Obazda or Obatzter

written on 30/07/2020
by Heidrun Strobl

or Obatzda ? However you call it, this dish is a very tasty cheese speciality in Bavaria. It is an essential part of a hearty Brotzeit (snack) at home, in a Beer Garden or in a traditional inn. It is a kind of spread and usually served with a Pretzel, but also tastes delicious on a slice of sourdough bread.

The word Obazda stems from the alt Bavarian dialect and stands for ‘batzen’ - mix with the hands. But nowadays you are also allowed to use a fork for the preparation 😊

The Obazda is closely connected to the Beer-Garden Culture. If you want to learn more about them, read the article Summertime – Beer Garden Time!

It is said that the original Obazda was created in the 1920’s by Kathi Eisenrieder who was the resourceful innkeeper of the Bräustüberl in Weihenstephan, home to the oldest brewery in world in those days. The idea was to get rid of the overripe cheese whose durability in summertime was very limited. 

The Obazda became a big seller and it rapidly spread beyond the Bavarian borders. The recipe has been changed to suit regional preferences in taste and other names were created for this dish, such as ‘gerupfter Käse’ in Franken, ‘angemachter Käse‘ or ‘Gmanschter’ in Switzerland .

But that’s over now. In 2015 the State Association of the Bavarian dairy industry registered the Obazda as a geographical protected product by the EU. The specifications require at least 40% of mature or overripe Brie or Camembert, supplemented by butter, salt, paprika powder. Onions, caraway seed, milk ,cream and beer are also allowed. Most importantly, it has to be prepared in Bavaria - otherwise it is NOT Obazda.

Recipe for 4 people:

  • onion, finely chopped 
  • onion, finely sliced for decoration
  • 200g of mature or overripe Camembert or Brie ( in other words, if your fridge starts to stink, it is the right moment). Taleggio could also be a good choice.
  • 100g of Philadelphia (double cream) or any other kind of creamcheese. Romadour or Limburger gives the Obazda a stronger taste (not recommended for newbies) but is hard to get in Italy 
  • 40g soft Butter
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika powder
  • salt and pepper
  • Caraway seeds, ground or crushed

Peel the onion and chop it finely.

Mash (in Bavarian ‘batze’) the  camembert with your hands or use a fork. Mix with Philadelphia, the chopped onion and the butter. Flavour it with paprika powder, salt and pepper according to your own taste.

Cover up for about 30 min and spice up if necessary.

Before you serve the Obazda you can garnish it with chives, a touch of paprika powder and some onion rings.

We wish you an Guadn (buon appetito) as we say in Bavaria.

Remember! Don’t call it Obazda if you prepare this dish outside Bavarian borders.