Quark Getty 10/14/19

Quark is a hard food to pin down: Is it cheese or yogurt? Is it healthy or is it bad for you? 

The answers may not be what you think: 

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What Is Quark?

Quark is a dairy product made by warming soured milk until it curdles, then straining it. The finished product is firm, creamy, and looks a lot like cottage cheese. 

Quark is somewhat similar to the French fromage blanc, a soft white cheese made from milk and cream. 

The mild and creamy spread, a staple in German kitchens, is used to make both sweet and savory dishes. 

Käsekuchen (a type of cheesecake) relies on the ingredient for its signature creamy texture, while it’s often mixed with chopped onions, parsley, and chives to make Kräuterquark.

Is Quark Cheese or Yogurt?

Quark is technically a soft cheese. 

However, its taste and texture are more like a thick yogurt than anything else. Similarly, its fat and protein content (relatively low in fat and high in protein) is more comparable to yogurt than cheese. 

Is Quark Healthy? 

Like many things, quark is healthy—but only when it’s consumed in moderation and is part of a balanced diet that is rich in a wide variety of foods. 

Quark’s fat content ranges from 1% to 40%, but it’s always extremely high in protein. In fact, it usually contains even more protein than Greek yogurt.

It’s also high in calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin B, while it contains less sodium than cottage cheese. 

What Does Quark Taste Like? 

So what does quark taste like? Mild, mild, mild. 

It has a very inoffensive taste—not sweet or sour—and is notably smooth and creamy. Its subtlety makes it an incredibly versatile ingredient in a wide variety of cuisines. 

How to Use Quark

There are plenty of ways to use quark in your everyday life: 

  • Spread it on toast or a bagel. 
  • Use it as a yogurt substitute—mix it with granola or eat it alone for breakfast. 
  • Use it as a filling in crepes or ravioli.
  • Make a traditional German recipe, like Käsekuchen or Kräuterquark.

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