What Exactly Is Quark, And Is It Superior To Yogurt?

If you had to consider one essential nutrient you should be looking for on your nutrition labels, it's protein. Dietitian Sarah Romotsky calls it the number one thing you should be searching for in all of your foods (per U.S. News & World Report), and according to Food Navigator USA, over half of adult Americans say they are seeking ways to get more protein in their diets. 

There are many good things you can eat to get your recommend protein intake, from a juicy grilled chicken to a hearty breakfast of soft boiled eggs and bacon. But one of the biggest food groups many protein-lovers swear by to get their daily dose is dairy. Out of all the cheeses, milks, and spreads, Greek yogurt tops many people's list as their biggest source of protein from dairy. Greek yogurt can pack in as much as 14 grams of protein per cup, and there are many cool ways to use it in recipes. But compared to one almost identical dairy product, Greek yogurt's protein levels pale in comparison. That product is quark — have you ever heard of it?

What exactly is quark?

Quark is not just a term used in science, or the material used to seal up your bottle of white wine, but a little-known dairy product that's a protein powerhouse. We're talking 28 grams per cup, which is double the amount of protein in most Greek yogurts. It has the smooth consistency and appearance of products like yogurt (think of a sour cream with a much more mild, yogurt-like flavor), but is actually classified as a cheese. Quark is sugar-free, low-carb, and has essential vitamins like A, K, and B. Not to mention it's low FODMAP for our lactose-intolerant friends. 

Beyond its ability to enhance your morning breakfast, quark is also super versatile and can be used in your many baking endeavors, such as cheesecakes and mousses, or as a lower-fat choice in lieu of heavy creams or spreadable cheeses. For all its great qualities, quark is so beloved by some that it's even honored with a world holiday held annually on January 19. While quark has already made a name for itself in places like Austria and Germany, it's not quite yet as well-known in the United States. So, where can you acquire this beloved dairy product?

Where to find this dairy powerhouse

Quark has been known for a while in other parts of the world, but it's still relatively new to U.S. consumers. While it's not yet as widely available here as other dairy products, its popularity is on the rise. For now, here's where you can find it.

The brand Wünder Creamery started paving the way for the availability of quark in the U.S. a few years ago, and the brand now sells it both in stores and online. Stores like Lowes Foods and ShopRite carry quark from Wünder Creamery in their yogurt aisles. Different brands of the dairy product can be found at stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods in the yogurt or cheese aisles, whileKroger carries cups of quark from Vermont Creamery in some of its locations too. 

Beyond some of the bigger grocery chains, specialty cheese shops may also sell quark, as well as online retailers like Amazon or other independent dairy producers. You can also check out a local European-owned grocer near you. If all else fails, with a little bit of buttermilk, you can mix up a homemade batch of quark for yourself.