Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 700 : Curds. Snap. Crackle. Pop.

After reading the Wall Street Journal's article on Sid Cook and Wisconsin's Carr Valley Cheese Company, and learning that they distribute over 3,000 pounds of cheese curds a day, I got to thinking it might be fun to examine these noisy little buggers that are a classic Midwestern football snack.

Ever bite into a cheese curd and jump back a few feet because it squeaks? Wonder why it squeaks?

Well that's because as cheese coagulates, curd is formed that can be separated into little morsels before the cheese is pressed into blocks-- young little bites of newly formed cheese. Trapped within each bite of the springy porous cheese is air which when one bites into it causes that classic squeak. The squeak however is only present when the curds are very young, no more than a day or two old. As curds get older, they dry out and loose their inherent moisture and crispness. Younger curds are mild in flavor profile with a light salty side yet somewhat smooth and creamy -- satisfying little morsels of cheesy goodness. Curds are traditionally crafted with the by-products of cheddar cheese production, but you can find mozzarella, colby, and monterey jack curds as well.

So what do you do with the curds? Besides eat them and enjoy their squeak?

If you live in Wisconsin or other areas of the Midwest, you probably beer batter and deep fry them and serve them with a cold beer during a football game. If you live in Quebec, you might recognize them in the classic Canadian dish, poutine -- french fries topped with cheese curds, brown gravy, and occasionally a melange of other ingredients. Or you can always go the simple straight forward route and just serve them plain or perhaps dusted with herbs as an hors d'oeuvre.

You can find them in Manhattan definitely at Beecher's Cheese and Saxelby Cheesemongers, however I reckon if you inquire at other cheese purveyours, you will discover that they have them available.

Curious about the article on Sid Cook and Carr Valley Cheese, here's a link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203462304577138711225918048.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive