by Nate Imig
Summer just isn't summer without frozen custard. And in Milwaukee, it's a decades-old tradition.
The frozen treat is much different than traditional ice cream. It is far denser, containing less air and a higher percentage of butterfat. The velvety, creamy texture has a different mouth feel than ice cream product, and it doesn't melt as fast, either.
Custard stands have been staples in Milwaukee since the 40s. Gilles, near 76th and Bluemound, was the first to serve frozen custard in the city, and shortly thereafter, Leon's opened the window at its iconic drive-in near 27th and Oklahoma.
Much has changed since then, but the custard recipes have remained basically untouched. And both stands have deep family roots.
Click the podcast player to hear from Leon's owner Ron Schneider and Gilles' owner Tom Linscott, both long-time local custard-teurs.