World Quark Day Date in the current year: January 19, 2024

World Quark Day World Quark Day is celebrated every January 19 in honor of a dairy product that gets far less attention and praise than it deserves. Widely consumed in continental Europe, quark is rare in other parts of the world, and the holiday aims to rectify this.

Quark is a type of fresh cheese common in Central and Eastern Europe (German-speaking, Baltic, and Slavic countries). Its “closest relative” among fresh cheeses is cottage cheese; in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine cottage cheese and quark are even considered variations of the same dairy product. The main difference between the two is in the texture: cottage cheese is grainy, while quark is creamy and resembles thick and lumpy Greek yogurt. In Germany, quark and cottage cheese are considered to be different products, and quark is often not regarded as a type of cheese at all.

Traditional homemade quark is made by souring milk and draining it through a cheesecloth to separate curds from whey. The milk can be soured by adding a little sour cream or buttermilk, lemon juice, or vinegar; it is usually heated to speed up curdling, and lactic acid bacteria do the rest. Commercially produced quark is often made using a small quantity of rennet in addition to lactic acid bacteria. Quark can contain up to 40% of fat, although the most common fat percentage for this dairy product is around 10%.

Quark is a common ingredient in many European cuisines; it can be used to make a variety of dishes, sweet and savory alike. In German-speaking countries, for example, quark can be eaten for breakfast with a side of muesli or fruit, used in baking and as a base for unbaked desserts, and as an ingredient in savory dishes such as sandwiches and salads.

In Slavic countries, quark is often used as a filling in pies, pirozhki (stuffed buns), and dumplings (for example, Polish pierogi or Ukrainian varenyky), as well as to make cheese pancakes and a variety of desserts. It can also be eaten as a breakfast food with sugar, jam, sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, or mixed with chopped herbs to make a savory sandwich spread.

Although quark is popular in Central and Eastern Europe, it is less known in the Americas than other fresh cheeses. Quark is manufactured by just a few dairies in North America and sold mostly by specialty retailers. Some dairies produce a creamier German-style type of quark, while others offer a firmer variation of the product common in Slavic countries.

World Quark Day was created by the Queen of Quark, a healthy eating enthusiast from Bavaria who published a cookbook titled Quark: The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook. She founded a holiday dedicated to quark in 2018 to promote this healthy and delicious product outside of her native Germany and educate people about the health benefits of quark.

There are many ways to celebrate World Quark Day. You can learn more about this type of fresh cheese and its differences from other fresh cheeses, try cooking with quark, make your own quark at home (it’s actually pretty easy), and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #WorldQuarkDay.

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