While in Madison, Wisconsin, The Lady ate Cheese Curds at least once a day and attended an ACS Session about Cheese Curds. Curds, especially those of the fresh and fried persuasion, are on every restaurant menu and the good folks of Wisconsin line up at creameries throughout the state to get these fresh, squeaky babies every morning while they are still warm…
No place has better cheese curds than Ellsworth, Wisconsin, the “Cheese Curds Capital of Wisconsin”, as proclaimed by Wisconsin Governor, Anthony Earl, in 1984.
The Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery was formed in 1910 to make and sell butter. In 1966, they began making cheese and two years later added packaged cheese curd production to their line-up. Today, Ellsworth manufactures 160,000 pounds of cheese curds everyday. Yes, that’s every day. Their premium quality milk comes from their 490 dairy family farm members.
Cheese curds are big around here at the manse; we’ve had curds from Tillamook and Beecher’s; The Lady tasted several more varieties while in Madison including some made by our good friend, Kerry Henning, whom I interviewed last year.
The Lady brought home three flavors of curds made by the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. The Man was a swooning fool and I wasn’t much better… little morsels of cheese that squeak and then melt in your mouth. If I had lips, I would kiss these curds…
As with any cheese tasting, our “Cheese Curds Flight” began with the mildest of the three; the “Natural” with no added flavors. The taste was milky, like fresh milk with a bit of salt; the wondrous beginnings of cheese. As you might expect, both The Lady and I had to fight The Man more than two falls out of three to get our fair share… I suppose at some point, we must face the fact that at his age he’s not going to change and we just have to accept that he’s selfish about certain things… such as cheese curds, bed covers… but I digress.
Next up were the curds flavored with Ranch Dressing. These were my favorite, with the tang of buttermilk adding more lactic goodness to the curds. The herbs and spices give these curds a nice finish. AND if you dip them in Ranch Dressing, it’s like a Super Bowl Party in your mouth.
The last flavor in our Curds Flight was Cajun, The Lady’s favorite. Enough spice to make them interesting but not too much to over-power the goodness of the curds.
I give all three flavors of Ellsworth Cheese Curds 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
If you live anywhere near Ellsworth, Wisconsin, you can buy their fresh curds everyday at their Creamery Store. They are also available across country at select grocery stores.
Cheese Curd Tip: Cheese Curds only squeak when they are fresh. If it’s more than a couple days after their make, you can bring the squeaking back by popping them into the microwave for a few seconds, but only once… and too long in the microwave and you have cheese curd dip…