You can find cheese curds in various forms, including deep-fried and beer-battered. You can also find them tossed over fries, smothered with gravy, and served plain. Regardless of their form, the cheese curd can improve the flavor of any pizza.
So, we’re going back to the origins of cheese curds and how you can enjoy them the best on pizza in this article.
Hence, without further ado, let’s begin knowing how to use cheese curds on pizza.
How Was Cheese Curds Discovered?
The origin of cheese curds is unclear, but it was an unnamed nomad in the Middle East who accidentally made them while pouring milk into a calf's stomach.
When he returned, he looked for the milk he'd poured into the bag and discovered cheese curds instead. You can also use cheese curds on top of authentic Margherita pizza now.
Wisconsin is considered the home of cheese curds, but other states claim to make them as well. Either way, they probably aren't fresh.
Cheesemakers use starter cultures to curd the milk. This process removes the sneaky ingredient from shredded cheese and creates curds and whey. Unlike shredded cheese, made from fresh milk, cheese curds are 100 percent legal in the U.S.
Because they are made with cultured milk, cheesemakers can easily find them at the grocery store, and you can re-squeak them in the microwave for about 15 seconds to bring back their squeak.
What Can You Use Cheese Curds On?
The cheese curds are not only delicious and versatile, but they can also make any pizza taste better. You can heat them up in the microwave or bring them to room temperature. They can also be consumed as a side dish.
The key to cheese curds is to find a pizza recipe that contains these curds. If you don't like cheese curds, you can try other cheese toppings, such as fresh cheese or roasted peppers.
Besides pizza, cheese curds are an excellent addition to salads. They don't run when dressed and don't spread while mixing with other ingredients.
They're also a natural fit for pasta salads and can be paired with salami, olives, and pickled peppers. And for cheese lovers, beer pairs perfectly with these curds. They also go well with burgers.
In addition to being popular on pizza, curds are often used in poutine, a dish of fries topped with cheese gravy. While poutine is perhaps the best-known use of cheese curds, there are other ways to enjoy them. For example, you can season the curds or eat them with ketchup.
How To Make Cheese Curds
When it comes to eating cheese curds, you should keep in mind that the squeakiest ones are those that are fresh. Over time, the protein mesh surrounding the curd begins to loosen, crushing the curd structure.
Unlike other junk foods, curds don't require aging. So, whenever you're craving a cheese snack, be sure to know how to make cheese curd - you'll be glad later.
- First, you must warm fresh pasteurized milk to a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Then, add a mesophilic culture. This culture should be rehydrated for five minutes, then added to the milk.
- After the milk has been steamed for 45 minutes, add calcium chloride while stirring constantly.
- After the curds have reached the correct firmness, they must be drained and milled into squiggly shapes.
- The next step is to saltate and package the cheese curds.
Some people prefer ranch dressing or honey-dijon sauce for dipping sauces. Others like to dip their cheese curds in tartar sauce with dill. You can also use tzatziki sauce to compliment fried cheese curds.
However, if you're a new cheese curd lover, you should start with plain curds and add additional flavors as you go. So, whether it’s a home-baked pizza or an authentic Italian pizza, you can enjoy the cheese curds whenever you want!
Tips On Making Cheese Curds
- Be Patient
The first thing to know about cheese curds is that they're really quite hard to perfect. The process takes approximately four hours to complete, and you'll have a large number of cheese curds to enjoy.
- Choose Fresh Cheese
When it comes to cheese curds, freshness is of the utmost importance. The freshest ones come straight from the cheese factory and are only a few hours old. The "squeaky" test will help you determine whether the cheese curds are fresh or not.
A cheese curd that is older than that will not have the same flavor as fresh ones. Whether you eat them fresh or fried, you'll be glad you did!
- Engage With Its Versatility
While cheese curds are not traditionally eaten raw, they can be prepared as appetizers. Some restaurants even serve them as appetizers. The curds can be deep-fried or beer-battered.
Lakefront Brewpub in Appleton regularly ranks among the best places for cheese curds in the state. The deep-fried ones are typically served with a house-made ranch, which is the perfect combination.
- Check The Squeak
Whenever you go out for cheese curd hunting, there is one way to tell apart the best cheese curds. The tip? The cheese will squeak when you bite into it when they are fresh.
This characteristic is not present in older cheeses, and you can tell by looking at the label. Moreover, it is best to buy fresh cheese when the squeak is the strongest.
- Make Other Dishes
You can also marinate the curds for a day, skewer them with cherry tomatoes, or put them on top of your favorite chili or poutine.
You can also enjoy them plain, without any sauce. They are the perfect snack. There's no shortage of recipes to make cheese curds, and there's nothing better than a homemade cheese curd.
Which Cheese Curds Are Used On Pizza?
Many people want to know, "How are cheese curds used on pizza?" Well, they may not know the history behind the cheesy treat, so let's start by defining cheese curds.
These chunks of aged cheddar are typically sold in a jar as fresh cheese curds. The short shelf-life of these curds means that they bring in more profit than other types of cheese.
Ricotta is another soft and fluffy cheese that is loved for its cloud-like texture and fresh flavor. Several types of milk can be used to make ricotta.
It is unusual among cheeses because it is made from whey or curds, which were leftover from a cheese production process.
Unlike mozzarella, cheddar cheese is not cooked or baked and must be garnished with an herb or vegetable before serving.
Are Cheese Curds Good For Melting?
The question "Are cheese curds good for melting?" is recurring among cheese enthusiasts. The answer to this question is a resounding yes!
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Curds are typically purchased at dairy or supermarkets, but specialty cheese shops sell them. Curds can be served as is, melted, or battered and fried. Besides being delicious, curds also complement many other foods.
In short, the answer to the question, "Are cheese curds good for melting?" depends on how you use them. Some cheese curds can be eaten raw, but others can't be fried. In either case, it's best to serve them at room or slightly lower temperatures than the oil in which they're fried.
You can also try grilling them on a griddle. The grilling method will give cheese curds more stretch than air-fried ones.
How To Melt Cheese Curds
A simple trick is to let the curds come to room temperature first. Once room temperature is reached, they'll be easy to melt and spread. If they're cold, they will become hard and resistant to breakdown by heat.
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But if you're cooking them at an incredibly high temperature, they may constrict quickly. If you're unsure whether a cheese curd can melt or not, you can use a baking sheet to speed up the process.
Another way to enjoy cheese curds on pizza is to use them on a crust. They're great on pizza because they're made fresh. Using fresh cheese gives the crust a distinctive flavor.
But if you're worried about how they'll taste on your pizza, try a few chunks and enjoy! You'll be surprised by the results! And don't forget to make them for a special occasion or top them on authentic Italian pizza right from your home.
Cheese Curds Alternatives
For the most authentic, traditional Italian pizza, use mozzarella cheese. It's made of cow's milk and has a rich taste that complements any topping combination. When adding cheese to your pizza, you can sprinkle it on top before baking or afterward.
Another cheese to try on your pizza is Dutch cheese. This hard cheese has a beautiful bright red wax seal and a delicious, smooth texture. Try it with pulled pork and roasted peppers, or even smoked sausage.
If you're a vegetarian or are lactose-intolerant, you might try goat cheese instead. You can use this on a regular pizza if you don't mind a tangy flavor. And you'll love its smooth texture and mild nutty flavor.
Cheese curds have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture. When freshly picked, they squeak as you bite into them. The proteins in the cheese are still elastic when they're fresh, so they're best eaten right away.
Hence, we hope you have everything you need to know about cheese curds by now. Till the next time, happy feasting and stay with Pizza Bien!
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