Factory Fresh: What goes into #ReleasingTheCurds
Over the years, we’ve heard countless stories of curd-lovers driving for hours to the Tillamook Cheese Factory just to get their Squeaky Cheese Curds. Because of the short shelf life and to maintain the freshness and quality of Tillamook Cheese Curds, they are normally sold exclusively at the Cheese Factory in Tillamook, Oregon… but if you’re a curd-lover, we’ve got great news!
In honor of our 104th birthday, we’re releasing the curds on February 13 for one day only! There will be a limited supply of Squeaky Cheese Curds for sale on our Online Shop! Squeaky Cheese Curd Day will benefit the Oregon Food Bank in supporting hunger relief. Click here to learn more!
This is so exciting! But why can’t Tillamook ship cheese curds every day?
Squeaky Cheese Curds are extremely perishable, and start to lose their “squeak” after just a few days. Because of this, cheese curds require overnight shipping very quickly after they are made, which we cannot facilitate on a daily basis. To make sure curd-lovers around the country are able to get fresh curds to celebrate Squeaky Cheese Day, the Tillamook marketing team will actually be taking several days away from their regular jobs to personally hand-pack and ship your order from the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We wish we could spread cheese curd joy all the time, but for now, you can satisfy year-long cravings for cheese curds by visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook, OR.
What is a cheese curd?
Cheese curds are created at the very beginning of the cheddaring process, when small pieces of cheddar cheese separate from the liquid whey naturally found in milk. These “curds” are usually then pressed together to form 40 lbs. blocks of our cheddars that will go on to naturally age for up to three years. However, we do save a small amount of the fresh curds to be sold at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. They taste mild and salty, and when they’re really fresh they make a slight “squeak” noise when you eat them! Try them for yourself on Squeaky Cheese Day!
What makes a cheese curd “squeaky”?
The squeak you might hear when you munch on cheese curds comes from the protein composition of fresh curds. When the protein in the cheese rubs against the enamel of your teeth it makes a “squeaky” sound. As cheddar ages, more moisture is released in the form of whey, and the protein in the cheese consolidates. Here at Tillamook, this consolidation is how cheese curds turn into Baby Loafs! That’s why our other cheddars (and curds older than a few days) don’t squeak! The cheese is still delicious to eat after it has stopped squeaking, but the squeak effect will be gone forever for that little curd.
Find out how you can get your squeaky cheese fix!
Get cooking with our Top 5 Cheese Curd recipes here!
P.S. You can follow the conversation about Squeaky Cheese Day with #ReleaseTheCurds on Twitter!