In college, you will miss your family, your friends and the one thing that everyone seems to miss the most: the food from your home town or state. Being from Chicago, I do really miss Portillo’s, but for the past few months all I have wanted from home is a Culver’s.

So, what is Culver's?

Culver’s is a casual fast food chain that started in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 1984 by Craig and Lea Culver. Since the early days of the butter burger and fresh frozen custard, the Culvers have kept the family vibe alive. Now there is a multitude of Culver's locations scattered throughout the Midwest and beyond. However, there are not many in the South and there are none in Alabama. I think opening a Culver's in Tuscaloosa would be the best choice for the first one in Alabama.

Over 50% of the students at the University of Alabama are from out-of-state and there are currently 24 states with Culver's locations. If a Culver’s were to open in Tuscaloosa, there would be many eager students excited for some delicious, familiar food. It would create new Culver’s fans and satisfy old ones. Students who are already familiar with it could cure their homesickness with some custard and bring their friends along to try the fried cheese curds.

I mean, (other than vegans or people who are allergic to dairy) who doesn’t like fried cheese? These cheese curds are not something you would normally find in Tuscaloosa, but they could be. They are made with Wisconsin cheddar and then fried for a buttery crunch. The menu also includes butter burgers, fish sandwiches and chili that can warm anyone in Tuscaloosa on those occasional chilly days. The menu does not include weird Midwestern foods or scary ingredients, but recognizable foods that everyone loves.

The number one reason I know a Culver’s in Tuscaloosa would be perfect is their frozen custard. The creamy chocolate and vanilla custard is made daily and can be enjoyed in any way you choose. My favorite way to enjoy the custard is in a concrete mixer with a few of your favorite toppings mixed into the thick custard. The custard is always delicious whether it is in a cup, a cone, a shake, a float or even a sundae. The custard is enjoyable in the Midwest, but with a Culver's in Tuscaloosa it could truly be enjoyed year-round since it rarely drops below freezing all winter.

If there were a Culver’s in Tuscaloosa I would be ecstatic and I know many other people would be too. I would no longer feel left out when my sister calls from home to tell me she is going through the Culver’s drive-thru after school. I could ease my cravings for a chocolate concrete with marshmallow crème and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups without having to wait until winter break. A Culver’s would quickly become a favorite spot for everyone all year long in Tuscaloosa.