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ISO: Cheese Curds

wontonfm Oct 18, 2012 12:55 PM

Hi all,

I have a craving for poutine (fries + gravy + cheese curds) and figured I would just make it myself. Any idea where to find Cheese Curds in Chicago/Evanston?

I imagine they must be available somewhere since cheese curds seem to be popular in Wisconsin...



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  1. l
    lbs RE: wontonfm Oct 18, 2012 01:16 PM

    If you will be downtown, the cheese vendor at the Farmers Market in Daley plaza usually has cheese curds. I know Gene's Sausage Shop on Lincoln Ave usually has them. You may want to call in advance.


    4750 North Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL 60625
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    1. nsxtasy RE: wontonfm Oct 18, 2012 03:14 PM

      >> Any idea where to find Cheese Curds in Chicago/Evanston?

      I'm pretty sure I've seen them at the Evanston Farmer's Market (the big one in downtown Evanston, Saturday mornings through November 3 - www.cityofevanston.org/evanston-life/... ). I *think* they were at the Brunkow Cheese booth, but there are a couple of cheesemakers at the market, so you might want to check all of them.

      1. g
        GourmetWednesday RE: wontonfm Oct 18, 2012 03:57 PM

        I have seen them at the Whole Foods on Kingsbury, in a variety of flavors. Have you tried the Evanston WF? Once you find them can we all come over for poutine? Sounds decadent!

        1 Reply
        1. re: GourmetWednesday
          nsxtasy RE: GourmetWednesday Oct 18, 2012 04:19 PM

          Evanston joke...

          >> Have you tried the Evanston WF?

          Which one?

          The one on Chicago Avenue.

          Which one?


        2. w
          wontonfm RE: wontonfm Oct 19, 2012 01:30 PM

          Thanks all! I was planning on hitting the farmers market tomorrow and am forever walking by the Whole Foods at Chicago and Church so will check it out tonight.

          If you can find me then poutine is yours :)


          1. q
            Querencia RE: wontonfm Oct 20, 2012 08:10 PM

            I saw cheese curds last week at the big new Mariano's just off East Randolph on Benton Place. Lower level, ordinary cheese department, as opposed to upper level, fancy cheese department).

            1. w
              wontonfm RE: wontonfm Oct 21, 2012 10:42 AM

              I was able to find cheese curds at both Whole Foods (Chicago/Church) and at the farmers market in Evanston. Price at Whole Foods was $4.99 and $6.50 at the farmers market. I bought the farmers market stuff and the curds were fresh and squeaky.

              Thanks all!

              1. DoctaThunda RE: wontonfm Oct 21, 2012 11:03 AM

                They have often had delicious cheese curds at City Provisions - and I second the Farmer's Market option, though this was the last week for some folks. On Tuesdays they are across from the Dirksen federal building, and have had cheese curds available all summer.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DoctaThunda
                  nsxtasy RE: DoctaThunda Oct 21, 2012 11:06 AM

                  As noted above, the main Evanston farmers market continues through November 3.

                  Brunkow participates in the Green City Market in Chicago, which runs year round, although I don't know whether or not Brunkow is always there. For info on Green City hours and location, see www.greencitymarket.org/about/market-...

                2. q
                  Querencia RE: wontonfm Oct 29, 2012 05:59 PM

                  If you're not making poutine, what are you supposed to do with cheese curds? How are they different from just cut up little pieces of cheese? What is their charm?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Querencia
                    sr44 RE: Querencia Oct 29, 2012 06:42 PM

                    Just eat them. They squeak (if they're fresh).

                    1. re: Querencia
                      ferret RE: Querencia Oct 30, 2012 06:55 AM

                      They're not cut-up pieces of cheese, they're actually an earlier stage of the cheese-making process. When you add rennet to heated milk you get the milk solids clumping together into little nuggets (curds) which, after the liquid is drained, get pressed together to form large blocks from which the cheese you buy is cut. The curds are not pressed together and have a slightly lighter texture and notable squeak when you bite into them. Not a dramatically different product than finished cheddar but for those who are used to it's a nice tradition.

                      (And freshness matters, the curds become denser and more finished cheese-like with time and chilling, so the optimal experience is fairly short).

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