Even if you’re a huge fan of cheese, chances are you’ve never tried cheese curds. Cheese curds are the solid parts of soured milk, either eaten alone or used in regional recipes, mainly in Canada and the Midwest of the United States. The locals call it “squeaky cheese,” because it literally squeaks against your teeth as you eat it.
Cheese curds are usually found only in areas where cheese is made, because it is at its best when it’s freshly made. American varieties are usually yellow or orange, colored much like cheddar cheese, though you can find uncolored curds as well.
My first taste of cheese curds came from an airport store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as I was traveling to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to visit the in-laws.
But now, you can find cheese curds here in our area…and closer to home means fresher curds.
Our friends at Simmons organic farm in Middletown, RI make their own organic goat cheese from milk they get from their own goats. And every once in a while, Karla and Mark treat us customers to cheese curds as well. They are awesome and worth asking for.
Meanwhile, in Westport, Mass, the Shy Brothers farm, makers of those delicious thimble-shaped Hannabel cheeses, also have their own cheese curds, which I find occasionally at Lee’s Market in Westport. Worth a look the next time you’re there.
Whether you eat them by themselves–and they are addictive–or add them to a recipe (most famously used in that classic Canadian dish, Poutine, featuring french fries, brown gravy and cheese curds) cheese curds are something you have got to try.
With the home garden in full swing, we enjoy freshly sliced tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and crumbled cheese curds. Or, we take fresh corn on the cob, drizzle a little fresh lime juice on it, and then crumble curds on top. Fantastic!