Cheese curds are made from pasteurized milk, cheese culture and rennet. After the milk curdles, it is cut into cubes; the result is a mixture of whey and curd. This mixture is then cooked and pressed to release the whey, creating the final product.
Cheese curds are bite-size solid parts and are sometimes referred to as Squeaky Cheese. They lose their squeaky texture after twelve hours or so, even if they are refrigerated.
Cheese curds are mild, salty to taste, but the flavour can differ depending on how it is made. Most varieties have no colour.
Fresh Cheese curds are eaten as snacks, appetizers or served with jalapeño peppers, garlic, various herbs etc. Fried Cheese curds are a popular local delicacy in Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, where they are deep fried, covered in batter and served as quick, casual fast food. They are also known as cheeseballs in some areas.
Cheese curds form the main ingredient in Poutine, a Canadian dish made with French fries, topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce and Cheese curds. Fresh Cheese curds are also known as Paneer in India, where it is widely used as the main ingredient in curries, starters and biryanis.