The first thing you need to know about me is:
I like cheese.
I mean, I really like cheese. And I’m not talkin’ Velveeta and Kraft Singles (does anyone eat that stuff?). I have a book, in French, of the 300+ kinds of cheese in France, and yes, I intend to try them all.
So it should be no surprise to you that when I visit my BFF, Rachel, in Wisconsin, cheese is always on the menu.
Curds Three Ways
Let me introduce you to the humble curd.
The curd, while being a byproduct of the cheese production process, is anything but the redheaded stepchild (my apologies to all redheaded stepchildren of the world. I did not make up this analogy.) The curd has a slightly different taste from the cheese. Slightly tangy. And there’s always a squeak when you bite into it and your teeth slide into the rubbery magic.
All of this adds to the allure of the curd for me. Whenever Rachel visits, she brings me a big bag of curds (and cheese whips. Those are also magical like unicorns.).
Typically I just pop them into my mouth, but since I was visiting her in Wisconsin this time, I took the opportunity to eat lots and lots of fried cheese curds to fulfill my cheese in Wisconsin quota. They’re battered, sometimes with beer, and deep fried. You can’t go wrong.
We had yellow fried cheese curds.
We had white fried cheese curds.
We even had goat fried cheese curds.
My friends back in health-conscious San Diego are in shock right now, I believe.
But hey, when in Rome, you eat cheese curds (isn’t that how the saying goes?).
But Wait. There’s More Cheese in Wisconsin
Rachel lives in Appleton but grew up in Stevens Point (or, Point, if you’re cool). I’ve been to Point several times, and on each visit, we went to Arbuckles Eatery and Pub (“Home of the Marathon Beer!”) for one thing and one thing only.
Italian cheese fries.
Let me paint you a picture: thin pizza crust slathered with pounds of cheese. Pounds. Rachel said it, so it must be true. You dip your stick into marinara, and let the gooey unctuousness of the cheese stretch from the stick to your face. You are in heaven.
I ordered a salad too. I did. But it paled in comparison to carbs slathered with cheese.
Then Some Cheese for the Road
It’s funny; Rachel asked what museum-type touristy things I wanted to do on this trip so that I could blog about them. Clearly, I don’t need museums to find something interesting to write about when there’s cheese!
No trip to Wisconsin is complete without a visit to one of the many cheese shops. Think: Target sized, but everything’s cheese. Giant supermart of cheese. Do you get the picture?
We usually go to Simon’s Specialty Cheese. I’m embarrassed to say how much I spent this trip, but hey: it wasn’t all cheese, and I did get a lot of gifts. Including this shirt for myself:
Simon’s sells curds, whips, Gouda, Mozzarella, and Cheddar — even Super Sharp, which I didn’t know was a thing — as well as various and sundry gifts and accessories. Need a giant cheese hat? This is the place to get one. Here’s Max several years ago. He hates cheese. The face is appropriate.
I’m in cheese heaven in Wisconsin, and for the weeks after, as I work my way through the piles of cheese that I’ve brought home!