Wisconsinites are downright passionate about their cheese curds. Some prefer fresh while others prefer fried. However, even within those two camps there are subtle taste preferences.
When it comes to fried curds, some like lightly battered curds while others maintain that a thick breading is the way to go. Fresh curd aficionados will tell you that straight from the vat is best! Cheese curds are like bakery products: day old is fine, but past that, fresh curds need a little extra help. (Tip: Three to five seconds in the microwave should revive their squeak a bit!)
Purists prefer plain curds and radicals choose flavored varieties. Nevertheless, fresh or fried, cheese curds are one of the best reasons to live (or vacation!) in Wisconsin.
In fact, we so love our cheese curds that we regularly celebrate our passion for curds at events and festivals across the state. One of my favorites is Curdfest, which is coming up Sunday, Aug. 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Warner Park Duck Pond in Madison. The whole family can partake in this one with fun kids’ activities, great music, plus contests and more. The best part? It’s free admission!
In addition to super awesome festivals, Wisconsin boasts its fair share of food carts and food trucks that specialize in these tasty fried morsels. And let’s be honest: No grocery or convenience store would be caught without bags of cheese curds for its hungry shoppers. (Can you imagine a store without curds? The horror!) Add to that all of the creative “Cheese Curd Crawls” that have been popping up across the state. Leave it to Wisconsinites to invent a way to sample the different varieties of fried cheese curds within their local cities. Now that’s a movement we can get behind!
When it comes to fried curds, most restaurants and drinking establishments have curds on the menu. A few of my favorites include the brie curds at Pier 500 in Hudson, the bacon-wrapped cheese curds at Pogreba Restaurant in La Crosse and the beer battered cheese curds at The Old-Fashioned in Madison.
As for fresh curds, check out Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery in Ellsworth and Scray Cheese in De Pere.
Lucky for us Wisconsinites, we’re never too far from the cheese we desire whether fresh or fried!