My favorite press release so far (and granted, it's only three days into June Dairy Month) is a piece by the state milk marketing board extolling the scientific and nutritional virtues of cheese curds. The release attempts to give consumers specific reasons to eat cheese curds, including:
- Snacking is a popular part of the American diet
- 61 percent of consumers view cheese as a healthy snack
- Curds offer a low carbohydrate, high protein option full of calcium
- Curds offer the ideal combination of flavor, nutrition and convenience
Obviously this press release was written for people who have never had a cheese curd in their life. Because I don't know anyone who buys cheese curds for their nutritional value. I only know people who eat cheese curds because they taste really freakin' good. If I were writing the press release, here's what I would highlight:
- Only buy cheese curds if they are fresh -- anything over a day old just isn't the same. If that means you can't get them where you live, then move to Wisconsin.
- Cheese curds are cheese, so while we may try to pretend they are a super nutritious food, let's face it, they are high in fat but also high in taste. This is why everyone I know has at some point in their lifetime eaten cheese curds until they got physically sick and lived to tell the tale that yes, it WAS worth it.
- Cheese curds are squeaky, fresh and fun to eat. Just remember to pack a toothpick to get out all those little orange pieces of cheese from between your teeth when you're done.
Traditionally, cheese curds were the leftover bonus from a batch of Cheddar that cheesemakers brought home for their children to eat. Today, cheese curds are a staple in the diet of most Wisconsinites. One company - Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery in Ellsworth, Wis., even dedicates their entire cheese production to making cheese curds. The company plans to expand its curd distribution to all 50 states with a new vacuum-seal packaging that extends the shelf life of cheese curds to 14 months. Yikes. I bet they won't be squeaky.
Stick with the fresh cheese curds, people. Because a curd over a day old is just simply a piece of cheddar cheese. And if you can't get fresh cheese curds where you live, then plan a vacation to Wisconsin centered around visiting cheese plants and eating fresh cheese curds straight from the vat -- here's a map. I'd recommend visiting us in June, when we celebrate dairy in all its glory.
Long live the cheese curd!