Are you a fan of poutine, Canada’s beloved comfort food? If so, you may be wondering where to find the perfect cheese curds to top off your fries and gravy.
While some may turn to fast food chains or local restaurants, others may be curious if Trader Joe’s offers a convenient and affordable option.
In this article, we’ll explore whether or not Trader Joe’s sells cheese curds and share our thoughts on a recent frozen poutine product from the popular grocery chain.
So grab a snack (maybe some poutine?) and let’s dive in!
Does Trader Joe’s Sell Cheese Curds?
After some research, we can confirm that Trader Joe’s does indeed sell cheese curds. However, it’s important to note that availability may vary by location.
If you’re lucky enough to find them at your local store, you can expect a mild cheddar flavor and a squeaky texture (yes, squeaky!). They’re perfect for topping off your homemade poutine or adding to any other cheesy dish.
But what if you’re not up for the task of making your own poutine from scratch? Well, Trader Joe’s has a frozen option that may pique your interest.
What Are Cheese Curds?
Cheese curds are small, solid pieces of curdled milk that are a popular snack in Canada and the northern United States. They’re often used as a topping for poutine, but can also be enjoyed on their own or in other dishes.
The texture of cheese curds is unique – they have a squeaky texture when bitten into, which is caused by the release of air trapped within the curd. They’re typically made from cheddar cheese, but can also be made from other types of cheese.
When it comes to flavor, cheese curds have a mild taste that’s similar to fresh mozzarella. They’re often served at room temperature or slightly chilled, but can also be melted down for use in recipes.
The Search For Cheese Curds At Trader Joe’s
If you’re on the hunt for Trader Joe’s cheese curds, you may need to do a bit of searching. While they are available at some locations, they may not be stocked at every store.
One customer shared their experience trying to find the elusive cheese curds at their local Trader Joe’s. After asking an employee, they were directed to the frozen food section where they found a bag of poutine that included cheese curds.
However, their review of the product was less than glowing. They found the cheese curds to be too rubbery and chewy, lacking the creamy texture that makes them so delicious in traditional poutine.
Despite this disappointment, it’s still worth checking your local Trader Joe’s to see if they carry cheese curds. And who knows, you may even stumble upon a new favorite dish while you’re there.
Trader Joe’s Frozen Poutine Product Review
Trader Joe’s Frozen Poutine may seem like a convenient and easy option for those craving the Canadian classic dish. However, our product review found that it may not live up to expectations.
The bag includes frozen french fries, a packet of beef gravy, and a packet of cheese curds. Cooking the fries in the oven is simple enough, but warming up the gravy and curds on the stove top can be a bit of a hassle. Once everything is ready, you’re left with a messy heap of salty, savory junk food.
The cheese curds themselves have a mild cheddar flavor and that signature squeaky texture. However, some may find the texture to be off-putting and even “freaky” as mentioned in one of the reviews above. The gravy is nothing special either and requires additional salt to bring out any flavor.
Alternatives To Trader Joe’s For Cheese Curds
If you’re unable to find cheese curds at your local Trader Joe’s or simply prefer to explore other options, there are several alternatives available.
Firstly, diced or cubed cheese can be a great substitute for cheese curds. You can easily find different varieties of cheese at your local grocery store and cut them into bite-sized pieces to mimic the texture of cheese curds. String cheese or Mozzarella sticks cut into pieces can also work well as a substitute.
Another option is Mozzarella whips, which are essentially elongated cheese curds. Cut up mild cheddar or baby cheddar into irregular shapes to achieve a more rustic look and feel. However, keep in mind that the uniformity of cubes may be beneficial for even cooking.
If you’re looking to fry the cheese, Mozzarella sticks cut into pieces can be breaded and fried to achieve a similar texture to cheese curds. While none of these alternatives may quite match the taste and texture of fresh cheese curds from Wisconsin, they can still be a delicious addition to any dish.
If you’re unable to find fresh cheese curds in your area, Cheese Brothers out of Barron, WI offer shipping services across the United States. They take care to protect the integrity of the cheese during transit and ensure that their vacuum-sealed hard cheeses remain safe outside of refrigeration. Additionally, they ship their cheese curds in insulated boxes with gel ice packs to protect against high temperatures.
Tips For Making The Perfect Poutine At Home
Making the perfect poutine at home requires attention to detail and a few key techniques. Here are some tips to help you achieve that elusive balance of crispy fries, squeaky cheese curds, and savory gravy:
1. Use fresh cheese curds: Fresh cheese curds are essential for achieving the signature squeaky texture of poutine. Look for curds that were made within 24 hours and store them at room temperature until you’re ready to use them.
2. Double fry your fries: Soaking your potatoes in water before frying them and then frying them twice at different temperatures creates the perfect crispy exterior and soft, pillowy interior for your fries.
3. Make your own gravy: While it may be tempting to use a packet or canned gravy, making your own from scratch will take your poutine to the next level. Use a recipe for homemade brown gravy or try a vegetarian version using mushrooms.
4. Serve immediately: Poutine is best served hot and fresh, so make sure to assemble your dish just before serving. The heat from the fries should melt the cheese curds and the gravy should be piping hot.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a delicious and authentic poutine at home. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some additional toppings like bacon, pulled pork, or even foie gras for a truly decadent experience.