If you are wondering what in the world quark is, you are not alone. Funny name aside, this dairy product is a bit of a mystery. Quark looks identical to a thick yogurt, but despite the visual similarity, quark is actually a type of soft cheese like Fromage blanc or queso fresco.
Now that you know what it is (or isn’t), what does quark taste like? Despite being a soft cheese, quark tastes similar to a thick, unsweetened yogurt. It is classified as being extremely mild in taste, as well as super smooth and creamy. People sometimes compare the flavor to that of cottage cheese.
How is Quark Made?
Quark is made by warming soured milk until it curdles and then straining it. Considered an acid-set cheese, it is typically made with pasteurized skim milk. Quark is popular in Europe, with Germany being its most notable consumer.
Is Quark Healthy For You?
Quark is considered extremely healthy! Some of the health benefits of quark include:
- A massive source of protein. Quark is one of the most protein-dense cheeses available, and it beats out both milk and yogurt.
- Low in lactose, so if you have problems digesting dairy, quark might be a great option.
- Low in calories and sodium, so if you are watching what you eat, quark won’t mess with your diet.
- Like other Lacto- fermented foods, quark is excellent for gut health and aiding in digestion.
How Do You Eat Quark?
Because quark is so mild in flavor and similar to both soft cheese and yogurt, the uses are incredibly versatile. Below are some ways quark can be incorporated into your diet:
- Use it in place of yogurt-add in berries or granola for added flavor
- Substitute it out in crepe or pasta filling
- Spread it on freshly baked slices of bread, toast, or a bagel-it pairs nicely with a berry jam.
- Use as a base for dips and dressings. Add fresh herbs and spices.
- Make a fun fruit dip by adding in some sugar.
- Eat it as is! No need to fancy it up-grab a spoon and dig in.
Classic German Cheesecake with Quark
If you aren’t brave enough to eat quark on its own, try your hand at making this easy cheesecake.
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 1/2 cups plain quark
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 4 TBSP lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Beat heavy cream to stiff peaks using a hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Set aside.
- Separate eggs and set egg yolks aside.
- Beat egg whites to stiff peaks using a hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Set aside.
- Add quark, sugar, vanilla sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, and cornstarch to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir to combine using a whisk.
- Carefully fold the heavy cream and then the egg whites into the batter.
- Pour batter into a prepared springform pan.
- Bake cheesecake for 60-70 minutes. If it starts turning too brown, cover with foil.
- Turn off the oven, open the door a little, and let the cheesecake sit for another 10-15 minutes.
- Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool.
- Serve with a side of whipped cream or fresh berries.
Whether you consider it a yogurt or a soft cheese, this delightful food is versatile, delicious, and packs a serious nutritional punch. Quark is available at European markets and specialty stores across the United States, so go pick some up and see what all the buzz is about for yourself.