The Cow & the Curd say cheese, you’re trucked
Welcome back infrequent readers today, we’re talking curd, The Cow & the Curd, Sprechers and Ranch dressing. A Midwestern trifecta, in an unlikely place, all wrapped up in a little truck. Have you ever had a cheese curd? There are two kinds, first there’s the squeaky, raw ones, which are actually a byproduct of making cheese. Tasting similar to a waxy cheddar they are popular in the Midwest. You can find bags of cheese curds in grocery stores, butcher shops, farmer’s markets and convenience stores all over Wisconsin and Minnesota.
***Today’s not so interesting fact: they’re called squeaky because when bitten, sometimes they squeak against your teeth… Gasp, I know right. ***
Inversely there’s the fried cheese curd. Essentially the same thing only battered and fried. As fried foods tend to be in America, these are more popular. Consequently fried cheese curds are found not only in the Midwest but in county and state fairs and festivals the nation over. Philadelphia’s The Cow & the Curd food truck is such a place, bringing fried cheese and other Midwestern flavors to the City of Brotherly Love. http://www.thecowandthecurd.com/
It is a bright Philadelphia morning. The coffee in our hotel is undrinkable. Somehow managing to be watery and viscous at the same time and bearing no discernible coffee flavor, it tastes like black Jello water. Thus every morning begins with a trip down the block to Square One Coffee. Today was just like every other, until I got outside the hotel. Hoping no one will talk to me before I’ve had at least one cup of coffee, I flee the hotel. Automatic pilot set, I turn the corner and… the entire street is shut down and several food trucks are setting up shop. It’s too early for street food, but I made a mental note to come back for lunch.
As fascinating as drinking a coffee, reading the paper and taking a shower are, I’ll still spare those details and we’ll fast forward to lunch. We’re in line at The Cow & the Curd food truck. They had us at fried cheese, but they also have Sprecher’s Root Beer, and chipotle Ranch dressing. As former Wisconsinites we are drawn to Ranch dressing and fried cheese like moths are to light.
The Cow & the Curd like many food trucks are serving up legit foods, without all the pesky overhead and unnecessary frivolities, like seating and restrooms. With that in mind we take our cheese curds, chipotle ranch and Sprecher’s Root Beer back to our hotel room.
The cheese curds from the Cow & the Curd are different than any we’ve had before with a cornmeal batter. Not better, not worse, just different. It would seem, to me, a bit vapid, to debate the finer points of fried cheese. These cheese curds definitely pass the all-important stretch test and taste good, as fried cheese does. The Ranch is an appropriate ranch, not from a bottle, but a little more chipotle couldn’t hurt. Sprecher’s Root Beer… Man, it’s been close to 15 years since we’ve had one of those. They still taste like sugar.
Coming soon, we get in touch with our softer side, explore Reading Terminal Market and rediscover an old favorite, Miller’s Twist soft pretzels at Reading Terminal Market.
May the odds be ever in your flavor. – The Pot & Pan Handler