Five Midwestern foods I miss

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While Utah has some delicious food, sometimes I really miss the comfort foods from Iowa (Photo Courtesy of Michelle Caldwell- Pierce)

When I moved from Iowa to Utah, I was introduced to a variety of new foods. But with that variety came great sacrifice, because I had to give up all my favorite foods, which can only be found in Iowa and the Midwest. These include fried cheese curds, Casey’s Breakfast Pizza, Zombie Burgers and so much more. In my 17 years of living in the Midwest, you could say I became an expert on the best Midwestern foods.

Fried Cheese Curds

Fried cheese curds are breaded cheddar cheese deep fried into a warm, tasty appetizer that can be dipped in ranch dressing. I have my dad to thank for my addiction to cheese curds. When I was little, he would take me to a restaurant, and we would always have chicken wings and fried cheese curds.

When I first moved to Utah and would say I was craving cheese curds, everyone assumed I meant normal cheese curds, which are way healthier for you. Thankfully, I have found fried cheese curds in Utah at A&W. The Ogden and Salt Lake City locations have them, so this hasn’t been as much of a sacrifice as other foods.

Casey’s General Store Breakfast Pizza

Since I moved to Utah, I have been begging my parents to mail me a frozen breakfast pizza from Casey’s General Store. Breakfast pizza has a cheese sauce, eggs, bacon, sausages or veggies with cheese on top. Breakfast Pizza and chocolate milk used to be my go-to for breakfast.

I’m not the only one who’s a fan of Casey’s General Store Breakfast Pizzas. Recently in an article in Iowa’s biggest newspaper, The Des Moines Register, actress Mila Kunis, whose boyfriend Ashton Kutcher is from Iowa, mentioned one of her favorite foods is Casey’s General Store Breakfast Pizza.

Zombie Burger

This one-of-a-kind burger restaurant is located on Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. Between the atmosphere, décor and food, this is one place I miss for more than just the food.

When you first walk in, you’re handed a fake newspaper about what is going on in the zombie apocalypse. The walls are covered with posters featuring popular movies given a zombie twist, as well as two zombie mannequins that you can take photos with. The menu has uniquely named food with even more unique food combinations.

My favorite burger is called “Trailer Trash Zombie Burger.” This burger has American cheese, cheese curds, chicken fried bacon, ranch and fried pickles.

Pork Tenderloins

A pork tenderloin sandwich is breaded, fried pork that is usually the size of a plate and can be found all over Southeastern Iowa. One restaurant that serves traditional Midwestern food and has perfected the pork tenderloin is Culvers. I usually have mine with mayo and cheese, but you really can put anything on them. While the tenderloin should be a meal in and of itself, they usually come with french fries or cheese curds.

Sassy Strawberry

I have not been able to try Cherry Berry because I don’t know how anyone can beat Sassy Strawberry. My aunt, a Utah native, even said Cherry Berry isn’t as good as Sassy Strawberry.

Sassy Strawberry is a frozen yogurt place with many flavors to choose from and every imaginable topping. My favorite non-candy toppings are these little balls called Bobos. They burst fruit juice when you bite into them. Everything is so fresh and tasty that I really can’t imagine a better frozen yogurt place.