The door opened slowly, incrementally revealing the tantalizing mysteries inside. The throng gathered just outside of the door pulsed and surged, their peanut-sided brains processing in vain the images provided by their startled eyes, attempting to comprehend what was within their view for the very first time.
Suddenly a milk-curd-ling scream rang out. There, laid before assembled throng, was the cold case. Nay, it was not the CBS television show of the same name that somehow miraculously survived for seven insipid seasons and counting. (Unbelievable, I know.)
No, it was a cold case containing cheese curds.
Somehow the throng finally realized that an open door no longer represented a physical barrier to their progress. Oh yeah, this throng was smarter than your average bear. The surging now assumed a purpose, one of forward movement. Bodies pressed tightly together in the space of the narrow doorway, then a few hardy souls finally made their way inside.
The space was confining, remarkably so, but still they pressed on. The curds were near. Toothpicks were grasped by grubby little fingers and plunged into the offered 33 varieties of curds.
Curds. Just the word itself conjured images of delicious tastiness that recognized no mortal bounds.
I was wary and fearful, but after waiting a few moments, I also moved forward, making my way inside. To my right was a case with 30 different flavors of cheese curds. To my left another case contained three more. Gaping mouths sucked the oxygen out of the room, it was becoming increasingly hard to breath, but it was too late for me now. I, along with the rest of the mob, was swept up in curd fever. I had to have a curd!
What in the name of holy fuck shit is a curd, anyway?
Curds is a dairy product obtained by curdling (coagulating) milk with rennet or an edible acidic substance such as lemon juice or vinegar and then draining off the liquid portion (called whey). (Source: Wikipedia.)
Mmm. That does sound good. (I just threw up a little in my mouth.) Mmm, coagulation.
So it was that I found myself this weekend at a cheese-maker’s establishment sampling curds, 33 different varieties to be exact. Wow. Only 33?
You have to understand one thing: I have never been a “free sample” kind of guy. I avoid the sample stations in the Costco religiously. I have no desire to cram myself in with folks who act like cattle on their way to the feed trough. I’ve been in Costco and I’ve seen the slothy people who brazenly waddle from one station to the next saying, “Gimmie. Gimmie. Gimmie! True, I have absolutely no intention of buying your wares, I don’t even know what it is. But I’ll rudely grab up a sweeping handful of your shit and shove it down my gullet.” True class cannot be faked.
Anyone think I want to sample whatever their filthy little fingers missed and left behind?
So I always avoid free samples. In the grocery store, the Costco, at wine tastings and yes, even at Curds-R-Us.
OK, perhaps I exaggerate a wee skosh in my narrative above. 🙂 And yes, I have to admit, I did sample some curds. But it was annoyingly crowded and the scene irritated me and left me thinking, “If I want some friggin’ curds I’ll just buy ’em, you know?” I’ve been to other cheese factories and it’s the exact same thing.
And unlike some others around me who were thinking “curds curds curds” I actually watched the cheese-making area and listened to the spiel about how they made their cheese. Milk, enzymes, yada yada yada. I felt for the poor workers on the other side of that glass, forced to doing their jobs with idiots like me watching them and drooling. But I actually found it interesting and I remember thinking, “I wonder if I could do that same thing at home?” So I plan to research and learn more about home cheese-making. It might even be fun.
Anyway, the cheese was good. But I have no way of knowing if it was really good or if it was just that I was overtaken by the curd hunger. I think it is a little hard to be objective in that kind of frenzy. But I did enjoy the habanero cheese. It had real bite so we bought something called a “curd village.” That’s a bunch of curds wrapped in a single package, almost indistinguishable from a block of cheese.
By the way, the name of the particular curd reservation we visited was the Loleta Cheese Factory. I highly recommend them for all of your curd needs.
Was this cheese from those contented California cows as seen on tv? Makes me think of that old standard of Little Miss Muffett sat on a tuffett, eating her curds and whey. Did you see any tuffetts? What do they do with the whey? Throw it away? This post obviously raises a lot of questions to be addressed in a future post! Say cheese! 😉
Actually, yes. I distinctly remember saying, “Ah. There must be happy cows nearby!”
Alas, the happy cow lawsuit was thrown out years ago. To be honest, though, most of the cows I saw in the vicinity of Loleta seemed to be on beautiful spacious fields of green pasture. I can only assume they were indeed happy.
The alternate subject line for this post was going to be “Keeping up with the Curdassians.” I went with the line that tickled me the most. 🙂
Strangely enough, I think “whey” was mentioned, but I heard nothing about “tuffets.” LOL!
Curdassians! Hilariously cheesy!
My husband’s family (home of the cheeseheads) comes from the Dairy State Wisconsin, and they don’t think kindly of these California curd upstarts!
The Loleta Cheese Company looks lovely. It reminds me of a very similar place in Tasmania I visited last year. I’ll send you a photo.
It really was a cool place, and full of lots of “character.” The woman who told us about cheese making and served as our curd guide was very cool.
I look forward to seeing the photo!
If you wait until the only things left are that which no one wants, everything becomes free. Here’s to garbage food.
I love me some curds! Maybe it’s because I’ve lived so close to Wisconsin for the past decade, but whatever the case, they are awesome (especially the dill kind).
On a recent episode of Lost (your favorite show, you don’t have to tell me!), Hurley was dreaming about cheese curds right before he woke up. It made me wonder who wrote the line in the script. I believe the girlfriend of the actor who plays Hurley is from Wisconsin, and they were in town visiting over Christmas. Perhaps he, too, has become hooked on the Wisconsin curd!
I was once seated at a dinner party with a man who had just returned to Kansas City from his home state of Wisconsin. Half of his conversation was about cheese curds. Apparently, he loaded up on them. I think he secretly wished he was home eating them and not eating the lovely dinner we were served! It’s no wonder they call themselves cheeseheads/