If you didn't grow up in a town that had a cheese factory in it or on its outskirts, you probably didn't know what cheese curds were. Then one of your friends or relatives bugged you to try a piece of "squeaky cheese". After that you were hooked. Don't feel bad, we're all in the same squeaky, cheese lovin' boat.
Cheese Curd is, in fact, the first stage of cheddar cheese's life. When curd is separated from its whey, pressed, and then aged it will develop into a mild cheddar, then eventually into a mature sharp cheddar with a denser consistency, unlike the carefree squeak of its youth. But enough about stodgy old sharp cheddar, lets talk about the squeak! The "squeak" noise has a very scientific explanation. At room temperature curds have long coagulated proteins that rub on the enamel of your teeth making the tell tale squeak of a truly fresh curd. As time passes, the curd loses a little of its bounce (don't we all). As the pH of the curd drops, the proteins breakdown and the squeak goes away. So dive right in!
Curd is a regional treat found mostly in Canada and the Northeastern portion of the U.S., like Northern New York State. It can be eaten several ways with the most popular being just as a finger food. Topped with meats such smoked sausage or dipped in mustard or hot pepper jelly, it becomes an appetizer. In the mid west, curds are battered and deep fried as a treat. Being that Heuvelton is sitting so close to the Canadian border, we tend to nestle our curds on a bed of french fries and cover them in a blanket of gravy, otherwise known as Poutine!
So on their own or in a recipe, in the northeast or the southwest, you, too, can delight in our locally made fresh cheddar cheese curds in your own home! Enjoy our traditional "squeaky" treat with your friends and family today!