Bavarian Inspired Cheese Spread (Obatzda)

This week for our DistanceDishes date, Amanda and I had German foods on the mind with both of us recently attending local Oktoberfest celebrations in our respective states. While Amanda arrived in style with her spiffy new dirndl to an impressive Florida/German celebration, my experience was a little less…authentic. While the local brewery’s Oktobertfest event was wonderful in the beer selection department, the food was a bit lacking. This inspired me to have a little home-based Oktoberfest celebration of my own, complete with a few Bavarian-inspired munchies.

Full disclosure, I had never heard of Obatzda while in Germany (although food wasn’t really my thing past french fries when I was there) and this recipe is more “inspired” than authentic. Typically this cheese spread was a way to use up leftover Camembert or brie cheese, and the spices were added to change any “off” flavors into something else delightful. Now, I love me some brie, but it’s never quite the same the next day and I certainly don’t need to be eating a whole wedge in one sitting (can…but shouldn’t…). Since I had some leftover from a cheese plate, why not? An extra creamy cheese seems to sometimes be optional and is usually cream cheese. However, since I was introduced to Laughing Cow cheese while living in Germany, I thought it seemed appropriate (and it’s delicious in this). While it may not be the exact same being served in the tents over in Munich, this recipe is certainly going to be making more of an appearance in my home all year round.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz brie cheese, softened (rind and all)
  • 1-2 tbsp butter, softened wedges
  • 4 Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss cheese
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp finely minced onion (depending on your desire for “bite”)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp German Beer (I used Hoegaarden)

Instructions: 

  1. Allow the brie cheese to come to room temperature. In a small mixing bowl, mash  brie and butter with a fork, food processor or immersion blender until mostly mashed with minor lumps.
  2. Add laughing cow, paprika, onion, salt, caraway, and beer and stir with a wooden spoon, your food processor/immersion blender to make sure everything is incorporated. If you would prefer your cheese spread to be a little more spread-y, feel free to add more beer if you prefer.
  3. Return mixture to the fridge to allow flavors to mingle for at least 2 hours but overnight is even better.
  4. Before serving, allow the cheese to come back to room temperature and serve with a nice slice of rye bread, pretzels or any other vehicle of your choosing. Enjoy!

Wine Pairing: You could finish the rest of that beer you opened to add to the cheese, but if you’re set on the wine route, I would say a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc might go well with the caraway and other biting flavors in the spread. 

 

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