photo by Photo Courtesy of Hannah Byron and Lily Wellen

Photo by Photo Courtesy of Hannah Byron and Lily Wellen

Marquette students at this year's Custard Crawl.

Hannah Byron

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Back to school got a whole lot sweeter Sunday evening with a custard crawl with Marquette University Student Government (MUSG). The crawl was the last excursion of this year’s MU Mania, a week of fun activities planned by MUSG. With the three-day weekend and MU Mania coming to an end, a night out with friends and custard was what students needed to help cool off from a hectic first week back.

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The first stop on the custard crawl was Gilles, the oldest custard shop in Milwaukee.

The crawl for Milwaukee’s best custard stands included Gilles Frozen Custard on Bluemound Rd. and Kopp’s Frozen Custard on west Layton Ave. Established in 1938, Gilles is the oldest custard shop in the city, making it a must-see stop on the crawl. Kopp’s is also a fan-favorite among locals and a Milwaukee experience students just couldn’t miss. Between the two custard shops, students had a variety of free flavors to choose from. Gilles offered vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan. While Kopp’s had vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter pecan and hog heaven.

Sarah Beattie, the program vice president of MUSG, managed the planning and execution of the event by reserving the custard stands, arranging busses and distributing wristbands and posters. “I know they did the custard crawl last year. It was a really popular event and we re-vamped it a bit,” said Beattie.

It’s no secret Wisconsin is known for its love of custard. Milwaukee is said to be the unofficial custard capital of the world. Unsurprisingly, most students who came for the crawl preferred custard to ice cream. Junior Ali Baehler in the College of Education, agreed. “Custard every day, all the way, for sure,” Baehler said. “It’s just creamier and nicer to eat.”

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Hog heaven flavored custard from Kopp’s Frozen Custard.

The creamy and smooth texture of custard comes from adding egg yolks to ice cream, which gives it the cool and refreshing taste we crave with each spoonful, and making it the main difference between ice cream and custard. Even gelato, Italian ice cream, could not beat out custard for the prize of best frozen treat. “It has to be custard. I love the dense material and just the culture behind it,” said Brian Leightner, a senior in the College of Engineering who tried butter pecan at Gilles. “It’s a basic flavor, but they made it work.”

After the evening, students not only had a favorite cold dessert, but they also had a favorite place to eat them. While most agreed that Kopp’s was the destination for all things custard, Carli Sacramento, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, said, “I really like Gilles. I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid. This is my first time at Kopp’s, but I have to be true to my Gilles passion.”

In terms of future custard crawls, Beattie said it depends on who is in charge of programming next year. “People seem to enjoy it, so I imagine it would happen again next year if the next program vice president deems it worthy.”

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