If you’ve wanted to make an authentic German cheesecake in America, the main ingredient has been almost impossible to find without getting a special order of it online. Quark (pronounced “kvark”) is a German staple that not only makes for a delicious cheesecake but is a healthier snack alternative to cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. Germans who have made their new home in the US have craved the taste of this homeland treat, and starting this spring, a new startup company in Southern California is going to put an end to their wait.
Elli Quark showed off their German-style Quark cheese during the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim last month after the founder set out to find a healthy snack that wasn’t filled with salt or sugar. Founder Preya Patel Bhakta had a nutritionist recommend cottage cheese, but was put off by the excessive amounts of salt and did not care for the texture. Greek yogurt has also been a favorite among people looking to eat healthier, but uses a large amount of sugar to enhance the flavor.
After making some modifications to cottage cheese, Preya thought that there had to be something similar to what she made already on the market. It turns out that what she had created was very close to the popular German Quark cheese. Since there are not many options for getting this cheese in the US, she headed out to Germany to sample the variety and get a better idea on how the cheese is made.
Due to the differences in the cows milk between the two countries, the manufacturing process of Elli Quark cheese had to be modified slightly. But after hearing the response from Germans visiting their booth at last month’s Expo, it seems that the difference is unnoticeable.
Starting this month, Elli Quark will be rolling out to stores selling natural products around the country. The 80-90 calorie snack will initially be available in five different flavors (plain, strawberry, lemon, red velvet, and pineapple) and will be found next to the cottage cheese section in the diary aisle. While this isn’t the first attempt to bring German Quark cheese to market in the US, some good marketing and product placement on the shelf can make a difference.