It’s quite remarkable how food can play such an important role in a nation’s history.
Poutine is a dish originating in the 1950’s from the Canadian province of Quebec, consisting of French fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy.
The dish has long been associated with the cuisine of Quebec but for many years it was mocked by outsiders and even used as a way of putting down Quebec society.
But that has all changed with poutine now celebrated as a symbol of Québécois cultural pride. Its rise in cultural importance has also seen it become increasingly popular outside the province, especially in the rest of Central Canada and in the North-eastern United States.
Poutine really came to international prominence when it was served at the White House in March 2016 during the first State Dinner between Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
And that’s when the cheese curd revolution began. (Well truth be told Little Miss Muffet had already discovered cheese curds in 1805).
Foodies around the world wanted to learn more about poutine. They quickly discovered the secret to this amazing dish – the incredibly versatile and underestimated cheese curd. Chefs across the globe quickly saw the endless possibilities for fine cuisine.
Now in Australia the humble cheese curd is making its way into a restaurants and homes and being highlighted on our cooking shows. The fascination with this quirky dairy product is growing and it even has its own National day of celebration in October.
So what are cheese curds?
Technically, cheese curds are a precursor product of cheese making. They are made when bacterial culture and rennet are added to fresh pasteurised milk to form clots. The clotted milk is then cut into cubes and the result is a mixture of whey and curd. This mixture is then cooked and pressed to release the whey, creating the final curd product.
To put it simply, cheese curds are fresh cheese solids before they have been pressed or aged. They have the same density as cheese but with a fabulous springy texture which makes a squeaking sound when they are bitten into.
The flavour is mild, and sometimes salty and with inventive chefs all over the world now embracing this fabulous food product, the flavours are ever evolving.
Pure Dairy Cheese Curds are sourced from Wisconsin, famous for its cheese curds. They are individually quick frozen allowing the taste, texture and nutritional value to be fully preserved.
Thanks to Pure Dairy, Australian chefs and foodies alike can now gain local access to this remarkable cheese and discover what Canada and many other parts of the world have known for years.
For more details on cheese curds, head to www.cheesecurds.com.au