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A Beginner’s Guide to Cheese Curds

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Monday, February 22, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
 
If you’ve never been to Milwaukee, you may not know what to expect when you see “cheese curds” on the menu at the local watering hole. If you don’t know, you don’t know what you’re missing – and that simply will not do. This quick crash course in the quintessential Milwaukee bar food will have you confidently ordering a basket of curds next time you find yourself in Milwaukee craving something cheesy, gooey, salty and oh-so delicious.
 
What is a cheese curd anyway?
A cheese curd is a small, fresh, springy piece of cheese. During the cheese-making process, the curds are separate from the whey – these bits of cheese can be pressed into a nice block of cheddar or eaten as-is. Cheese curds are mild and slightly salty, and you can tell they’re fresh when they squeak between your teeth!
 
They actually squeak?
Sure do!
 
Okay…so I’m supposed to eat them raw?
Not necessarily! A squeaky cheese curd is a thing of beauty, but we all know there’s one surefire way to make anything better: deep fry it! Battered and fried cheese curds are a staple of bars, festivals, fairs and pretty much everywhere else in Milwaukee. They’re popularly dipped in ranch, marinara, ketchup…the possibilities are endless!
 
Sounds great! Where can I get a basket of these?
Where can’t you get cheese curds in Milwaukee is probably a better question! (Pro tip: museums generally don't have any.) You’ll find curds on the appetizer menu at many local bars and restaurants, but here are a few recommendations for great places to try this local classic:
  • Clock Shadow Creamery: Get it straight from the source for the ultimate in squeaky cheese. If you want to take a tour, try to come on Wednesday or Friday morning…that’s when they make the curds!
  • Wisconsin Cheese Mart: Order some fried curds for here at the on-site Uber Tap Room, then pick up a few packages to take home with you.
  • Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub: These traditional fried curds (pictured above) are a great introduction to what drives locals crazy for curds.
  • Lakefront Brewery: Served in the brewery's German-style beer hall, these curds are dipped in a beer batter from Lakefront’s own Eastside Dark, a Bavarian dark lager.
  • Dream Dance Steak: Try this upscale take on the classic curd with “cheese curd fritters” topped with tomato jam.
  • The Iron Horse Hotel: Unique tempura-battered curds are on the menu at this boutique hotel's on-site restaurants, Smyth and Branded.
Help us out, locals -- who serves up your favorite cheese curds?
 

 

 
Offbeat Date Ideas

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Monday, February 08, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Laser tag at Bounce Milwaukee

You aren’t the white tablecloth and candlesticks type. You’ve sent (or received) enough red roses to do your own American Beauty impression. You’ve eaten enough chocolates that you’re starting to feel like Augustus Gloop. Whatever the reason, you just aren’t feeling the tried-and-true options to say “I love you” anymore (if you ever were in the first place) – and that’s fine! Why not try one of these offbeat Milwaukee date ideas instead?

  • Relive your childhood with laser tag, inflatables, vintage arcade games (all on free play!), a rock climbing wall and more at Bounce Milwaukee. Best of all, Bounce becomes a 21+ adults-only playground on Friday and Saturday nights (and yes, they have a bar).
  • Romantic dinner? It’s been done. Progressive dinner? New and exciting! Instead of picking one spot for your date night, pick three. Start off with drinks and apps, head to a second location for your main course and finish off the night with dessert. This way you can assemble the ultimate dining experience. (Not sure where to start? Click here for some dining ideas and inspiration!)
  • This museum scavenger hunt was originally intended for families, but why not see if you and your partner can tackle it all? Milwaukee’s museums are fun for all ages, so get out there and start exploring.
  • No longer consigned to the basement, play some ping pong at Evolution Milwaukee. Unlike that underground rec room, this high-energy spot has a full bar, food and there’s no need to chase after rogue balls – a staff member will scoop them up and refill your bucket when necessary. Ping pong upgraded.
  • A date at a brewery doesn’t really seem “offbeat” to most Milwaukee residents, so take it from the locals – a brewery or distillery tour is way more fun than just grabbing a drink, and you might even learn something too.
Forget the diamonds and have a fun, creative date night in Milwaukee. (Looking for some more traditional romantic ideas? We’ve got those too!)