Last week, just a few hours after I published my experience with List Item #79, several of my friends and family chimed in to share their POV on cheese curds. One friend explained that I hadn’t actually completed the challenge, as cheese curds are meant to be eaten raw, not deep fried. A family member seconded this opinion, and said that if I wanted to experience a really tasty cheese curd, I should travel to a farm in Wisconsin and eat their fresh curds. Another family member seconded that perspective, and gave me further instruction about precisely how I should eat the curds (“eat them at a little cooler than room temperature if not at room temp”). Yes, native residents of this area have some definite thoughts and feelings about the topic of cheese curds – who knew I was embarking on such a controversial issue? Clearly my work with cheese curds is not finished; looks like I have some more tasting to do…
I didn’t want to drive 90 minutes one way just to sample cheese; fortunately, the Wisconsin farm’s website let me know that they sell their premium curds at local upscale grocery stores. So this afternoon, instead of driving 3 hours, I hopped in my car and drove 30 minutes to pick up a small bag of nearly farm-fresh curds:
Per the guidance of my sister-in-law, I tasted the curds both slightly chilled as well as at room temperature. To ensure I appeased all sides of the various cheese curd camps, I also ate the curds very cold (i.e., straight from the refrigerator).
In reading the curd’s packaging, I saw that the farm recommends microwaving the little cheese nuggets for 5-10 seconds, and eating them warm.
I had no idea this task would be so complex! I went ahead and tried the curds that way as well. At the end of the tasting, I definitely had my fill of cheese curds. 🙂
Yet the obvious question remains: What did I think?
Consumed cold, the curds tasted like a dense version of a slightly salty string cheese. At room temp, the curds tasted like a very good mild white cheddar cheese. When eaten warm, the saltiness of the curds was incredibly obvious – and the texture of the curds changed, too: they squeaked inside my mouth! (So that’s what people mean when they talk about “squeaky cheese” – who knew?) I did not/do not like the sensation of cheese squeaking in my mouth – but at least I know the product is aptly named. 🙂
Of all the different conditions I have now eaten cheese curds, I can confidently say that my favorite way to eat this novel food is ‘raw’ (not fried), at room temperature. I’m also quite sure that I have had enough cheese curds for the foreseeable future. [Thank goodness my sweetie likes cheese, too.] I’m now considering this challenge officially, totally fulfilled! 🙂