Find out where you can get squeaky cheese curds even when you don't live in Wisconsin. Learn about what makes them squeaky and why that is important.
This blog post is sponsored by Cheese Brothers.
What comes to mind when I say "cheese curds"?
Does it bring you back to your childhood growing up in Wisconsin, snacking on delicious curds that squeaked with every bite? Or maybe you have been traveling and picked up a bag of fresh curds at a cheese shop right by the interstate?
Maybe you've seen trendy photos of poutine - French fries topped with gravy and morsels of cheese.
Whatever your story is, you are probably here today looking to find the squeaky cheese curds of your dreams that you are currently denied while living in a cheese curd desert.
🧀 What are Cheese Curds?
For those that may not be familiar with cheese curds or simply don't know what they actually are, let me explain.
Cheese curds are small, bite sized pieces of fresh cheese. They come in an irregular shape. They are either yellow or orange in color. If they are orange in color it comes from adding annatto seed to the cheese.
🙋 How are Cheese Curds Different?
They do not go through the aging process. They are meant to be enjoyed as a fresh product. It use to be something that just the cheesemaker enjoyed but they caught on and have been growing in popularity.
The great thing for the cheesemaker is that unlike cheeses that have to be aged for months or years, curds are made and are immediately ready to sell. That's money to their pockets faster.
🐭 What Makes Cheese Curds Squeaky?
It's all about the protein. When cheese is freshly made, the proteins are tight. When you bite into them, they "bounce back". It's like pulling on a rubber band. The cheese hits your teeth and makes a squeaky sound.
Temperature plays a role as well. There is more squeak to a cheese curd that is at room temperature than cold.
Why would you care about curds being squeaky? Maybe you just like the sound. The real reason you should care is that it's a sign of freshness. You see, cheese curds only squeak for a short time after they are made. The proteins break down. Typically within 5 days the squeakiness of the cheese will dissipate.
I have heard that freezing the cheese curds can prolong their squeak. But I have never been able to resist a bag of cheese curds long enough to test this theory!
💡 Pro Tip - Always eat your cheese curds when they are at room temperature. The flavor will be better. If you can't wait that long, you could microwave them for a few seconds to get the chill off.
🛒 Where to Buy
If you are in Wisconsin, it's hard not to find them. The fresh curds are everywhere. Some supermarkets like Woodman's get them delivered a couple of times a week. They are just sitting on on a display not even refrigerated.
Outside of Wisconsin, it's quite a bit harder to find fresh cheese curds. Sure, you will see bags of cheese curds sold at various stores, but they aren't going to have that fresh flavor and they have a rubbery texture. They taste more like mild cheddar that has been cut into bite sized pieces - some might actually be that. Still delicious but not what you are looking for.
Since you are probably here looking for where to buy them when you aren't in Wisconsin, then I have a great suggestion for you - Cheese Brothers out of Barron, WI
I decided to test out Cheese Brothers ability to ship cheese curds across the country. When I was at my mother in law's house in California, I ordered some cheese curds from their website. I was wondering if they could ship their cheese curds across the country and have them arrive still squeaky.
When the package arrived, I immediately broke into the box to taste the curds. My ears were delighted to hear that squeaky sound. And it was loud! My wife could hear it as I was eating the curds. There was a small amount of liquid in the bag, another sign you are getting fresh curds.
The flavor was fresh, similar to fresh mozzarella. The texture was springy. The curds were seasoned well with the right amount of salt. I just adored them. I was glad I had ordered 2 bags, because that first one didn't last until the end of that day.
📦 Cheese Brothers shipping info - Everyday they ship a limited amount of cheese curds. It's important to them that the curds are being shipped fresh. Here is what they say - "We take care to protect the integrity of your cheese in transit. Our vacuum-sealed, hard cheeses are safe outside of refrigeration in transit. If temperatures are above 60 degrees in your location, we ship in insulated boxes with gel ice packs to protect". They will ship anywhere in the United States.
I was very pleased with my order. I also picked up their Fratello, Havarti, String Cheese (seriously the best ever!), and Rhapsody.
➕ More Cheese Posts
Here are some more posts on the blog on the subject of cheese.