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authentic cheese curds in phoenix area

I recall reading about a shop from Wisconsin that recently opened another one here in the Phoenix area. My wife is from Wisconsin and she brings up cheese curds whenever I bring home a chunk of cheese. Does anybody now about this place or any other where I can satisfy her craving for fresh, squeaky cheese curds? Thank you.

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  1. I think that meat market in Chandler (Von Hassens or something close to that) which is on Alma School about 1/4 mile north of Warner - brings in cheese curds.

    BZ

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bazel

      I've had the cheese curds at Von Hanson's, and I personally wasn't impressed. They didn't have that "squeak" you get when you bit into a fresh cheese curd. Not worth the $5+ I think I paid for each little package.

    2. This doesn't help you today, but I remember an old cheese shop on 12st and Northern that my mom would go to when I was a little girl. They sold cheese curds. She would pick up wheels of Longhorn there - I'll have to ask her the name of the shop.

      A bit of old Phoenix memories....

      :)

      1. Bazel is correct - Von Hanson's in Chandler carries them... both white and yellow cheddar variety!

        http://www.vonhansons.com/

        1. Thank you all for the help. I do remember the cheese shop on Northern too, as I grew up around 7th street and Glendale. But it was so long ago and I don't remember it's name either.

          1. I've seen cheese curds at AJ's, but can't really vouch for their freshness. There's that salty squeakiness you get when you're standing right in the dairy, and I'm not sure how that translates to anything vacuum-sealed.

            A fun junk-food alternative are the deep-fried cheese curds at A&W. For reasons of self-preservation I only get them to share, as who knows what eating a whole carton would do, and saving them for later doesn't really work, they're best when hot and fresh. TMI, but these may be the best PMS food I've ever run across.

            1. I moved from the Phoenix area several years ago, but when I lived there, I purchased REAL cheese curds from the United Dairymen Assoc., in Tempe. I just checked, and they are still listed. They had a cheese store on site at the factory. Hope they're still there. Good luck in your search.

              1. Trader Joes carries them from time to time. They are the yellow type. You need the white ones to make a true Quebec "poutine."

                2 Replies
                1. re: wrightp

                  Trader Joe's had them for a while, but the whole reason you see them in Wisconsin and not here is that after just a day or two the moisture balance changes and they lose their distinctive texture. The package suggests briefly microwaving the curds which sounds to me like something that ought to be illegal. I just let them come to room temperature and every once in a while I can get one to "squeak."

                  1. re: zencker

                    I got the ones at TJ's a couple of weeks ago and probably won't get them again. They were ok, but not nearly as salty as I like and as zencker notes, the moisture isn't right. The best ones are the ones I get several times a year at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, Tillamook, OR. I've even been lucky a few times and gotten them 50% off during the winter. I've never seen them outside the factory store and wouldn't have a clue as to if they'll freeze well or not, as they never last that long!

                2. Just to update about the availability of fresh cheese curds from the United Dairymen of Arizona. UDA is not currently producing cheese curds, but within a few months the new cheese operation should be completed and they will be selling fresh cheese curds from the 'Milk N' More' store on Broadway and Hardy in Tempe. I'll try to update when the excat opening date is known.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ArizonaJim

                    Please do let me (us) know as soon as you know anything about FRESH cheese curds. I am a diabetic, and it is one of the few foods I can allow myself the luxury of eating. Just had them for the first time two months ago. OMG! I'm addicted, but can't afford the shipping from Wisconsin on a regular basis.

                    Also, do Cheese Curds freeze well?
                    Thanks,

                  2. I'm happy to announce that the United Dairymen of Arizona, your local farmer owned milk cooperative, is once again making cheese curds! They're available from the Milk N' More store, located at the UDA milk plant, 2008 S. Hardy Drive in Tempe (at the corner of Broadway and Hardy).

                    Right now, they're priced at a special introductory price of $2.99/lb!

                    I got my first bag yesterday, they're good and they 'squeak'.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ArizonaJim

                      Far oot, eh? I've got the St. Hubert gravy, the fries and now, the curds!

                      1. re: ArizonaJim

                        This is great! A 3 year old request. I appreciate the response. I went there today and picked some up. And, yes, they are good and they do squeak!

                      2. What are the hours for the Milk 'n More Store in Tempe?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wrightp

                          Their phone number isn't easy to find.

                          They are open 6am-6pm, Mon - Friday.

                        2. In addition to Mooster's Mootique at Superstition Farm in Mesa, you can also find cheese curds at Petit Fromage (5345 N 7th Ave in Phoenix). They just got them in from Beehive Cheese Co this week.

                          Squeaky Bee Curds:
                          http://www.beehivecheese.com/index.ph...

                          1. Since this thread has been resurrected, let's nor forget about Petit Fromage, a new shop in North Central Phoenix. I think I've seen some tweets from the owner about cheese curds.

                            14 Replies
                            1. re: silverbear

                              And ... Teakwood's Tavern (Gilbert, Chandler, Phoenix) has been serving fried cheese curds with a spicy ranch for about 8-9 months now. Was an item that would appear on the daily special sheet from time to time now is on the regular menu.

                              Bz

                              1. re: Bazel

                                they are also a menu item at The Lodge in Scottsdale.

                                1. re: Bazel

                                  You can also get fried cheese curds as a side at Culver's. It's a fast food chain from the midwest that opened a location on Country Club, just south of the US 60. They have a drive-through, or you can order at the counter and they bring it out to your table. It's an interesting mix of food, and the frozen custard is quite good as well. Just looked at their website and it seems that they have a Metrocenter location and one coming soon to Camelback.

                                  http://www.culvers.com/

                                  Yeah, it isn't gourmet, but it's cheap!

                                  1. re: Inertia

                                    Do they have the walleye sandwich at the Culver's out here like they do in Minnesota?

                                    1. re: WildSwede

                                      I haven't seen walleye on the menu at either of the Culver's in the valley that I've been to. However, if you have a hankering, Voltaire French Restaurant in Scottsdale often gets fresh walleye - they have some this Friday (1/15).

                                      1. re: MesaChow

                                        Thank you! ;-)

                                2. re: silverbear

                                  Lara (owner of Petit Fromage) gets in cheese curds from Beehive typically every Thursday. The Urban Market downtown also stocks curds from the Arizona Cheese Co., which were recently used in a stuffed pepper dish during Petite Maison's staff meal.

                                  1. re: azhotdish

                                    Nice to see this thread come to life again. Great to have some options in the neighboor hood. Will try Petit Fromage this weekend.

                                    1. re: deeman

                                      according to Twitter, she got apple walnut smoked habanero cheddar curds this week. you can follow her @PetitFromageAZ. keep it mind they are closed Sundays.

                                      1. re: azhotdish

                                        Thanks for the information.

                                  2. re: silverbear

                                    Looks like a great place for cheese but I would be cautious of buying meat from Petit Fromage. She sold me smoked pancetta with out even mentioning it and Guanciale from the meat shop; which even they admit is not cooked in the traditional way. Although both meats were good...they were not what I wanted. Just a word of caution!

                                    1. re: arizonagirl

                                      I'm little confused by this part: "...[g]uanciale from the meat shop; which even they admit is not cooked in the traditional way".

                                      As far as I know, guanciale, like bacon and pancetta, is typically sold uncooked. Perhaps they meant the guanciale wasn't *cured* in the traditional way? Just curious, as I was recently considering buying some guanciale through Petit Fromage.

                                      1. re: hohokam

                                        The package says cured, smoked and fully cooked. The guy at the meat shop explained to me that it has something to do with the laws in Arizona. At that point I decided not to buy it from the meat shop. Come to find out that Petit Fromage is selling the same product. When I told her what the meat shop guy said she insisted that it was the real thing and that he didn't know his product. I could've lived with this as I'd never had it before and didn't really know. But then she gave me smoke pancetta....isn't that just basically bacon. at least the meal wasn't totally ruined. But I would be cautious of buying from there again.

                                        1. re: arizonagirl

                                          Just checked The Meat Shop website this morning. Indeed, they bill all of their cured products as being fully cooked and their pork jowl as being smoked.

                                          Guess I'll keep bringing guanciale back with me from CA until I find out about someone here selling the real deal.

                                  3. Phoeniix Urban Market - the open daily offshoot of the Farmer's Market - carries cheese curds. I saw them yesterday. Incidentally, the market seems to be carrying far more product than when they first opened.

                                    Also, fyi The Meat Shop is back at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays with their great pork.

                                    1. The Tempe Farmer's Market on University and Ash has cheese curds as well. The packaging looks identical to the ones I bought from the dairy down the street, so this is another good place to find them. Lots of other good local products too.

                                      1. Kind of an ancillary response here but the Calendar section of Thursday's Arizona Republic had a feature on The Lodge and how they had great bar food. One of the pictured items was deep fried cheese curds and I have to say, they looked pretty good.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Poerz

                                          Heading to Scottsdale from Minneapolis, want me to pick up some fresh curds in WI?

                                        2. Just drove by the sign at 7th and Camelback that says Culver's is opening there in January. Their cheese curds go great with their butterburgers and some frozen custard for dessert.

                                          1. As someone mentioned, the Milk and More store on Hardy and Broadway has them, but I believe that Thursdays are "Curd Day" so you are guaranteed fresh ones with lots of squeak :)

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: nyfashionintern

                                              I just stopped at the Milk 'N More store about 11:00 am on Thursday, they had not received the fresh curds yet. They told me if I wanted to wait until after 12:00 they should be in. So call 1st if you are going to make a special trip there to see if they have what you want. They did have 3 bags of last Thursday's curds, but I did not want that, I just left. Maybe some day I'll get back out that way. I was so disappointed.

                                              1. re: jw85014

                                                Just so you know, the cheese curds are made right next door to the Milk and More Store at a small cheese-making operation jointly owned by the United Dairymen of Arizona and Wiskerchen Cheese of Wisconsin. Thursdays are the only day that cheese curds are made, they start at about 8 in the morning and aren't packaged until about noon (if everything goes right and there aren't any delays, which can always happen). It might be best to call ahead if you can't wait until they're finished. There are also some Cheddar and Jack cheese from the UDA for sale at the store at all times. If you're lucky, there might be some aged Cheddar available (it's only made in limited quantities), the only aged cheddar being made in Arizona at this time.

                                            2. Last May I got cheese curds at a farmers' market in Mesa. I think it was on a Friday. They were really good. I just got back from the UK so I haven't been back to the market, but it is on Center (near University.)

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Scotland03

                                                I noticed cheese curds at the Roadrunner Park Farmers Market. IIRC, they were from the same local source mentioned above. I can't remember seeing them before last week, but, I'm not a regular.

                                                1. re: Scotland03

                                                  I bought some Monterey Jack cheese curds yesterday at the Mesa Farmers' Market (Center and University, from 9-12 on Friday) and they were very fresh; squeaky fresh!