Quark is an Easy Cheese to Make
Quark is one of the simplest cheese for the home cheese maker to get started with.
Easier even than making yogurt and since it does not need to be heated above 86F it will retain all of the natural enzymes and cultures of farm fresh milk, if you have a source for that.
You'll Fall in Love with Quark
Before I started working on this recipe, I was not as familiar with Quark. I had heard about it from our European customers, so I made a few batches and Wow! This stuff is fantabulous.
The first batch my wife and I ate right up just plain but the second batch we made into a yummy parfait style dessert with layers of Quark, and honey sweetened blueberries and raspberries. Quark, its not just for breakfast anymore!
What is Quark?
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 in this recipe.
How to Use Quark
You can enjoy 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 Serving Sugestions for 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
- blended with caramelized onions and roasted garlic to spread on a crostini. Topped with fresh herbs, it would be amazing!
Here's one last, somewhat more unique use for Quark:
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?