Quark is a fresh cheese, which means, a cheese without ripening. In traditional production, pasteurized milk is acidified and thickened by lactic acid bacteria and by a small amount of rennet (a mixture of enzymes). The curd is cut, in orderto seperate liquid and solid components from each other. The whey (the liquid part) is removed traditionally by draining in a cloth. Nowadays centrifugation or ultrafiltration are more common. To the low fat Cream cheese cream is added, depending on the desired fat content. Quark is easily digestible and contains a lot of high-quality protein and calcium. The production of quark and other fresh cheeses has been known since at antiquity. The Roman historian Tacitus already reports that the Germanic tribes fed on curdled milk (lac concretum). However, it is unclear whether this was curd, soured milk or some other fresh cheese preparation.
In the Middle Ages, the term "Topfen" (curd) appeared, which is still used today in Bavaria and Austria to refer to quark with a high dry matter. It refers to the production in a pot or to the round, pot-like shape of the quark.
Quark is used for cold and warm dishes. With fruits it becomes a sweet dessert, with herbs a dip. Quark is the main ingredient of the German cheesecake (in the American cheesecake, cream cheese is used), Other applications are in the quark-oil dough, in many pastries, sushi or simply on bread.