Let other Oktoberfests celebrate with fancy steins and thick pretzels. Here in Wisconsin, nothing says Oktoberfest like deep-fried cheese curds.
In Appleton, where more than 100,000 people jammed College Avenue for the annual Oktoberfest, (celebrated with good ole Midwestern German stubbornness in September) almost every food stand listed cheese curds on its menu.
Unique to Wisconsin and some of the cooler areas of Minnesota, cheese curds are part sustenance, part toy. Fresh cheese curds squeak when you eat them. You squeak when you eat deep-fried cheese curds, a glorious golden symbol of grease, gluten, and gluttony.
They’re ubiquitous in Wisconsin, most gas stations have a bag or two of fresh cheese curds ready for sale, but cheese curds are hard to find anywhere else.
They don’t travel well and, to maximize the squeak factor and minimize risk of botulism, they should be kept at room temperature for only a few hours. Refrigerated cheese curds are no fun at all.
Our advice? Come to Wisconsin, bite into a salty curd, and smile.