Q: Do you know of any place in San Antonio where one can find cheese curds? I’m looking for unfried, just plain cheese curds.
A: You can find cheese curds at several stores around town, including all locations of Sun Harvest. Central Market, 4821 Broadway, offers them on occasion (call 210-368-8600 first), while the folks at Culver’s, 5836 DeZavala, say they will sell them to you uncooked if you like.
At Culver’s, you can order Dairyland Cheese Curds at any time. “Real dairy fresh white and yellow cheddar cheese curds breaded and cooked to a gooey, cheesy golden brown,” its website says. “These curds are made in Wisconsin just for Culver’s!”
For those unfamiliar with them, cheese curds are “the solid parts of soured milk used in various regional dishes, mostly in Canada and the northeastern United States,” according to Wikipedia. Use them quickly because their freshness is fleeting.
I first heard about them in a Quebec dish called poutine, in which french fries are covered with cheese curds and then topped with brown gravy and, as Wikipedia says, “sometimes additional ingredients.” I haven’t tried this regional specialty yet, but here’s a link to a recipe just in case you want to make a batch for yourself.
Most of us know the term curds from the children’s poem, “Little Miss Muffet.” According to the Maple Leaf Cheese package, “Some of us believe Little Miss Muffet and the spider symbolize Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587), and John Knox (1505-1572), a minister who wanted to scare her off the throne due to religious differences. Another story attributes the origin of this nursery rhyme to Dr. Thomas Muffet (1553-1604), an entomologist who wrote the first sciencific catalog of British native insects. It is believed the poem, ‘Little Miss Muffet,’ was written for his stepdaughter, Patience, who, much to Mr. Muffet’s dismay, didn’t like spiders.”
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