I'm Eating What?! Wisconsin Cheese Curds
What, exactly, is a curd, you ask?
Photo by Riki Altman
version of cheese that sounds unappealing but has almost reached the
status of "Official Snack of the Badger State." Some of the state's
inhabitants and neighbors are pretty damned smitten with the stuff, and we
had to find out why.
to check out the EAA Airshow, partially because we heard it's a hoot
and partially because, hell, there was nothing else to do over the
our first curd sighting, though the critters were hidden away in a
cooler and priced at a less-than-appealing $10 per bag. [By the way,
that's pronounced "BAY-yag" by the locals.] Curiosity almost lead to an
impulse purchase, but then
"Hey, dumbasses! You know crap in airport shops is always triple the
price. Put it down!" So we obeyed.
chance we had to try cheese curds in public came soon enough when we hit
the hotel's restaurant. There they were on the menu: fried original or
fried jalapeño cheese curds. We had to get both. But first, we
asked our waitress exactly what a cheese curd is. "It's cheddar that
hasn't been processed," she explained. We assumed that meant it would be
more flavorful and soft. Wrong-ola.
Cheese curds are random-shaped bits of cheese that are saltier, less flavorful, and firmer than the stuff you buy at a supermarket. This firmness makes them kinda squeak against the teeth as an unsuspecting diner bites down... which, truthfully, isn't the most appealing sensation. But hey, anything fried can be edible, right?
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