Cheese of the Month: Keswick Creamery Quark

story by Tenaya DarlingtonKeswick Creamery Quark
If you like baking with cream cheese, you should know about quark. Chances are you haven’t heard of it—unless you have relatives in Germany or Poland—and that’s a shame, because quark is more plush than most soft cheeses, and it has the added benefit of being cultured, like yogurt, and packed with probiotic enzymes.
I learned about quark as a teen when I studied abroad in Germany (my host family ate it on toast for breakfast). Recently, while eyeing the cheeses at the Fair Food Farmstand, I spied local quark! Oh, and it is divine.
“Our quark is very simple: milk, culture and salt,” says Melanie Dietrich Cochran of Keswick Creamery (Newburg, PA). “We use a traditional rennet-free recipe. First we pasteurize, then culture the quark. It cultures overnight for 12 hours. Then we ‘break’ the curd and add salt. The quark then drains for another 12 hours. Since we culture it for two days, it’s lactose-free and naturally tangy.”
“Our quark can substitute for cream cheese in any dessert recipe,” adds Cochran. She uses it to make pumpkin cheesecake and also recommends eating it on toast with strawberry jam. Me? I love it for breakfast on hearty bread with prune butter, just the way I enjoyed it in Munich so many years ago.
Keswick Creamery, 114 Lesher Rd., Newburg, 717-440-4625,