Monday, August 1, 2011

Quark

When I did Immersion Language training in Germany (many moons ago) I learned to love quark. The family I lived with used it for everything - main dishes, desserts, snacks, etc. It was awesome!


My husband has had to live with me extolling the virtues of quark for years as well as listening to me gripe about why you can't find quark here in the US. After all, quark is a dairy product (kind of a mix of sour cream and cottage cheese without the curds). American cows are no different then German cows, right? It's the same milk which can be used to create the same kinds of products - so why not quark? (That line of thought also happens to lead to all kinds of other questions - why does Kellogg's make different cereals for the European market that one can't find in the US, why does Coke taste different in Europe than in the US, etc.). Quark is actually pretty healthy - it's very low sodium. For example the carton of quark in my fridge says it has 70 mg of sodium (3%) compared to 380 mg (16%) in the low-fat cottage cheese. So if it's relatively easy to make and good for you, why don't American dairy producers make it?

The other day, while shopping in the commissary, I saw cartons of quark! Not just quark but low-fat quark too. I obviously had to buy some. Not just to have it again and to introduce my husband to the wonders of quark but to let the commissary know (through my purchase) that people appreciate having the opportunity to buy it. All day I was excited to get home and try it.

Imagine my disappointment when the berry quark dessert I made was horrible. Despite honey, vanilla and sugar mixed into it, it was bitter. Un-edible bitter. Or as my husband so gently put it, "this stuff burns." What went wrong? Did I not let it sit in the sugar long enough or too long? Was it bad quark? Is my memory of it completely wrong? Aargh...I was so looking forward to it - not just for eating it again but as a way to bring mack some of my good memories of living in Germany. Of course I still have those memories, I had just been hoping to share them with my husband through this one food.

I still have about half of the carton of quark left. I've not completely given up. I just need to find the right recipe...

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