obatzda: bavarian cheese

It’s been months since I last blogged and it’s because we haven’t really been home at all!  We spent 5 weeks travelling around in Europe (with a 6 month old baby at that!) and then spent the rest of the summer at home in Vancouver.  But now we are all settled back in Moose Jaw and I’m aiming to blog more consistently.

I made this cheese dip/spread back in July as I tried to recreate one of the obatzda we picked up from the Viktualienmarkt in Munich.  I remember asking at the various cheese stalls, pointing at the obatzda, what it was exactly and responses we got were things like “Bavarian cheese,” “special cheese” and “cheese with butter.”  That all sounded good to us!  Anyway, there seems to be a lot of variations on how to make this and whenever I find that’s the case with a new dish I wanna try making, I get overwhelmed and decide to just wing it as to try and get it as close as possible to how I remember it.

600 grams camembert (2 small wheels)  /  1/2 cup butter, room temperature  /  1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature  /  1 tsp sweet paprika  /  1 tsp hot paprika  /  a pinch or two of salt  /  ~1/4 red onion (optional)

Using a sharp knife, remove the rind from the camembert.  No need to be particularly diligent about it though; I think it’s actually better with some bits of rind left on.  Just a note, I had the cheese out at room temperature but then it was actually quite difficult to remove the rind since the cheese was so soft.  It would probably be better to have the cheese still a little bit chilled from the fridge. Then just roughly cube up the cheese into about 1 inch pieces.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, paprikas and salt until smooth.  Then toss in the camembert and mix.  You don’t want it totally smooth but still with a bit of texture from the camembert in there.

And that’s it!  It seems like most obatzda has a lot of red onion in it but I really don’t like the taste of raw onion (whereas Rock does) so I just thinly sliced some up to top with.  If you want you can mix in finely diced red onion and/or sliced up chives; up to you!  This turned out exactly the way I wanted it to so I’m very happy with it.  Serve with baked German pretzels or a bag of the little crunchy pretzels.  Enjoy!

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