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Freeze-Dried Cheese Curds Catching On
As a freeze-dried dairy product that doesn’t require refrigeration, Cheddar Curd Crunchers offers a new option in the snack market. Don’t expect them to taste like fresh cheese curds, says Paul Bauer, CEO/Manager of Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery in Wisconsin, which is well known for its cheese curds.
“Our marketing team would describe Crunchers as a salty, crunchy snack, similar to a cheese cracker. For me, it’s like an explosion of Pop Rocks in dairy form,” Bauer says.
Working with a freeze-drying processer, Ellsworth Creamery spent seven years experimenting with the best way to turn fresh cheese curds into a consistent, shelf-stable product that will last for up to a year. With just five ingredients, Crunchers are healthy and low carb. After extreme chilling and then drying, the crunchy curds are packed in air-tight 2.11 oz. packages, which have just over two servings.
“The low-carb, Keto crowd and sports enthusiasts seem to particularly love these crunchy snacks. Since they don’t require refrigeration, they are great for when you’re on the go, and conditions don’t allow for refrigerated snacks,” Bauer says. “We’ve seen growing interest from high-end delis, specialty snack stores and convenience stores.”
The impetus for developing Crunchers was a request from an Asian market broker for shelf-stable cheese in the Far East where there is a lack of refrigeration. The creamery is now testing additional flavors such as dill pickle, ranch and jalapeno, and could include the Crunchers in snack mixes in the future.
Crunchers are available at Ellsworth Creamery stores and online. Prices are $4.59/2.11 oz. package or $50 for a case of 20 packages (plus S&H).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, 232 N. Wallace St., Ellsworth, Wis. 54011 (ph 715-273-4311; www.ellsworthcheese.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #2