A popular orange Camembert based cheese spread Bavarians serve with fresh Brezeln (Pretzel) called Obatzda. This german cheese spread is the perfect sidekick to a lovely Oktoberfest party! Prost!
Obatzda is this creamy orange cheese spread they eat with fresh brezel (pretzel) in every Bavarian Biergartens. The dip is mainly done with camembert cheese with a touch of butter, “quark” or cottage cheese. The orange color is due to sweet paprika powder. You can have your obatzda “Bavarian style” which is with a few extra caraway seeds and a touch of beer in it. I’ve seen so many variations of this spread; from horseradish, garlic, chives, cloves to romadur cheese and they keep making new variations.
My own personal favorite and the one in this recipe is the traditional Obatzda with Quark (fresh cheese) and caraway seeds. If you live in a part of the world where the ingredient ‘Quark’ isn’t a “thing” you can substitute it by cottage cheese.
The technique and cheeses variations
The technic 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 dense texture, not too smooth. Thick enough to be able to make the traditional presentation ‘ball’ form with it. No need to mash to perfect homogeneity either, we like pieces of white cheese here and there!
If you need a brezel recipe here is mine (Brezel/Pretzel). If you are too busy to make them, those small dry pretzels (chips style) would go great with the spread or even croutons. Some recipes calls to cut off the crust of the camembert and others don’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 but quite difficult to get your hands on. Romadur already as a orange crust and taste stronger so if you want to experiment with it, add just 1/3 Romadur and 2/3 Camembert to prevent overpowering the dip.
As mentioned earlier, the typical orange color of Obadzta is due to paprika powder… I’ve used an equal part sweet paprika and spicy paprika. This step is totally up to you, but make sure there is enough to color the spread orange. Also, the traditional Bavarian style Obatzda contains caraway seeds, again… not in everyone’s pantry so it’s up to you.
The final touch would be important though… the onions and/or chives. Raw red onions are the ones I saw the most topping this spread. This last element might seem strange to some, but it is an integral part of a good Obatzda. Germans love their raw onions! You’ll simply have to cut the onion extremely thin and add a touch of salt to soften them up.
It’s terribly simple to make this spread and it tastes “out of that world” good. I guarantee everyone will ask you for that orange dip recipe at your next party.
German cheese spread
- 250 g Camembert ((a small wheel))
- 150 g Quark (or Ricotta cheese)
- 60 g butter (unsalted)
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp spicy or smoky paprika (optional)
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds (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