Easy to prepare and delicious. Quark dips are perfect for dipping vegetables, topping your favourite cracker, or being eaten with a spoon. Dill, even the dry kind, gives this spicy variation a fresh taste. Garlic and cayenne pepper are added for a spicy edge.
Perhaps the word “quark” is still foreign to you. Coming from Canada, I’d never heard of it growing up. Somebody introduced it to me in Germany, where I would just ask “but, what is it?” To which the only answer is “quark.” Translating as cottage cheese, or junket is wrong. We could use the term “white cheese,” as many languages do, but it never caught on in English.
It’s interesting that dairy products have so many regional variations. Slight differences in the purification process, the curding, storage, or bacteria used, all create slightly different products. Granted, many of them are quite similar, but I find quark is somewhat distinct. Thus I’ll be sticking with the distinct name.
Plus, quark is a fun word, used for other fascinating things, like sub-atomic particles and quark stars. No worries though, it’s easy to tell the difference. A package of creamy quark weighs about 250g, whereas the same size package of quark star weighs several billion kilograms.
But what if you can’t buy quark in your store? No problem. Instead of the quark and milk, use plain yogurt instead. Or use yogurt mixed with sour cream, or some cream cheese to thicken it up. Any creamy mixture can be combined with the remainder of the spices and make a nice dip. Indeed, varying between the milk products provides a nice variation in your diet.
I try to follow a low-carb diet, thus the high-fat quarks of interest to me. I buy the 40% ones when possible, sometimes the 20% ones. Technically, I guess it’s not quark anymore, but quark mixed with cream. I could buy the fat-free quark and then mix it with fresh cream myself. Yet another angle to vary the texture.
As with all things cheese, that 40% is also nuanced. It refers to the percentage of fat in the dry cheese amount — if all the water was removed. You can see this labelled as “FDR,” or “i. Tr.” in the German products I use. Thus, the 40% quark I use is really only 10% fat. I find this type of labelling to be silly and misleading.
In any case, dip away!
Spicy Dill Quark Dip
250 g 1 cupQuark 40%
50 g 3 tablespoonWhole Milk 3.8%
1 teaspoondriedDill Weed
¹⁄₄ teaspoonGarlic Powder
- small mixing bowl
- Add the milk and the quark to a mixing bowl.
- Stir slowly until combined into a creamy mixture.
- Add the other ingredients. Stir to mix.