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Quark = curd?

circe0723 May 5, 2010 11:50 AM

I want to make a rhubarb cheesecake with a German recipe - the ingredients include Quark, which I am not sure I can get in US (Los Angeles). Any ideas where to look for it, or how to substitute it? thanks!

  1. linguafood May 5, 2010 12:02 PM

    Quark is available at Wegmans in the cheese/dairy shelf section. As I'm not a baker at all, I unfortunately can't tell you if you can substitute something else.

    Quark is probably closest to sour cream, but denser. I've had so many Americans ask me what exactly it is, and, much to my embarrassment, I can only reply with the rather general "it's a dairy product."

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood
      BobB Jun 8, 2010 01:17 PM

      I'd say it's somewhere between farmers cheese and sour cream.

    2. Cherylptw May 5, 2010 12:04 PM

      You could substitute cream cheese or marscapone; I'd use whatever the amount of cream cheese for the quark + some cream as it seems quark is looser in texture. I've never seen it in my neck of the woods (NC) but here's some info on the product: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark_%2...

      1. goodhealthgourmet May 5, 2010 12:47 PM

        you can find the Vermont Butter & Cheese Co. quark at Whole Foods. also check Gelson's and Bristol Farms for the product from Appel Farms - there's a good chance one of them will have it.

        1. circe0723 May 5, 2010 12:50 PM

          thanks all for replying...a friend just told me I can also get some here:
          German Cold Cuts International
          6019 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

          1 Reply
          1. re: circe0723
            kattyeyes May 5, 2010 01:09 PM

            Oh, oops, I didn't see this...looks like you have lots of options. I'm jealous. It's harder to find in the Land of Steady Habits. If you do find Spring Hill's product, try their lemon quark. It's quite delicious!

          2. kattyeyes May 5, 2010 01:08 PM

            Hi there,
            Closer to home for you is the Spring Hill Cheese Company (Petaluma, CA). I only learned of quark from sampling it at a farmers' market in CA when I visited.
            http://www.springhillcheese.com/

            I see you can find it at Albertsons and you might contact them to see if there's a farmers' market near you if that's more convenient.
            http://www.springhillcheese.com/chees...

            I would love your rhubarb cheesecake recipe when you have a moment to post it. :)

            5 Replies
            1. re: kattyeyes
              goodhealthgourmet May 5, 2010 01:16 PM

              ooh, thanks for this - i'll have to keep an eye out for the Spring Hill at my markets here in SD. i've only ever seen the Vermont & Appel products, probably because i don't typically shop at Albertsons!

              1. re: kattyeyes
                Caitlin McGrath May 5, 2010 02:51 PM

                Spring Hill sells at my local farmers' markets, and I enjoy their lemon and garlic quarks, as well as plain (and pumpkin in the fall). Interestingly, this is a much leaner product than cream cheese (and especially than mascarpone!). The Spring Hill folks say they make it with the whey left from their cheese making, so it is actually both low in fat and high in protein, though I don't know the stats as they don't have nutrition labeling on the tubs they sell at the FM. All that said, I'm not as happy with their product at the moment - I think they've changed the formula, as the texture isn't as creamy as it used to be.

                For those who can't find quark, fromage blanc or fromage frais would be a good sub. Vermont Butter & Cheese makes a good fromage blanc that's sold many places, if their quark is not.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                  Caitlin McGrath Jun 7, 2010 05:57 PM

                  I've discovered that if I leave the Spring Hill quark out at room temp for a while, it softens up and becomes much more creamy and spreadable. The lemon and vanilla bean varieties are great with all the berries coming into season, and the garlic is great mixed with Greek yogurt to become a dip for veggies. Stirred into hot pasta, it makes an instant creamy sauce.

                2. re: kattyeyes
                  goodhealthgourmet Jun 7, 2010 03:23 PM

                  katty, i just had to tell you that i stumbled upon the Spring Hill stall at my local farmers' market yesterday. had it not been for your recommendation i probably wouldn't have bothered to spend much time talking to her or tasting, but as soon as i saw the sign with the name on it, i remembered this thread! she was out of quark, but the goat cheeses - feta, garlic cheddar, dry jack - were AMAZING, and it turns out my local natural foods store carries their aged cheeses. thanks so much for the tip :)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    kattyeyes Jun 7, 2010 04:57 PM

                    I am so happy to read this, ghg! Have some for me! ;)

                3. m
                  MakingSense May 5, 2010 09:52 PM

                  Quark is very much like New Orleans Creole Cream Cheese. Perhaps because of the German influence in the region - they actually arrived in the area outside of NOLA before the Acadians (Cajuns) did.
                  Quark is a bit drier, but you could strain it to allow the moisture to drain off.
                  There's a good recipe right here on Chow.
                  http://www.chow.com/recipes/18750-cre...
                  Don't worry about leaving milk out at room temp for 24 hrs. That's just what you do.
                  I've never had any luck with the "one big curd" thing, but never really cared since I was putting it into smaller containers anyway.

                  The stuff is terrific. Great with fruit. Used instead of commercial cream cheese, it makes a very light cheesecake. Also makes terrific ice cream.
                  I drain it and add salt, pepper, and herbs for a boursin-type cheese spread.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MakingSense
                    linguafood May 6, 2010 08:33 AM

                    You could make spring quark, which is basically what you do, but with lots of chopped scallion. Excellent on bread.

                  2. monavano May 6, 2010 10:21 AM

                    I love quark and as others have said, you can sub cream cheese or even Nufschatel (sp?).

                    1. honkman Oct 6, 2010 12:09 AM

                      You can make quark yourself rather easily and it is one of the few things we really miss from Germany (beside really good bread) as the quality of the quark in the different supermarkets is rather disappointing. Based on this we recently decided to make our one quark:

                      http://twofoodiesonejourney.blogspot....

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: honkman
                        kattyeyes Oct 6, 2010 03:54 AM

                        Really impressive. Do tell me what you do with such a big batch, tho...I wish I was your friend and neighbor!!! >>^..^<<

                        1. re: kattyeyes
                          honkman Oct 6, 2010 12:13 PM

                          Such a batch doesn't last very long. We use it often for breakfast which fresh fruits or granola. Or as a spread on bread with a good jam.

                      2. e
                        electricfish Oct 6, 2010 01:38 PM

                        Back in the day in West Berlin (to give an idea on how far back) I went to a German-American school and quark would be on the school lunch menu fairly regularly. It was a sour yoghurty semi-liquid. Disgusting, to my teen tastebuds. I'll agree, sour cream or Greek-style yoghurt would probably be good substitutes.

                        1. ChristinaMason Oct 6, 2010 06:20 PM

                          Most of the cheesecakes I had in Germany had flour in them. I hope your recipe doesn't call for it...totally ruins cheesecake, IM(not-so)HO!

                          I agree with the poster who likened it to Greek yogurt. I'd probably puree that with a little bit of cottage cheese to get the right texture.

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