Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eat cheese or die

A trip to Wisconsin always involves hitting up favorite restaurants and a few trips to the grocery store. There are so many delicious foods we find here that we just don't find in many other places: lefse, beer brats with authentic rye brat buns (speckled with sesame seeds, of course) and tangy kraut, Old Dutch dill pickle chips, Coney Island dogs ... mmmmm!

But everybody knows (right?!) that Wisconsin has the best cheese around, and seeing long aisles hosting a wide variety of cheeses at the local grocery store (including plenty of selection from local dairies) is a bit of a culture shock coming from Costa Rica.

We Wisconsinites love our cheeses and are generally mad for tasty little snacks called cheese curds. There are dairies all over the state, making it possible for us to buy curds when they are best—super fresh! The mark of an ideally fresh curd is the squeak one hears when biting into it. If the curd doesn't squeak, it's past its prime.

We love cold cheese curds, but for a real treat we have 'em batter-fried. The cheese gets all hot and melty inside, and wow, how good! Some places (such as Culver's) bread the cheese curds, and while these are good, they're too much like mozzarella sticks and aren't nearly as tasty as those fried in a light, crispy batter.

Batter-fried cheese curds are a standard at Wisconsin fairs. We recently went to the Interstate Fair in West Salem and saw all sorts of fair goodies. We also toured the many animal barns, and at the end of one of the dairy barns, Dan spotted this message plastered onto a trunk with stickers: eat cheese or die.

We love America's Dairyland!


Kathleen said...

Amen to that!

Jill said...

OmG! You have me so in the mood for cheese now. I am about to raid my fridge and it's only 7:30am.

Justine said...

I've tried the cheese curds from the bag and fried. Fried definitely wins out for me! But hey, just about everything is better when cooked in tons of oil, right?

Justine :o )