What is it?
The name sounds like something from outer space or someone Dr. Spock would have been familiar with on his home planet or perhaps something out of my physics class.
But No! This Quark is a very common cheese in Europe and especially Germany. Little known of in the US but becoming popular as its availability increases here. Better yet, make it right in your kitchen.
Quark is a fresh cheese of European origin. It is a mild creamy cheese without the sour taste of yogurt. It is a soft un-aged cheese and is not the same thing as cream cheese or cottage cheese. It is also distinct from ricotta because ricotta is made from scalded whey. It usually has much lower fat content than cream cheeses and has no salt added.
Quark is a much loved dairy product in German speaking countries. It is commonly used in meals from breakfast to dinner, appetizer to dessert, sweet to spicy, as a snack or in between meals.
Quark tastes good at any meal, at any time. Health concerned folks keep on eating Quark. It would be hard to improve on Quark for its nutritional content. It is full of protein and low in fat. It is loaded with minerals, including calcium, which is so essential to strong bodies. Small amounts of carbohydrates in the form of milk sugar promote a good metabolism. The nutritional value of Quark is tremendous.
Quark can also be enhanced with your favorite additions such as chives, horseradish, paprika, cherries, strawberries, apples and all kind of other fresh fruits. Quark is also a favorite on whole grain breads. Low in fat and very tasty with fresh chopped herbs.
Quark consists of 60% to 80% water. Dry mass has 1% to 40% fat; most of the rest is protein (80% of which is casein), calcium, and phosphate.
You can see from this wide range of fat and moisture that there are many options for this cheese.
You can make it rich or lean.
You can make it moist or dry ... creamy or thick and spreadable.
The choice is yours and the options are explained below.
What to do with it
You can have your quark plain or mixed with herbs, on a baked potato, mixed with fruit, on a pizza, made into a cheesecake or in any number of other ways.
In Germany there are several tortes or cakes made with their Quark.
Quark will last for a week to 10 days in the fridge. All fresh cheeses will last this long.
Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
Try Quark :
- whipped with a berry puree and honey for a rich and fresh dessert
- combined with wilted spinach, finely minced and sautéed garlic and chili peppers to stuff pastas
- mounded onto graham crackers with roasted figs and a balsamic syrup, or
- blended with caramelized onions and roasted garlic to spread on a crostini. Topped with fresh herbs, it would be amazing!
From Kari at iheartbigflavor
.. and on a lighter note:
Olympic™ skier Lindsey Vonn has created a culinary opportunity, trying to heal her bruised leg by applying fresh curd cheese. She calls the soft stuff by it’s Austrian name, topfen, but the cheese is also known as quark, quarg, Tvaroh, Tvorog and curd-cheese. Fresh cheese aroma is too subtle for a marketable celebrity fragrance, so it’s time to profit by cookin’ up some celebrity ski cheese recipes.
The therapeutic effectiveness of topical topfen application is dubious.; perhaps this is a folk cure developed by Austrian skiers. Who knows; maybe Swiss skiers try to heal injuries with warm cheese fondue?