Crunchy on the outside, warm cheesy goodness on the inside – that's what makes the fried cheese curd practically perfect in every way.
Made from the freshest of fresh cheese, fried cheese curds are a true Wisconsin tradition. While we also love our cheese curds plain and squeaky there's something truly soul-satisfying about deep-fried cheese.
In Wisconsin, you'll find fried cheese curds at every diner, bar, and bowling alley across the state. People here often order "burgers and curds" – french fries take a backseat when fried cheese curds are on the table.
Cheese curds are made to be eaten fresh, usually the same day they're made. You rarely find them outside of towns where cheese is made – which is why you find them everywhere in Wisconsin – even at local gas stations and convenience stores! It's one of the unexpected perks of living in a state where you can't throw a rock without hitting a family-owned farm and cheese factory.
Here's our best advice on serving fried cheese curds:
Seriously, fried cheese curds are easy to serve and hard to stop eating, and there's always a rush to get them before they're gone.
Unlike other cheeses, we don't really talk about pairing fried cheese curds with the right beverage or charcuterie – it's more about deciding whether to order a couple of glasses or a whole pitcher of beer to help wash the fried cheese down.
A fried cheese curd is a morsel of newly made cheese that has been breaded and deep fried in oil until the outside is a crisp golden brown and the inside is a warm cheesy goo.
While all Wisconsin cheese starts as Wisconsin cheese curds we typically enjoy plain curds of the cheddar cheese variety. The milk is coagulated with rennet to separate the solid curd from the liquid whey. The curd is heated and cut into blocks, then stacked and turned repeatedly to press out more moisture (that's parts called "cheddaring".) The curd is then cut into little pieces and salted to help retain moisture.
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Why, you ask, is Wisconsin the center of the fried cheese curd universe?
Well, we produce more cheese curds than anywhere else in the world – but that's not the reason. And Wisconsinites consider fried cheese curds to be like water – something you need every day – but that's it not either.
Wisconsin is the fried cheese curd capital because we're committed to producing more flavors and varieties of cheese than anywhere else in the world. About one quarter of America's cheese and nearly half of all specialty artisan cheese is made in Wisconsin. We're the only state where cheesemakers must have a license, and the only place on earth outside of Switzerland with a Master Cheesemaker program.
And awards? Well, we've won a few…okay, 5,552 to be exact. While we've actually more awards than any other state or country in the world, it's not really like us to get all fist-pump-y about it, so it's still something of a secret. For you, when you're shopping for cheese, all it really means is this: whether it's a fried cheese curd or a thick slice of a hand-rubbed, cellar-cured artisan cheddar blue, if it's a Wisconsin cheese, it's the best there is.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.