hand cheese n [Calque of Ger Handkäse] chiefly German settlement areas, esp WI Also called ball cheese n
A cheese made by forming soured skim milk curds into small cakes that are then aged.
1870 Prairie Farmer 41.266 sePA, Being one of a committee appointed . . to visit the “German Hand Cheese Factory” of Mende Bros. in the southern section of Philadelphia, we found the business much larger than we anticipated. 1890 Harper’s New Mth. Mag. July 231/1 TX, Her balls of hand-cheese, strewed with caraway seeds, are white and appetizing. 1941 Language 17.332 WI, Hand cheese 1 [inf]: o[ldest group] . . says the local Germans use this (because the cheese is molded in cupped hands.) 1950 WELS (Different kinds of home-made cheese) 5 Infs, WI, Hand cheese; 1 Inf, Hand cheese, old-fashioned; 1 Inf, Hand cheese, made of curd, but made by hand in round balls and wrapped and buried in the ground for a while. 1950 WELS Suppl. ceWI, Hand cheese—a form of cottage cheese shaped into balls by hand then put away for days or weeks to ripen. After it had acquired a certain strong flavor and a yellowish hue it was ready. 1968 DARE (Qu. H60, The lumpy white cheese that is made from sour milk) Inf MN37, Hand cheese, worked in the hands till it formed a loose cake, then aged. 1972 Yesterday 1.2.39 WI, Perhaps some “hand” cheese would also be curing to add its equally pungent scent to the already heavy air. 1976 Sheboygan Press (WI) 26 Feb 2/6, [Advt:] Oldtime Spread Cheese—Fresh Curd —Hand Cheese.