Thursday, March 31, 2011

Curds and Whey

We've all recited the nursery rhyme about Miss Muffett.  C'mon, you know it.  But how many of us know what curds and whey actually are? 

Little Miss Muffett sat on her tuffett
Eating her curds and whey...

When we visited the Hilmar Cheese Company last week, a mini-fieldtrip on our way to the snow, we all learned about curds and even tasted them.  As to what a tuffett is: well, I think that must just be a fancy way to say 'dirt pile.'

During the cheese-making process milk is separated into two parts: solid (curd) and liquid (whey).  The whey is, often, recycled much like grey water. While the curds go on to become cheese. Or, at Hilmar, curds are marketed and sold.

Hilmar Cheese Company called them 'Squeakers' and sold them by the pound.  The kids loved them. I'm not sure that they tasted any different than any other cheese that we would buy; in fact, they are mild, virtually tasteless. But it's definitely the squeak-factor that grabbed the kids.

And they really do squeak when you chew them!  That, in itself, was worth the $8 for the tub of curds.

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