Have You Tried Quark?

April 09, 2013

Have you ever tried quark? Do you have any idea what it is? Well you'll find it in the dairy case all over Europe. Find out more here

Have you ever heard of quark? If so it could have been in your grandmother's cooking repertoire. If you’ve never hear of quark, SupermarketGuru thinks it will be the next big hit in the dairy case. The name comes from the German word for "curds" and it’s actually pronounced “kvark” in German. Its flavor is mild, its texture smooth, and unlike cottage cheese, (which it bears some resembalance) it is typically made without rennet and salt. Quark is spreadable, and has been described as a cross between sour cream and soft ricotta. Variations of the cheese can be found throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

In Germany, quark is generally marketed with a smooth, consistency similar to Greek yogurt. But unlike yogurt, the production of quark does not involve lactic acid bacteria, so the resulting product lacks the tangy tart taste of yogurt –drawing in a whole new crowd who may not be so fond of yogurt’s tang, nor the texture of cottage cheese.

Various cuisines, especially cuisines of Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus use quark as an ingredient for appetizers, salads, main dishes, side dishes and desserts. How? Well it’s generally used where we American’s might use cream cheese, in pie filling or in savory applications as a filling for dumplings or a base for sauces.

In Germany, quark is sold in small plastic tubs and usually comes in three different varieties, (according to Wikipedia) Magerquark (lean quark, virtually fat-free), “regular” quark (20 percent fat) and Sahnequark (creamy quark, 40 percent fat) with added cream. While Magerquark is often used for baking and as health food, Sahnequark also forms the basis of a large number of quark desserts. Much like yogurts in some parts of the world, these treats mostly come with fruit flavoring (Früchtequark, fruit quark), and are often also simply referred to as quark.

SupermarketGuru suggests you keep your eyes peeled for quark as it’s a great source of protein, calcium and other vitamins and minerals, but we do suspect that in order to get Americans on board “quark” might not be the best name.