The pleasure of perfectly fried cheese
Humans have been frying food for thousands of years – cheese included. Of course, it takes a special kind of cheese to hold its shape in the heat of a frying pan or grill – only cheeses with a high melting point can make the grade. Whether it's halloumi, paneer, mozzarella, or fresh cheese curds, a fried cheese – slightly crispy on the outside, slightly gooey on the inside – is one of the great pleasures of the cheese life.
Here in Wisconsin, we love to prepare cheese in as many ways as possible, so you'll definitely find fried cheese on the proverbial menu. We're particularly fond of fried cheese curds, but we've been known to delicately batter a 1-inch chunk of young cheddar and drop it in oil, or pair a thick slice of fried provolone with an heirloom tomato on country-style bread for lunch.
And for the warm, gooey texture of fried cheese without the actual frying, we love to warm a nice slice of bread cheese (also known as "juustoleipa") for in a nonstick skillet for breakfast. In the cheesemaking process, bread cheese is baked in special ovens, and the heat caramelizes the sugars on the outside of the cheese. It has a signature light brown crust. And it's that toasty crust, much like bread, that gives juustoleipa its name.
So, when you're looking for fried cheese, safe to say you'll find something for every palate – and every meal – in Wisconsin.