An Experiment With Curd

Here is a scientific experiment which will intrigue and entertain everybody from tiny tots to tottering crones. You will need to obtain a goodly amount of curd, say about the size of a dinner plate. Divide the curd into two halves by cutting it with a kitchen knife or, if you are feeling violent, which I know is often the case, simply tear the curd in two with your bare hands. Et voila!, you will now have two lumps of curd where once there was but one.

Don’t worry, that was merely the preliminary, not the experiment itself. Now, you must treat the lumps of curd in very different ways. The first lump, let us call it Curd A, must be kept fresh at all costs. You could, for example, wrap it in clingfilm, which is film that clings, and put it on a shelf in your refrigerator. Meanwhile, take the other lump of curd and treat it as you would a piece of furniture you wanted to give a fashionable “distressed” look. You can chuck the curd at the wall, beat it with lengths of chain, leave it exposed to the elements for a week, and so on.

At the end of this process, you will have two spectacularly different lumps of curd. The one wrapped in clingfilm in the refrigerator will be as good as new, whereas the other one, which I forgot to call Curd B earlier, will look old and wretched and like something the cat dragged in. (If the cat does indeed drag it in, while it is outside exposed to the elements, take it back outside and scold the cat.)

I now want you to take both lumps of curd to the nearest duckpond. With all the vim you can muster, chuck them into the pond or, as it might say in the Bible, cast the curds upon the waters. Now watch in amazement as Curd A, the fresh, good as new curd, floats, while Curd B, the old, wretched curd, sinks to the bottom.

Why does this happen? Well, I’m not going to tell you. But one person who knows the answer has written an entire book about it. Her name is Maya Angelou and the book, as I recall, is entitled I Know Why The Aged Curd Sinks.

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