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The Ultimate Bar Food

Here’s a great snack to accompany that Oktoberfest (or Mocktoberfest) beer you brewed.

Dave Carpenter October 02, 2015

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Munich’s 2015 Oktoberfest may be pouring its last liters this weekend, but Bavarian-themed festivals in the United States and elsewhere often continue well into October. And if you’ve followed our schedule for Mocktoberfest, your brew should be ready this weekend!

Those of you who read my posts know I have a soft spot for all things Teutonic (my forebears immigrated to the United States from Saxony in the mid-1800s), including great German beer. After a few such great beers, you’ll need a few great snacks, which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to share a recipe for one of the best.

I speak, of course, of _Obatzda _(pronounced “Oh-BOTS-duh”). Served in biergartens all over Bavaria, Obatzda is arguably the world’s finest bar food and certainly the most delicious way to soften up that beach body you worked on all summer. The days are getting colder: You don’t need it anymore.

A creamy mélange of cheeses, butter, beer, and spices, Obatzda is exactly what you want when you’re presented with another _Maß _of Festbier and the old guy in the corner starts shredding it on the tuba. Serve it with pretzels, serve it with rye bread, or simply serve it by the spoonful. Placing this Southern German specialty in front of your guests is guaranteed to get the _Gemütlichkeit _flowing.

O’zapft is! Obatzda

Active preparation time: 10 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8 comfortably as an appetizer or snack (it’s very rich)

  • 8 oz (225 g) Camembert cheese
  • 4 oz (115 g) cream cheese
  • 1.5 oz (40 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 small to medium white onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/50 ml) Bock, Doppelbock or Märzenbier (preferably homebrewed), plus additional to taste
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tsp ground caraway seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh chives, chopped
  • Radish slices
  • Slices of German-style rye bread

Let the Camembert cheese, cream cheese, and butter soften at room temperature, about 15 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the Camembert cheese, cream cheese, and butter until well blended. Add the chopped onion, beer, sweet paprika, and ground caraway seed, and mix thoroughly to combine. Add salt, pepper, and additional beer to taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped the chives and radish slices. You can serve this immediately if you want, but it’s best if you refrigerate it 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld and remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy with German-style rye bread and your favorite German beer. Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!

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Have you brewed this recipe? What did you think?