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Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

All About Cheese Curds

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All About Cheese CurdsIf you’re not from the Upper Midwest of the US or Eastern Canada, it’s possible you’ve never heard of “cheese curds.”

What are they? In short, bits of fresh, unaged, cheese, snatched from the cheese making at the earliest stage possible. They are eaten fresh, fried, atop the national Canadian snack “poutine,” and in the Indian dishes, it is known as paneer.

Fresh and fried are the way you’ll see them most often in the Midwest. I think the fresh ones are pretty much the same in taste and texture, unless they are “flavored” as some companies are busy doing (dill, red pepper, garlic, etc). Some people refer to fresh curds as “squeaky cheese” as the bits make a slight noise when you’re chewing them.

At retail, they’re sold in bags larger than you need, usually around a pound.  It’s unusual to run into smaller containers, but you may, on occasion.

When you get into the business of deep frying them, with a breading, that’s where quality, taste and texture can vary widely. Some end up like those awful fried cheese appetizers in bars, with that fake bright yellow nacho cheese crap inside.

The good ones, the really good ones, like at Milwaukee Burger Company, are offered to you with your choice of cheese, and a light yet crispy breading that may well be rice flour. They are breaded and cooked to order and are fantastic.

I picked up a mini pack of fresh, made by Jim’s Cheeses of Waterloo, WI.  Bought them at the world’s largest purveyor of Wisconsin cheeses (so they say), Wisconsin Cheese Mart in downtown Milwaukee.

White Cheddar with Peppers.  Tell you the truth, didn’t notice the word “Peppers” or would have looked for something else.  These were $3.50, so that comes out to $16 + per pound. Spendy.  But tasty.

All About Cheese Curds

Curds. Curds. Curds.

 

 

 

 

All About Cheese Curds

All About Cheese Curds

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Wisconsin State Fair Food Stand Pictorial

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Whereas some State Fairs focus on the agricultural aspects of a state, displaying animals and farm implements galore, the Wisconsin State Fair seems to exist solely for mile after mile of food stands for the pleasure of roaming cheese heads. You’ll get no complaint from me.

Sure, there were the usual animal farms, cows, sheep, chickens, rabbits, but the horde of Packer Backers seemed more interested in what those animals would look like roasted at the end of a stick, than whether they won a blue ribbon as the fluffiest….fattest…..prettiest……….whatever….

Did take in the 4H fashion show, where members showed off fashion creations. Good effort by the young ladies. And hung around to watch a few people hurl on the “ejector seat’ ride, and later, took in the Happy Together music tour (see separate post).

But as for the food? Fun. Tasty. Superb. Disappointing. Expensive. Cheap. The fair runs through one more week, in West Allis, WI. Catch it if you can, or head to Iowa’s starting next week, or Minnesota’s at the end of the month!

Here’s some of the highlights:

 

Bacon Wrapped Fried Tater Tots on a Stick

Bacon Wrapped Fried Tater Tots on a Stick

 

Portk Chop on a Stick

Port Chop on a Stick

 

Fresh cold Wisconsin milk, 25 cents a glass

Fresh cold Wisconsin milk, 25 cents a glass

 

Don't you wish you lived with the donut family?


Farm fresh (?) Catfish

Farm fresh (?) Catfish

 

Sausage on a stick

Sausage on a stick

 

The Pork Stand

The Pork Stand

 

Italian Sausage from "Sal's"

No one in line for fruits and vegetables!

No one in line for fruits and vegetables!

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