Look at the calendar!  Just a few days left to milk my Oktoberfest theme!  If there were one month to be stuck in for all kinds of reasons, let it be October.  Here is the spread from this past Sunday.  It is called Obatzda, which sounded more Polish to my husband, but from what I can gather is Bavarian in origin.  It is a bier hall staple served with bread, crackers, or pretzels. This delicious spread (dip? condiment?) pairs nicely with radishes, pickles, pickled onions, or really anything one might want to accompany deeply flavored cheese yumminess along with a good dark German beer. 

Although born of bier hall revelry with all of its 44 oz. stein swaying imagery, Obatzda is at home in the home as well.  Take Halloween night, for example.  Who has time to sit down to a nice meal when the doorbell is ringing every two minutes?!  Solution-- set out a bowl with some bread (pretzel bread is a good choice) and veggies and the whole crew can get some wholesome sustenance in between fun-size Whatchamacallits.  Hmmm.  Those sound good too.

makes about 3 cups

1 medium bulb of garlic
Olive oil
Kosher salt
1 pound camembert cheese, rind removed and cut into pieces; at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup dark German beer (I used Beck's Dark)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup sweet onion, finely diced; rinsed under cold water and dried on paper towels
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon chopped chives

Radishes, sliced
Rye Crackers

Preheat the oven to 400┬║ F.  Using a sharp knife, cut the garlic bulb in half.  Keeping the halves together, place the bulb on a sheet of aluminum foil; drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt.  Wrap the foil around the bulb and place on a baking sheet.  Bake until the garlic cloves have softened and caramelized, about 30-35 minutes.  Once the bulb is cool enough to handle, squeeze the top and bottom of the cut bulb to extract the roasted cloves; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the camembert, cream cheese, butter, and beer; process until smooth.  Add the reserved garlic, caraway, and paprika; process to combine.  Add the rinsed and dried chopped onion and pulse 2 to 3 one second pulses just to incorporate.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Transfer the cheese mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for the flavors to blend.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  Sprinkle with chopped chives and more freshly ground black pepper.  Serve with sliced radishes, pickled gherkins, rye crackers, and pretzel buns.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Food.com


  1. This looks so good-perfect for a Halloween party!

  2. This is intriguing! But cheese and beer - what's not to love?

  3. This sounds like Liptauer Cheese, which I love. Gotta try this!

  4. This was wonderful! I loved the addition of roasted garlic.

  5. AnonymousJuly 10, 2014

    This is not an authentic recipe. A echter obaboarischer Obatzda hod nie und nimma an Frischkas und scho gar koa Becks - wos owei eh a greislichs Preissngsoeff is! You can take it from this Bavarian, who is in possession of a genuine 200-year-old family recipe that a) Obatzda never contains cream cheese, b) is not made in a food processor, but by hand, which gives it the unique texture, and c) never contains Becks which is an insult to every Bavarian.

    1. To July 10 Anonymous:
      Most articles talk about obatzda first being served in a certain pub in the 1920s. Congratulations on apparently having an old family recipe that predates that by a full century. Sounds like an exaggeration, or perhaps outright Kuhschei├če.
      The recipe as posted calls for German dark beer, the author only noted they used Becks. Reading comprehension, it's a wonderful thing.
      While I'll grant you that cream cheese isn't in most "authentic" recipes, the texture is the same as the brie or camembert being used so all it's really doing is toning down the flavors of those pungent cheeses and making it a little sweeter. It's not significantly altering the soul of the food. So chill out.
      I for one would like to thank Nicole for posting this.

  6. A member of my family belongs to the program. As such I would prefer not to use alcohol in this recipe. Is there a substitute?

    1. I would suggest using a non-alcoholic beer.

  7. Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! I used laughing cow creamy Swiss instead of cream cheese, 1/2 Camembert 1/2 triple creme brie. For the beer, I used Erdinger Dunker, crafted in Germany. 1/4tsp herbes de provence (did not have caraway).


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