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how to use quark?

My German friend has occasionally mentioned quark and it's wonderfulness. I was at our local food co-op and saw some quark made in Vermont and just had to buy some. But now I can't decide what to do with it. I will ask my friend, but thought I'd ask the chowhounds as well. What's a good way to really showcase it? Just on top of some potatoes like sour cream or are there better ways?

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  1. We used to eat it on bread mixed with chopped chives, pepper and salt. Or going the sweet route, mixed with jams.
    I really missed the stuff here in the United States, I could never get used to Cottage Cheese.

    1. Top breakfast potatoes with quark and chopped scallions.

        1. Use as you would use cream cheese, but treat it more special. With its tanginess, my favorite way to use is to pair it with a sweet berry jam or compote on toast. What a way to start the day!
          It's $$ at my famers markets, so I generally don't use it in large quantities for baking, as a do regular cream cheese or nufschatel.

          1. It's less dense than cream cheese, and tangier.

            It makes a great topping for potatoes, actually, especially when you mix it into something that is known as "Frühlingsquark" (spring quark) in Germany: finely chopped scallions, s&p. Or chives, like RUK mentioned further downthread.

            And of course, it makes a fabulous dessert with your favorite fresh fruit -- bananas, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple.... sky's the limit, really.

            1. Thank you all! I have chives growing in my garden and some Russian berry compote, so I can try it sweet and savory. I have fresh strawberries, too. I don't have enough to make a cheesecake out of, and couldn't afford it anyway. I think I paid $3.79 for a small container.

              12 Replies
              1. re: AmyH

                Yes, the price for both quark & crème fraîche in this country is astonishing. I never buy quark in the US for that reason. I feel completely and utterly ripped off.

                1. re: linguafood

                  Well, I wanted to try it. At best it might become a rare splurge.

                  1. re: AmyH

                    Oh, sure. It's tasty. I just can't justify paying that kind of money for a product that's a cheap staple back in the homeland :-)

                    I feel the same way about Belgian endive. $4.29/lb.? Umm, no.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Understood. It seems like if you mix some ricotta and sour cream and process it a bit you'd get about the same thing. It was delicious with some fresh strawberries and a little brown sugar. If you're interested in the brand it's Vermont Creamery

                      1. re: AmyH

                        Yep, Wegmans carries the same brand.

                        Glad you enjoyed it. It's really nice with boiled new potatoes.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          I've always loved boiled potatoes with sour cream, so I'm sure I'll love them with quark. I guess that's on the menu for this weekend!

                          When I looked at their website I was surprised at how many stores carry their products. But they may only have one or two and not necessarily the quark, which most people have never heard of.

                  2. re: linguafood

                    Here it's just not mainstream and it's made by small batch producers, so the price is quite high.
                    It's a treat for me and I feel good buying it from very nice people who own their dairy farm ;-)

                    1. re: monavano

                      I agree, and for me it's almost local.

                      1. re: sparky403

                        Interesting. Maybe when I've mastered making kefir


                        I'll take up making quark.

                        1. re: AmyH

                          Lol.... I still remember that thread.... I posted a recipe about kaffir lime leaves... lol..

                    2. re: AmyH

                      Mix it with sugar and a little vanilla, then top with those strawberries.

                    3. You can also look for recipes online: We call in Topfen in Austria and it's used to make everything from Liptauer Cheese, to dessert style dumplings and pastries.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kleine mocha

                        At $3.49 for 8 ounces, I can only use it for things where a small amount really stands out. I'm sure the cheese and desserts are delicious, though.

                      2. My daughter pairs it with smoked salmon on rye for school lunches. Yeah, her friends all want a taste!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Isolda

                          That sounds delightful. Your daughter must have a very refined palate.

                        2. It's very bland - I blend it with smoked mackerel to make pâté, and use it as a spread to go under smoked salmon.
                          It is a very useful fat and additive-free protein to have around, but it is not something I'd eat on it's own.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Peg

                            I've never found quark to be bland at all.

                          2. It was part of my favorite breakfast when I lived in Switzerland! It was made locally and was delightfully thick and creamy with a bit of tartness. It was divine on bread or toast with a bit of jam or hazelnut butter! I have tried the Vermont Creamery one and it is good but just not as balanced of a flavor, with a bit more tartness than I was used to. Boy do I miss the local farmer one! It is also wonderful mixed with berries as a dessert!

                            1. It makes good salad dressings - if you mix it with grated carrots, chopped parsley, 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar and S&P, for example :)