Obatzda

Obatzda

Now a common offering in Bavarian beer gardens, this cheese spread was first created by Katharina Eisenreich, the innkeeper of Germany’s Oldest beergarden from 1920-1958.   Similar to Liptauer cheese in Austria and Hungary, it uses soft ripened cheese blended with butter and seasonings.  Some recipes call for removing the rind from the brie or camembert.  If you decide to do this, cut the rind off while the cheese is cold and firm to minimize loss of cheese.  I like the rind, so I leave it on. 

Yield:  About 2 cups

7 oz. Brie or Camembert, room temperature

1 6-oz pkg. “Laughing Cow” brand spreadable cheese (original or Swiss flavor)

5 tablespoons butter, room temperature

¼ cup wheat beer

1 ½ teaspoons caraway seed

1 ¼ teaspoons sweet paprika

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)

¼ cup minced chives

Cut the brie or camembert into small wedges and put into a mixing bowl along with the Laughing Cow cheese and butter.

Preheat a small skillet on the stovetop and add the caraway seed.  Toast the caraway until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Place in a mortar and pestle and grind into a coarse consistency.  Add half the caraway, the sweet paprika, salt, and pepper to the cheese and butter mixture.

Using a fork or potato masher, begin mashing the cheese and butter mixture together.  Stir and mix well to combine well with the seasonings.  Begin adding the beer a tablespoon at a time until mixture is of an easily spreadable consistency.  Add the diced onions and chives, reserving a few chives to garnish the top.  Mix the onions and chives into the cheese mixture.  Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.  Let come to room temperature before serving.

Garnish with reserved caraway seed.  Serve as an accompaniment with pretzels, pumpernickel, or rye bread.

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