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Do You Know ... Why Do Cheese Curds Squeak?

Ever chomped down on a fresh cheese curd and heard it squeak in your teeth? 

No other food makes the distinct noise a cheese curd does. But why do cheese curds squeak?

To put it simply, the protein network found in cheese curds is woven tightly, allowing it to “rebound” from our teeth as we bite, creating a squeak.

If you’ve bitten into a cheese curd and not heard it squeak, fear not — your hearing isn’t failing you. See, a curd’s ability to make noise lasts for a short time after its made.

And sometimes the curd, while still delicious, never had a squeak in it to share. Temperatures that are too warm or too cold can cause the proteins to change and, therefore, lose that aural quality. The squeak can also be lost in the cheesemaking process if too much protein is broken down during one of the cheesemaking steps.

We know all this because food scientists have been looking into it. In fact, the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research staff has conducted experiments with cheese curds to see if there’s any way to prolong the squeak. Which is fitting, since Wisconsin is known for its obsession with cheese curds.

So next time you’re ordering a plate of cheese curds at your local county or state fair, you can let everyone within earshot know why those yummy cheesy bites squeak.