Squeaky cheese curds are quite possibly the best lunch snack ever. For kids, these mild-flavored curds that literally squeak between your teeth are irresistible. And I'm here to say that they're pretty irresistible for grown-ups, too. You can buy them fresh from dairies, or thanks to this tutorial from Culture Cheese Magazine, we can make them at home.
The one tricky ingredient necessary for this cheese-tastic project is rennet. This is needed to make the milk separate into curds and whey, and then additionally, to make it stretchy and squeaky. You can sometimes find both regular rennet and vegetarian rennet in the baking section at grocery stores (check near the gelatin and pectin). Rennet is also easily found online from places like the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and Amazon. (As is the calcium chloride, which is an optional ingredient to make the cheese more firm.)
After this, making squeaky cheese seems to be a relatively straightforward matter of heating the milk (and later, the cheese) and pressing out the excess whey. If you've ever made mozzarella, the process is very similar but without the kneading step.
This would be such a fun project for a weekend afternoon, especially since you get to snack on the results all week long. The temperatures during the cooking process are all fairly low, so go ahead and get the kids involved!
• Homemade Squeaky Cheese Curds from Culture Cheese Magazine
• Cheese Rennets from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company
• Calcium Chloride from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company
Do you love squeaky cheese? Ever tried making it at home?
Related: Making Cheese at Home: A Round-Up of Cheese-Making Kits
(Image: Flickr member grongar licensed under Creative Commons)