When people think of food made in Wisconsin, beer and cheese usually top the list, but there’s a tasty addition you need to add: Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Kringle from Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe in De Pere.
Kringles were first made in Denmark in the 13th century before spreading to neighboring countries and Scandinavia. The pastry is often served as part of a breakfast or brunch and is especially popular around holidays.
Brittni Vande Walle, customer service manager for Uncle Mike’s, describes Kringle as a Danish pastry made from laminated dough. Each Kringle has 36 layers of dough and butter that form a buttery, flaky pastry. It can then be filled with a variety of products including pecans, sugar and cinnamon, and fruit, such as apples and cherries, and formed into a traditional pretzel shape.
“We make a cheater pretzel so none of the dough overlaps,” she says.
If that isn’t enough to make your mouth water, Uncle Mike’s Kringle dough is made with European-style butter that gives it an exceptional taste.
In 2018, the indulgent Kringle was named the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin in the annual contest presented by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, following in the steps of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle from Oshkosh Corp. and the Milwaukee Eight Engine from Harley-Davidson.
“We wanted to make the best Kringle there was, so we redid our research to see how they were doing it back in Denmark in the 1800s, created the pretzel shape and used all European-style butter, and it ended up winning the best in North America,” says Mike Vande Walle of Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe.
In addition to winning the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, Uncle Mike’s Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Kringle won the North American Kringle Competition in 2014.
— MaryBeth Matzek