Cheese Curds vs Cheese: What Is the Difference? (Explained)

Dairy products are still one of the most popular parts of our diet – butter, yogurt, cream, those are only some examples of the milk products many people can’t imagine their life without.

But above all of those extremely well-known and trendy dairy products is one that shines even brighter, one that has its own special place – yeah, we’re talking about cheese!

Cheese is the cornerstone of many cuisines around the world that is beloved by nearly everyone. Yes, cheese has simply its own category nothing gets even close to! 

But, with that being said, it is needed to point out that there’s one dairy product that shares many similarities to cheese and even a part of its name – cheese curds. Because of that, many people maybe don’t even know that those two are two separated products.

Cheese curds, a delicacy extremely popular exceptionally in Quebec, and cheese are quite not the same thing, though.

So what is the difference between Cheese Curds and Cheese? The difference between cheese curds and cheese is that curds are the raw material usually used to make cheese. Therefore, the well-known delicacy known as cheese curds comes to life when the curds are not processed. On the other hand, when they are, they turn into the regular cheese.

This was put just briefly, though, and there are tons to learn regarding this exciting topic. So without further ado, let’s just jump right into it!

Cheese Curds vs CheesePin

What is the difference between cheese and cheese curds?

As you have probably guessed by their names, cheese, and cheese curds are two very tightly connected dairy products. However, that doesn’t mean they’re the same.

So what makes them different? Well, cheese curds are a side-product of making cheese that is most often processed and used to make even more cheese. 

This step is not necessary, though – when you skip it, you end up with a milk product of its own. And that product is known simply as cheese curds.

Which is better, cheese or cheese curd?

This product (sometimes called also squeaky cheese) is actually extremely popular as well, especially in the Canadian province Quebec, where it is used to make the dish poutine.

Cheese curds can be described as very young pieces of cheese that have not aged nor been processed. And that gives them a mild taste. If you seek richer and more robust flavors, regular cheese will be better for you, then.

Cheese curds also have one big downside – because of their nature, they turn bad as soon as after 12 hours, even when refrigerated. And that makes it very hard to get your hands on some of them.

Are cheese curds healthier than regular cheese?

But the fact cheese curds are not processed comes with an upside, too – it makes them pretty healthy. They contain countless nutrients and vitamins, and although their high-fat content, cheese curds can still be considered healthier than regular cheese.

Cheese curds vs. mozzarella: what is the difference?

Mozzarella is one of the most popular cheese types out there, partly due to its freshness. Exactly that freshness may also be a reason why many people confuse mozzarella with cheese curds, though.

So what is the difference between cheese curds and mozzarella? The most significant difference between cheese curds and mozzarella is that while mozzarella is a regular kind of cheese that has undergone the whole cheese-making process, cheese curds are the yet unprocessed dairy product.

Cheese curds vs. cottage cheese: what is the difference?

Just like mozzarella, cottage cheese is a very trendy kind of fresh cheese. That, once again, makes it even more similar to cheese curds than other kinds of cheese that age. But they’re still not the same. 

So what’s the difference between cheese curds and cottage cheese? Well, the difference between cottage and cheese curds is that the former is a dairy product that would need to be processed to be considered cheese. Cottage, on the other hand, is a regular type of cheese.

Cheese curds vs. cheese sticks: what is the difference?

Cheese sticks are a product usually made out of mozzarella, meaning they’re simply processed cheese or a cheese product, if you will.

On the other hand, cheese curds are the moist pieces of curdled milk we don’t consider to be a kind of cheese.

Cheese curds vs. cheese cubes: what is the difference?

Cheese cubes, very much like cheese sticks, are just a processed cheese product – hence, the relationship between them and the regular cheese is precisely the same as the relationship between sausages and meat.

But cheese curds are a dairy product that hasn’t even undergone the standard cheese-making process. So, therefore, we can’t even consider them to be regular cheese.


Cheese curds and cheese are two dairy products that share many similarities, but by no means can we say that they’re the same thing. Actually, cheese curds are a product that is most often used to make regular cheese.

However, it isn’t necessary to do so – most of the cheese curds can be eaten by themselves, and many of them are considered a delicacy. For example, in Quebec, Canada, cheese curds are beloved and used to make the traditional dish called poutine.



Image credits – Canva

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