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Curds is a dairy product obtained by curdling (coagulating) milk with rennet or an edible acidic substance such as lemon juice or vinegar and then draining off the liquid portion (called whey). Milk that has been left to sour (raw milk alone or pasteurized milk with added lactic acid bacteria or yeast) will also naturally produce curds, and sour milk cheese is produced this way. The increased acidity causes the milk proteins (casein) to tangle into solid masses, or curds. The rest, which contains only whey proteins, is the whey. In cow's milk, 80% of the proteins are caseins. Curd products vary by region and include cottage cheese, quark (both curdled by bacteria and sometimes also rennet) and paneer (curdled with lemon juice). The word can also refer to a non-dairy substance of similar appearance or consistency, though in these cases a modifier or the word curdled is generally used (e.g., bean curds, lemon curd, or curdled eggs).

In Asia, curds is essentially a vegetarian preparation using yeast to ferment the milk. In the Indian subcontinent, buffalo milk is used for curd due to its higher fat content making a thicker curd. The quality of curds depends on the starter used. The time taken to curdle also varies with the seasons taking less than 6 hours in hot weather and up to 16 hours in cold weather. In the industry, an optimal temperature of 43 °C for 4-6 hours is used for preparation.

In Indiamarker, the word curd is frequently used to mean yoghurt. In South Indiamarker, it is common practice to finish any meal with curd or buttermilk. In Sweden, curds is a major ingredient of the traditional baked cheesecakes Ostkaka (with egg, flour, almonds), which is eaten with jam and cream.

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Cheese curds are popular in some French-speaking regions of Canada such as Quebecmarker and parts of Ontariomarker as well as in the Midwest of the United Statesmarker. To the right are freshly made morsels of cheddar cheese before being pressed and aged. In Quebec and Eastern Ontario, they are popularly served with french fries and gravy as poutine. In some parts of the U.S., they are breaded and fried, or are eaten straight. Fresh cheese curds squeak against the teeth as they are bitten. There are also many popular varieties besides cheddar, such as white cheeses and flavored cheeses (pepper, garlic, butter, lemon, barbecue, etc). The cheeses themselves are not flavored but rather lightly coated with a powdered flavor, natural or not, similar to potato chips.

See also

  • Buffalo Curd, Traditionally make thick curd for dessert.
  • Paskha , a Russian Easter dessert made of curd or quark.
  • Túró Rudi, a Hungarian chocolate bar with curd.
  • Coalhada, Brazilian curd dessert.
  • Curd Rice a day-to-day recipe from South Indiamarker
  • Paneer, an Indian cheese recipe of only milk and yoghurt/lemon juice.
  • Curd snack, a snack, popular in the Baltic States.
  • Ostkaka, Swedish style cheese cake. Some call it a Swedish National dish.
  • Qurut, Central Asian cheese curds.


  1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Milk Products

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