Goats, Door County, and Frozen Curds?

No need to adjust your screen, you read that right- frozen curds.

Recently, I spent a few days in Door County visiting my sister who was attending a conference. As a condition of my visit, I told her that we would need to go cheesing.

The act of road tripping from cheese maker to cheese maker in search of the best Wisconsin cheese curd.

She acquiesced, because really, who can resist an invite to go cheesing?

During our afternoons together, we wandered around Door County checking out some of the little shops, farm market stands, and unique eateries. We were lured to Sister Bay because who doesn’t want to eat at a place that has goats on the roof? That’s right, in typical tourist style, we fell for the “goat on the roof” gimmick and had dinner at Al Johnson’s.

Al Johnsons
There’s a goat on that roof!

Back in Sister Bay, we were finishing up dinner, and I started talking about some cheese curds that I saw at a farm stand earlier in the day. I was curious, and I Googled the name. As fate would have it, the cruds were from the Door County Creamery, which was three blocks down the road from dinner.  They specialize in goat’s milk cheeses and other goat milk related products.

As the Cheese Curd Hunter, it has been my experience that if you want to best, freshest curds, you need to visit the cheese maker in the morning; not after dinner say around 6 pm in the evening.

As I walked to their store, I knew that my chances of obtaining curds made fresh that same day were slim to none. But being the curd nerd that I am, I had to try.

Upon arriving at the store, I gravitated towards the cheese case, and I wasn’t surprised to see an absence of curds. I asked the lady behind the counter if they had any curds left. She told me that they were indeed out of fresh curds, but that she thought that they had some previously made curds in the freezer.

Huh? Freezer curds?

She went on to explain the reasoning; they freeze freshly made curds because the freezing process traps and locks in the freshness and moisture. I dug a little further and learned that my bag of curds was made about a week prior and that goat milk curds are typically drier than cow’s milk curds and aren’t as salty.

I purchased my bag of goat’s milk white cheddar cheese curds, which so far, has been the most expensive bag of curds in my travels, and got down to the nitty gritty of tasting.

The Taste
Goat cheese, in general, is an acquired taste; and these curds were no different. They tasted tarter than cow’s milk curds with a negligible taste of salt. They had that typical taste goat farm smell, but it wasn’t overwhelming. While they were a cheddar cheese, it didn’t taste like other cheddar curds that I’ve had before, and I’m not sure which type of cheese to compare the flavor too.

There was a squeak present, a small squeak, but it was there! The squeak only lasted the night I purchased them. In subsequent tastings, there was no squeak. My hunt for fresh, day-of purchase made curds continues.

I broke a larger curd apart in my hands, and I noticed an internal string-like texture that I haven’t seen in cow’s milk curds. Overall, they were more slippery than cow’s milk curds, but I wonder if that is due to my bag being previously frozen. Additionally, they were soft and tended to fall apart more quickly than other curds I’ve tried.

I was surprised that I liked these curds as much as I did. While they were more expensive, if I find myself in Sister Bay again, I would purchase these again.

A cheesy 3.5 out of 5 cheese wheels.

Whole Cheese Wheel 75x75 Whole Cheese Wheel 75x75 Whole Cheese Wheel 75x75 Half Cheese Wheel 75x75

Disclaimer:  the history of goat cheese and my palate. As much as I want to like goat cheese across the board, I find it difficult. In my opinion, it tends to taste dirty; think of the smell of a goat pen then imagine that smell in your mouth. You can read more about my thoughts on goat cheese if you are so inclined.

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