Food vendors compete with cheese curds ahead of 'Cheese Curd Festival'

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Food vendors from across the Chippewa Valley gathered Wednesday, to pit cheese curd versus cheese curd.

Copyright : Brent Hofacker

It’s all part of the lead-up to the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival happening later this June.

The vendors were encouraged to get creative with how they implement cheese curds into their dishes -- no simple deep-frying here. Dishes like cheese curd tacos, cheesy caramel apple wrap, and cheesy "fiesta" pizza fries were entered in the competition.

For organizers, the event was the perfect way to promote everyone involved.

“We have this beautiful facility, and this is the perfect way to showcase the state-of-the-art kitchens that we have, plus highlight cheese curd fest, and bring in local entrepreneurs,” said Paul Bauer, with Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery.

The winner was ‘the apple trap’: a homemade apple pie filling and cheese curds, deep fried in a wonton trap. That dish, with many others, will be available to try during the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival.