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Quark: German Soft Cheese

Quark cheese in glass bowl on checkered white and yellow cloth

In Quark We Trust. For our next stop as we check out Cheese Around the World, we head to Deutschland to learn about quark. Like this series? Don’t forget to read my last post on Jamaican Bun and Cheese.

Quark is the German word for “curd,” and also the name of a delicious German cheese (go figure). It’s a soft, unaged cheese, but easily spreadable and often used as a substitute in recipes that call for cream cheese, sour cream, or ricotta. Although you don’t really hear too much about quark in the states, it’s literally the easiest-to-make cheese I’ve heard about since working for culture. It has two ingredients: milk and acid. Seriously, it’s that simple. (You’re welcome.)

Quark goes by other names, too, like Topfen, Tvorog, and Biezpiens. Personally, I like “quark” best. In Germany, one can find three different kinds of quark, which vary according to fat content. There’s magerquark (basically fat-free), “regular” quark (which contains only 20% fat), and sahnequark (which is creamy, and contains 40% fat). Originally a German cheese, quark is also used in Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarussian cuisine. Apparently, quark has also become one of the main ingredients in a typical Isreali breakfast.

I’ve seen quark used in sandwiches, or berry crepes, but the most interesting use of quark that I found was in making Käsekuchen, or German cheesecake. Check out the recipe here. Hungry for more? Read the next post on Australian Cheese and Olive Damper.

Photo Credit: Photo by wisegeek.org

Taylor Pierola

Taylor Pierola is a Berkeley California-based culture intern

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