The ever popular biergarten staple and Oktoberfest favorite, this traditional Obatzda recipe is the perfect party food for your next gathering! This creamy Bavarian cheese spread is delicious served with pretzels, rustic bread, crackers or veggies!
Today we are journeying to the land of my mother’s birth and where I grew up in wide-eyed awe at the beauty of the landscapes and castles: Bavaria, Germany. And we are specifically venturing into the world of classic “biergarten food” in the form of one of the region’s most popular staples: Obatzda!
What is Obatzda?
Obatzda, also known as Obatzder or Obazda, is an orange-colored Bavarian cheese spread that’s made from combining aged soft cheese (usually camembert) with butter, some Frischkäse (can use quark or cream cheese), onion, and spices. A splash or two of beer is also a popular addition. Some people prefer their Obaztda really strong and add some Limburger. A similar spread that’s found in Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria is known as Liptauer and is typically made with sheep or goat cheese. Obatzda is served with pretzels or rye bread.
What is the Origin of Obatzda?
It’s said that it all started in the 1920’s with the landlady of the famous Weihenstephan Bräustüberl, the world’s oldest brewery, in Freising, a small town in Bavaria, Germany. She gathered up overripe cheese scraps and mashed them together with butter and spices to serve as a cheese spread at the brewery. Her patrons loved it and it has since become a staple of Bavarian biergarten food. The renowned orange-colored cheese spread is synonymous with Oktoberfest and can be found everywhere throughout the region.
How to Serve Obatzda
Obatzda is commonly served garnished with any combination of chopped chives, onion slices and/or radishes. It’s served with traditional Bavarian pretzels or sliced rye bread. It’s also delicious with some rustic sourdough bread. Alternatively you can also serve it spread on crackers or as a dip for vegetables.
Depending on whether you prefer to serve it as a spread or as a dip, you can determine the consistency by how much beer and/or heavy cream you add to it.
Let’s get started!
Place the camembert in a medium sized bowl and mash it thoroughly with a fork.
Add the remaining ingredients except for the onion and continue to mash until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. It should not be completely smooth, it should be chunky.
Let the spread chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, and then stir in the onions before serving. (The onions will release liquid if left in too long and will make the spread watery.) Add salt to taste.
To serve, garnish the Obatzda with some onion slices, chopped chives, and some sliced radishes if desired.
For more German favorites be sure to try our:
- German Apple Cake
- German Potato Salad
- German Plum Cake
- German Sauerkraut Soup
- German Potato Soup
- German Potato Pancakes
Obatzda (Bavarian Cheese Spread)
- 8 ounces ripe camembert (can substitute brie) , at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese (full fat)
- 5 tablespoons quality butter , softened at room temperature
- 1 small yellow onion , very finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds , coarsely crushed
- 2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
- 2 tablespoons wheat beer (optional)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For garnish: chopped chives, sliced red onions, sliced radishes
- Place the camembert in a medium sized bowl and mash it thoroughly with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients except for the onion and continue to mash until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. It should not be completely smooth, it should be chunky. Let the spread chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, and then stir in the onions before serving. (The onions will release liquid if left in too long and will make the spread watery.) Add salt to taste.To serve, garnish the Obatzda with some onion slices, chopped chives, and some sliced radishes if desired.Serve with soft pretzels, rye bread, crackers or vegetables.