A Toast to German Cheese
Cheese. Loved by the English, Germans, and mice of all nationalities. The UK boasts a number of famous cheeses such as Cheddar but Germany is the King of Käse production in Europe.
There are over 400 types of cheese made in Germany. It was the monks of the middle ages who kicked off Germany's love affair with cheese. The monks recorded farmers recipes which ensured that regional cheeses followed the same specific process. Monks became some of the very first foody connoisseurs. Thanks to them many kinds of cheese follow the same ancient recipes. Germany's cheeses are artisan, authentic and prized around the world.
Seventy percent of Germany's cheeses are made in Bavaria. The Allgäu is known as the German dairy as it produces the largest amount of cheese. Famous Allgäuer Mountain Cheese and Emmentaler cheese are made from the milk of cows who graze the pastures of Allgäu. Emmentaler is legally protected and can only be made in the Allgäu Alps.
Odenwalder Frühstückskäse is a specialty cheese. In Germany cheese is traditionally served at breakfast time and this is known as a breakfast cheese. The recipe is also protected which means that it can only be produced in the Hessian Odenwald region of the country.
Germans love a curd cheese known as Quark. It is rather like cottage cheese and comes in full fat or low-fat varieties. Each person consumes more than 17 lbs per year. It can be eaten as a savoury cheese served with herbs or sweetened with jam as a dessert.
There are moldy cheeses like Weisslackerkäse and Edelpilzkäse (blue cheese) which are world class specialty cheeses. Then there are the old faithful cheeses such as Gouda which is used for sauces and cooking. Gouda is Germany's most popular cheese.
With a vast selection of cheeses available it is little wonder that Germany sports some delicious cheese-based recipe ideas. One of the quickest and tastiest of these cheese based meals is cheese spätzle. Spätzle is a type of pasta made in Germany. It is difficult to obtain in the UK although not impossible. Spätzle can be made at home although a special spätzle strainer is essential.
How to make German cheese spatzle
What you will need
12 oz dry spatzle ( if you can't get hold of any substitute with noodle style pasta).
2 cups of grated Emmentaler cheese.
2 Tbsp butter.
2 small onions (sliced)
salt and pepper to season.
Preheat your oven to 325° F.
Cook the spatzle ( or pasta) and drain.
Heat the butter in a shallow frying pan and sauté the onions until lightly browned, about 5 - 10 minutes.
Butter the casserole dish. Begin by layering with half of the Spätzle, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat, ending with the cheese.
Top with the sautéed onions.
Bake for about 20 - 30 minutes, or until bubbly and slightly browned on top.
Serve whilst hot and enjoy with a salad.
If you want to try a traditional German breakfast, try slices of cheese or quark style cheese with bread rolls. Wash this delicious meal down with lashings of hot tea or coffee.