Nibble, munch, graze, nosh. If you’re looking for a snack (and really, who isn’t) nothing beats the convenience and fun of the humble cheese curd.
What's a curd? Here’s the quick story: curds form when milk is coagulated, or thickened. Curds are placed in sieve-like containers (called forms) and as the extra liquid (whey) is squeezed out, the block or wheel of cheese takes shape. There’s more to it - like floating in brine and smearing and aging - but that’s for another day.
So who decided that it would be a good idea to simply chomp on fresh curds and not bother with the additional work and waiting for the cheese to age? Probably the same type of person who eats the dough instead of actually baking cookies.
The characteristic “squeak” as you bite into a curd is the official seal of freshness. (FYI – a squeakless curd can promptly be restored to good standing with a quick zap in the microwave.)
You’ll find fresh curds, in both Muenster and Cheddar, at many locations around Green County.
Insider tip: visit on the designated days for the ‘freshest of the fresh’ when curds are often still warm from the factory vat: Decatur Dairy – Monday thru Saturday; Brennan’s Market – Tuesday & Thursday; Alp and Dell Cheese Store – Wednesday; Silver Lewis – Monday thru Saturday; Maple Leaf Cheese Store – Thursday.