Quark – Go For Gold
Approximately two weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Calkins Creamery in Honesdale, PA. While visiting, I was able to sample many of the tasty cheeses the cheesemaker, Emily Montgomery, created. One of these cheeses, Georgic, is named for the series of Latin poems, Georgics, by Virgil. The word Georgos means farmer, and the poems interestingly are about managing rural life on farms.
The base of Emily’s cheese, Quark (kvahrk) is an extremely popular cheese in Germany, accounting for almost half of that country’s total cheese production and consumption–boy, do they down this stuff! The word quark means “curds.” This is a fresh, unripened cow’s milk cheese that ranges in texture from silky to crumbly, depending on its butterfat content and the amount of whey drained from the curds. Quark is almost identical to Fromage Blanc, but with a slightly higher fat content. It definitely has its own distinct personality from other cheeses like yogurt, cottage cheese, and ricotta. Lower in fat and sodium yet high in protein, it is a great alternative to sour cream or cream cheese. It is more flavorful than the low-fat dairy products with that unappealing gelatinous texture.
Georgic, Emily’s version, is delicious. Milky and fresh with hints of lemon, a slight tang, and a whipped, airy texture, I enjoy it daily for breakfast with blueberries, a sprinkling of granola and drizzle of honey–delicious and satisfying. What’s great about this cheese is the abundance of applications–savory or sweet. Simply use Quark by just adding a dollop on top of soup or smearing on fresh bread with jam. It can also be used for baking and cooking. You can also pull a Lindsey Vonn and use it as a topical poultice on your bruised shin and grab an Olympic Gold Medal–Go for Gold!