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MY COOKBOOK

18.3.12

HUNGARIAN CHEESE SPREAD – LIPTÓI KÖRÖZÖTT


Neither Slovak nor Austro-Hungarian, Liptó was a county of Hungary until the end of WWI. Same with the cheese, Hungarian juhturó or Liptói túró was Hungarian and yet the world knows it by its Germanic name, Liptauer and northern Slovakia gets the credit for its production. The area in question as well as the cheese never gets a mention by its actual Hungarian name.  Now anybody with a little bit of know in European history would realize that Liptó got annexed from Hungary in 1919 and with that went whatever was produced there. I was very disappointed Anikó Gergely failed to include Liptói túró  or the körözött recipe in Culinaria Hungaria. Liptó may be lost, but Hungarians never stopped eating liptói túró or körözött.

There is no substitution for the real stuff, no curd cheese or even goat cheese equals the sheep-milk based Liptói. This cheese has a unique flavour and is the basis for the Hungarian körözött, the amazing cheese spread that has no equal.

In Canada, I have to make do with either feta or soft goat cheese. Feta is a salty cheese, and the brined varieties should be soaked in water anyway, so there is no need to add salt to the feta mix. On the other hand goat cheese is unsalted and so I add salt to the spread.

Feta Cheese Körözött
This feta based cheese spread is closer in resemblance to the authentic Liptói körözött.

1 cup feta cheese, pleasantly salt [If too salty, soak in water first]
125 g cream cheese [the small package]
1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp partially ground caraway seeds
1/2 cup chopped chives or green onion

• Blend the feta cheese with the cream cheese.
• Add the Hungarian paprika, pepper and the caraway seeds.
• Mix to combine.
• Add the chopped chives or the green onions and mix to combine.
• Form into a ball, warp and set in the fridge for the night so flavours can meld.

Goat Cheese Körözött
This one is a nice alternative, and a little creamier than the feta based spread.

300 g unripened goat cheese
250 g cream cheese
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 Tbsp crushed caraway seed
1/4 cup minced red onions [but do not grate it]

• Place ingredients in a medium large bowl and beat it until soft.
• Spoon mixture into a small serving bowl and chill for 3 to 4 hours.
• Spread the körözött on bread or a crusty bun.
• Decorate open face party sandwiches with körözött piped on the top.



4 comments:

  1. Zsuzsa, I have made once körözött with Polish curd cheese. It was really delicious, maybe because I have never tasted the Hungarian sheep cheese :-) I will try looking for soft fresh sheep cheese here (although I have no idea if it exists). Your version of this spread sounds excellent, so if I don't find fresh sheep cheese, I will mix feta and goat cheese like you.

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  2. Sissi, Hungarians sometimes use turo to make korozott, Liptoi turo is very expensive and when I was a kid, it was not always available. Traditionally Liptoi is whipped with butter to make the korozott spreadable. Plus butter does not alter the Liptoi’s flavour. Since I don't have the authentic Liptoi anyway, the cream cheese seemed like a sensible solution.

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  3. Zsuzsa, how many servings does this recipe make? It looks delicious and I plan on making it for a Hungarian-themed dinner party.

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  4. Hi Beauti, the recipe makes a bit more than 2 cups. Good luck with the dinner party. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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