Harz cheese is a low-fat, low-calorie sour milk cheese made from cow's milk in the Harz region of Germany. Harzer cheese is made from low-fat curd cheese and is typically flavored with caraway seeds.
Harz cheese is available as mold Harz, which is covered with a white noble mold, and as bacteria Harz or red smear Harz, which is covered with an orange-brown smear layer. Harzer cheese is usually sold as small, round, dal-shaped loaves (Handkäse, Dalers) or roll-shaped or cylindrical (Stangenkäse). If several small loaves are packed one after the other in a stick, it is called "Harzer Roller". Harzer cheese changes its cheese flavor and aroma as it ages. Young cheese has a white, crumbly center and a mild cheese flavor. Medium ripened Harzer cheese has only a small white center and is aromatic in flavor. Long-matured Harzer cheese is golden yellow throughout and slightly translucent. Particularly old Harzer can also "run", i.e. become viscous.
The cheese flavor is strong, the odor strong and sometimes pervasive, especially with Harzer Rotschmiere. Harz cheese is decidedly low in fat, with a fat content of less than 10% in dry matter, and is therefore well suited as a diet food. The protein content, on the other hand, is relatively high at 37%. Harz cheese is mainly eaten as a cold meal or as a snack with lard bread or mustard and gherkins.