World Quark Day
annually on January 19th (since 2019)
The Queen of Quark in August 2018
Created by The Queen of Quark, a German-born author and advocate for quark and healthy eating, World Quark Day celebrates quark, a fresh dairy product that is part of the acid-set cheese group. During the first year's celebration, in 2019, The Queen of Quark teamed up with Hawthorne Valley Farm at GrowNYC Greenmarket in New York City's Union Square, and gave away quark recipes and copies of The Queen of Quark's new book, The Ultimate Quark Guide and Cookbook.
Events were also held in London. A collaboration between The Queen of Quark and High Mood Food brought forth a menu focusing on quark at a few High Mood Food locations. Books for Cooks, a book store in London's Notting Hill neighborhood that focuses on cookbooks, which also has a test kitchen, had a menu that focused on quark as well. In addition, both High Mood Food and Books for Cooks had free copies of The Queen of Quark's cookbook on hand.
Quark, also known as quarg, is a soft, white, and fresh dairy product that provides an alternative to soft cheese or yogurt. It is made by warming sour milk until it curdles, and then straining it. Low in carbohydrates and sodium, but high in protein, quark is often flavored with herbs, spices, and fruit. It is used in sweet and savory dishes—in baking, cooking, and blending. Quark is more popular in Europe than anywhere else, and there it has even been used for beauty and therapeutic treatments. It is most prevalent in countries where German and Dutch are spoken, in Slavic countries, and in Scandinavia.
In Germany, quark is sold in plastic tubs with one of three levels of fat content, being labeled as skimmed quark, regular quark, or creamy quark. Quark is sold in a similar fashion in Eastern Europe. Many dishes are prepared with quark. A German cheesecake called käsekuchen or quarkkuchen is made with quark. A similar cheesecake from Austria is topfenkuchen, and one from Switzerland is quarktorte. Quarkölteig is a dough composed of quark, vegetable oil, and wheat flour that is used in German cuisine. Kräuterquark is a German dish made by mixing quark with chopped onions and herbs, such as parsley and chives. It is sometimes eaten with boiled potatoes. In the Netherlands, kwarktaart is made by mixing quark with whipped cream, gelatin, and sugar and placing it in a cookie crumb crust.
Some desserts in Slavic regions prepared with quark include tvarožník in the Czech Republic, tvarohovník in Slovakia, sernik in Poland, and syrnyk in Ukraine. A variety of quark popular in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus is tvorog, which is used as a stuffing in blinchiki, and used to make pashka and syrniki, a variety of cheese pancakes. In Poland, quark is mixed with mashed potatoes and used to fill pierogies.
How to Observe World Quark Day
In an effort to spread the word about quark, The Queen of Quark has encouraged people to share their experiences with quark on social media using the hashtags #quarkupyourlife and #worldquarkday. You could use the day to pick up some quark at a store or make your own. You could also make a dish with quark, by using an online recipe or one from The Ultimate Quark Guide and Cookbook.