Obatzda, a Bavarian cheese speciality, Recipes

Obatzda, a Bavarian cheese speciality, Recipes
At the first sign of warm weather in Germany, especially Bavaria, it is beer garden time. From spring through to the autumn sitting in chestnut tree shaded areas, originally planted to cover and keep underground beer storage cellars cool, is a favorite way to spend warm days and evenings.

And the Bavarian beer garden classic "Obatzda" will always be on offer in Bayern. A sometimes "pungent" type of spicy mixed cheese blend, it is usually accompanied by a large pretzel and thinly sliced white, or whole red, radishes.

As long as you buy a beer or other beverage you can bring your own snacks, just like a picnic, but each beer garden will offer its own local, invariably homemade, specialty to accompany the beer. Perhaps grilled half a chicken, fish on a stick or pork knuckle.

But all beer gardens, Biergärten, serve their own slightly different interpretation of Obatzda; although a Camembert type of cheese as the base and its "pinkish" color remains the same, and here are two Obatzda recipes.

One comes from a countryside Biergarten by Lake Starnberg, Bavaria's Five Lakes area 27 kms, 17 miles, outside its capital Munich, and the second from a beer garden beside the Isar River that flows through the city.

Usually really ripe cheeses are used, which means the cheese ball mixture can be quite strong smelling as well as highly flavored, however less ripe cheese can be used if preferred. And, although not the authentic way, it is also possible to mix the ingredients with a mixer until they are a fine blend rather than a chunky one.


Ingredients for 8 small portions

100 gr ripe Romadur, which is similar to a Limburger but less pungent
100 gr ripe Camembert type soft cheese
100 gr Softened Butter
Salt and Black Pepper
Red Paprika spice, sweet, hot or both
2 tsp Caraway seeds, or more to taste
2 small Red Onions or 6 Spring Onions, Scallions, with green, chopped very finely


Mix together Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Caraway and chopped Onions
Mash the cheese with a fork and add cream until it is the consistency you prefer.
Add onion and spice mix and combine thoroughly.
The paprika will not only season the mix but also color it pink, while the onions will add a crunch.

Leave for a few hours, overnight is good, to allow the flavors to blend.


Ingredients for 10 small portions:

300 gr ripe Camembert type soft cheese <
200 gr ripe Romadur, similar to Limburger but not as pungent
250 g Philadelphia or similar cheese
2 red onions chopped very finely (white or yellow if no red are available)
80 g softened Butter
Salt, Black Pepper
3 - 4 tsp Caraway seeds to taste
Red Paprika sweet, hot or both


Combine ingredients with a fork, then add enough beer to make a thick cream consistency while pressing the mixture as you work, this forces some of the juices from the onions as well as making sure it is completely blended and tinted pink.

It can be left chunky or if preferred made relatively smooth.

Decorate with chives or thinly sliced red onion.

Leave for a few hours, overnight is good, to allow the flavors to blend.

Serve with some good farmer's type bread, pretzels, radishes, salad or use as a type of dip with veggie sticks etc. And in Germany, whether sitting at home, picnicking in the countryside or in a shaded beer garden, it would be more than likely that the Obatzda would be partnered with a cold beer.


Obatzda Platter, Alpenkoch - Bavarian Obatzda/Obatzter, photographer Rainer Z, de.Wikipedia

You Should Also Read:
Germany's Beer Culture
Beer Gardens in Germany
Munich's Oktoberfest

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This content was written by Francine A. McKenna. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Francine A. McKenna for details.