Deep Fried Cheese Curds 2 - feature

Deep Fried Cheese Curds

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C’mon world.

You don’t make it easy on full-time wanderers who are eager to taste your wares yet simultaneously trying to control their waistlines. You smothered us with pasta in Italy, tempted us with chocolate baklava in Turkey, and talked us into four dumplings for a dollar in New York.

Impassioned travelers everywhere will shout that in order to understand the culture, you must taste and understand the food. We can’t not agree.

And when we announced we were coming to Wisconsin, a chorus erupted from readers and friends alike that we *must* try deep fried cheese curds – that it was *thee* local staple that needed to be consumed in order to get a real taste of Wisconsin.

It’s cheese by-product (curds). Smothered in batter. Deep fried in oil.

Despite the internal protest, as genuine pursuers of world cuisine, try we must.

We pulled on our stretchy pants, and got to the fryin’.

We’re no strangers to cheese curds, used to them being tossed on crispy french fries and smothered with beefy gravy. They’re known as “squeaky cheese”, and are a bit rubbery in texture.

The batter was like any used for such battered things: onion rings, etc. Getting the curds completely covered and then into the hot oil was a bit of a messy undertaking, but I don’t suppose that the appearance of this dish is what is important.

Making Batter Cheese Curds
Raw Cheese Curds


Cheese Curds deep frying


The finished product was about as I expected.

Deep Fried Cheese Curds

They were tasty, no doubt, albeit the cheese was a little more bitter than I thought it would be, and we could have really used some marinara sauce for dipping. While anything involving the words “cheese” and “fried” I could typically never imagine turning down, it had been a long time since I had eaten anything like this. After sampling a couple, I felt quite sick.

Deep Fried Cheese Curds and Quinoa Salad(I turned my attention instead to the carefully prepared side dish, a healthy quinoa salad. Can’t imagine that these two items exist together on any menu throughout Wisconsin, but it did provide the balance I needed after the greasy cheesiness.)

We’re not sure how much more of this we can take. If anyone knows of a country that lists celery or fruit salad as their celebrated local cuisine, please let us know. That one will be swiftly bumped to the top of our *must* see/taste list.


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  1. I just cannot get on board with deep fried cheese curds! It makes me kinda sad that deep fried cheese curds is all Wisconsin is known for, I’d rather drink the beer!

  2. Woa! And I thought there was nothin’ better than squeaky cheese curds (fondly remembered from my years living along the Oregon coast), and now you tell me…

    Holey smokes! To DEEP FRY them with batter has GOT to be HEAVEN on EARTH!

    Just sign me,

    Drooling in Vietnam…

  3. So it is poutine, but fried?? Wow, that sounds crazy. I like fried too, but that really would make me sick I fear. Neat to be trying local things as you travel though. I guess in some ways that is just as strange as live bugs or whatever elsewhere in the world.

    1. Not all poutine, but just the cheese curds that go on poutine. There are lots of crazier things out there, surely, but we do our best to try them all (or, I make Pete try them if I deem it too gross! 🙂 )

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