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quark

Pronunciation: [kwark, kvark]

German for "curd," quark is a soft, unripened cow's-milk cheese that can be made from pasteurized whole, partially skimmed or fat-free milk. Depending on the milk's fat content and how much whey is removed, it can range in texture from that of sour cream to that of ricotta. Quark has a fresh, faintly tangy flavor similar to sour cream and comes in two versions—low-fat and nonfat. Though the calories are the same in low-fat Quark and low-fat sour cream (about 35 per ounce), Quark's texture is richer. Quark can be found plain or flavored with anything from herbs to fruit to garlic. It's used to top baked potatoes and as an ingredient in a variety of dishes including cheesecakes, dips, salads and sauces. In Austria, it's referred to as Topfen; in Central Europe it's spelled Quarg and Kvarg. See also cheese.