Oktoberfest Obatzda (Bavarian cheese spread)

This deliciously creamy, paprika-bright cheese spread, a staple in Bavarian biergartens with soft pretzels, hasn’t made it to America yet. Let’s spread the good word of obatzda this Oktoberfest. It goes great with cold beer and just about anything else.


  • 8 ounces (225 grams) Camembert cheese
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons minced chives (or scallions)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cut rind off the camembert and plop the soft insides into to a bowl, along with cream cheese and butter. Let it all soften for a few minutes at room temperature.
  2. Use a spoon to blend the cheese and butter, pressing out any large chunks. Add chives and paprika. Season with and a pinch of salt (pepper also if you like). Mix well. Serve with soft pretzels, rye crackers and cold beer.


  • Obatzda can be strong tasting or mild, depending on the strength of your Camembert. You can also substitute brie, which will give a similar texture but a little different taste.
  • Optional adds: a spoonful of beer (just a bit, or your spread will be runny and bitter), a sprinkling of ground cumin or caraway seeds.
  • Garnish Bavarian style with thin-sliced onions and radishes.

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