A Midwestern staple and a key component of poutine, cheese curds are a squeaky treat when served on their own, but they’re also often battered and fried.
As a standalone appetizer, fried cheese curds are often served with ranch dressing or marinara sauce for dipping, and they may incorporate garlic, jalapeño or other flavors.
As part of poutine, cheese curds top French fries doused in a tangy gravy. These days that dish is often augmented with spicy toppings, breakfast foods such as eggs, or assorted Asian or Latin flavors.
Cheese curds have even made their way onto burgers, like with poutine-style burgers or Culver’s recent limited-time CurderBurger, which started out as an April Fool’s joke but ended up on the menu for one day on National Cheese Curds day, Oct. 15.
Market research firm Datassential reports that cheese curds’ presence on menus has increased by 41% over the past four years.
Click through the gallery to learn more about this Flavor of the Week and see how one restaurant is using cheese curds on its menu.