Sunday, November 18, 2007

squeaking with pleasure

Mr. Tart and I are heading up to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for Thanksgiving with my extended family. The festivities will include a tremendous dinner for the nearly 30 of us expected at my parents' house, the Packers game on Thanksgiving day, of course (no Macy's parade viewing for this crowd), my cousins' annual "Miles Standish Day" steak meal on Thanksgiving Eve, and oh joy! that squeaky orange delicacy done best in the dairy state, cheese curds.
If I wasn't certain that my husband really, genuinely likes my parents, I would suspect that he agrees to accompany me on our pilgrimages to the midwest solely for the cheese curds.
They're best still warm from the, well, wherever it is that they make cheese curds--but they're just about as good from the refrigerator the next day. They're springy when you bite them and they squeak between your teeth when they're fresh; they taste of the essence of a rich, mild cheddar. As much as I love my stinky unpasteurized French cheese, I delight in cheese curds too.
Bonus: Unlike those forbidden stinky unpasteurized French fromages, Wisconsin cheese curds are not off limits to pregnant women!
And guess what? It turns out that some restaurants in the Green Bay area fry them! Exquisitely soft and creamy inside, protected by a golden brown crunch that leaves a slick memory on your fingers, the deep-fried cheese curd is addictive and comforting. No previously frozen, mass-produced mozzarella stick could ever compare. The deep-fried cheese curd only lacks its fresh counterpart's beguiling squeak (once described by the New York Times as "balloons trying to neck").
Mom and Dad will have cheese curds waiting for us when we get off the airplane tomorrow--but will we have a chance to eat fried curds during our short holiday visit?

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Blogger lis said...

There's a cheese company here in Utah that makes pretty great cheese curds and there's a cheese shop somewhere down south where a lot of people stop on their way to the desert. I never do, but maybe I should! Maybe it's even on the way to Boulder--I should find out and then you could stop by on your way to the wedding. The deep fried cheese curds sound fabulous. You should definitely make time to get some.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Oh how I love cheese curds, so delicate and squeaky and salty. And let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've had a poutine - fries topped with curds and gravy. Mmm mmm.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I'd love to try Utah curds, Lis! I've occasionally seen Colorado curds at farmers' markets around here, but very, very pricey.

Judy, I've heard of this Quebecois specialty, and even though it sounds a little over-the-top, friends and colleagues tell me it's delicious! Tara, did you try any poutine when you were in Montreal this year?

11:37 AM  
Anonymous VegeYum @ A Life (Time) of Cooking said...

Wow i have never heard of this. Is it different to the curd when you separate milk into the curd and whey? It sounds delicious.

Oh, I have just recalled seeing goat curd in the markets here, and it is delicious. Is this the same thing? It is wonderfully creamy but not squeaky.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I think it's that very same curd that occurs in the separation portion of the cheese-making process. I don't know about goat curd, though. Maybe it's the same thing, but not squeaky because goat cheeses are generally too soft to produce anything squeakable?

9:22 AM  
Blogger this chickadee said...

ah, the fried cheese curd. a wisconsin delicacy. on our visit in october, your mom and i introduced eric to these delightful little morsels. he's a changed man.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

chickadee--I'll be posting about the cheese curds at Curly's pub soon!

9:43 PM  

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