Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
When you hear the words cheese curds this classic children's nursery rhyme comes to mind. Well, Little Miss Muffet was definitely onto something because cheese curds are an exquisite treat, especially when you make them yourself.
What Are Cheese Curds?
Curds are the solids obtained from the cheesemaking process before the actual cheese is formed into blocks or rounds. The curds are firm like cheese, but a little spongier in texture.
How To Make Cheese Curds: What You'll Need
The process of making cheese curds is very similar to that of making queso fresco.
While queso fresco requires only milk and an acidifying ingredient like vinegar, making cheese curds will require a few more ingredients: calcium chloride, thermophilic culture and rennet. Each of these is added at different intervals so you end up with perfectly ‘squeaky’ cheese curds (yes, squeaky is a good thing).
Here’s a wonderful video from Chefsteps detailing how to make cheese curds using a sous vide machine, but the process can easily be replicated using a pot on the stovetop along with a thermometer.
What To Make With Cheese Curds
Now, what are you going to do with all those delicious cheese curds? One tasty option is to coat them in flour and fry them until golden, as is commonly done in Wisconsin. Try this recipe with a spicy kick:
Or you could go the Canadian route and make poutine, a dish featuring french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Here’s how to make it: