Obatzda is this creamy orange cheese dip they eat with fresh brezel in every Biergartens of south Germany. The dip is mainly done with camembert cheese with a touch of butter and “quark” (a mix between ricotta and sour cream) or sour cream. The orange color is from the paprika powder, usually a mix of sweet and spicy paprika. You can have your obatzda “Bavarian style” which is with a few extra caraway seeds and a touch of bier. I’ve seen so many variations, some with horseradish, garlic, cloves, romadur cheese, etc. Even in South Germany’s supermarkets, they have different styles of Obadzta. My own personal favorite and the one in this recipe is a simple Obadzta with Quark (fresh cheese) and caraway seeds. If you live where Quark isn’t a “thing” you can substitute it by sour cream. It results more sour than Quark so I would recommend to add a touch more sweet paprika to balance the acid from the sour cream.
The technique and cheeses variations
The technique to make it is quite simple, all you’ll need is an arm and a fork, well I’ve used the potato masher to make it faster… The idea is to have a nice, not too liquidy, cheese dip to dip those fresh brezel (check the recipe) in, but also those small dry pretzels (chips style) would go great with the dip or even croutons. I saw recipe where they cut off the crust of the camembert other recipes who didn’t. I believe there is a great deal of taste in the crust so I recommend to keep it, although it’s up to you. Knowing some people are a bit turned off by the fungi element from the crust. The camembert could easily be replace by a Brie or partially with Romadur cheese, this last one I’ve tasted and loved it in Obatzda but quite difficult to find where I live. Romadur already as a orange crust and taste stronger so if you want to experiment Obatzda with it, add just 1/3 Romadur and 2/3 Camembert to prevent overpowering the dip.
The spices and toppings
As for the paprika… I’ve used a mix of equal part sweet paprika and spicy paprika. This step is totally up to you, but add enough to color the obatzda to a soft orange color. The original Bavarian style Obatzda has a few caraway seeds in it, so this is also optional. The final touch would be important though… the onions and/or chives. Red onions are the ones I saw the most with obatzda and it look better with the contrast of color but it could be any type of onion. This last element might seem strange to some, but it is an integral part of a good Obatzda, whether it’s a few chives or the thinly sliced onion, this element is a “do not forget”. You’ll simple have to cut the onion extremely thin and add a touch of salt to soften them up.
It’s terribly simple to make this dip and it tastes “out of that world”good. I guarantee everyone will ask you for that orange dip recipe at your next dinner party or event.
- 250g of Camembert (a wheel)
- 150g of Quark or sour cream
- 60g of butter
- 1 tsp of sweet paprika
- 1 tsp of spicy paprika *optional
- 1 tsp of caraway seeds *optional
- salt and pepper
- red onion thin slices
- chives *optional
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mash with a fork or potato masher until almost homogeneous
- Let the flavours set in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving
- Cut the onion finely, add some salt to the onions and serve with the Obatzda
Serve with freshly baked Brezel. Enjoy!