What Is Liptauer?

A. Leverkuhn

Liptauer is a kind of cheese spread common in parts of Europe. It has a spicy flavor, and a consistency like that of cream cheese. This dish is often served with items like salami, on toast, bagels or other similar foods. It is composed of sheep’s milk and/or goat’s milk cheeses and other ingredients.

Liptauer is often seasoned with paprika.
Liptauer is often seasoned with paprika.

Although Liptauer is popularly attributed to areas of Slovakia, it is also common in Hungary, Austria, and parts of Italy and Germany. Many residents of these areas know liptauer from its being served at various public functions or family events. The Liptov region of Slovakia is well known for this concoction.

Slovakia is strongly associated with Liptauer, a type of cheese spread found in Eastern Europe.
Slovakia is strongly associated with Liptauer, a type of cheese spread found in Eastern Europe.

Liptauer can be made for storage, or served straight from the kitchen. Both types of recipes tend to follow a simple process of blending all ingredients and chilling before serving. Some prepared liptauer comes in foil or plastic serving containers.

Versions of this cheese spread start with sheep or goat milk cheese. A common one is a sheep milk product known as bryndza. Other types of cheeses can be blended in to achieve the texture of the finished product. These include cottage cheese, cream cheese, or other soft cheeses.

Along with cheese products, cooks may add other elements to liptauer. One common addition is red onions or other onion types. Capers can also be added. Some cooks also add butter or margarine to the cheese spread. Beer is a popular addition to this spread as well. Not surprisingly, the cheese spread is often served with beer as a beverage, as well.

Spices for this dish include paprika, salt, hot pepper grounds, caraway seeds, and mustard. All of these give liptauer a uniquely sharp and spicy flavor. Cooks blend in ingredients carefully, and it may take some trial and error for a beginner to get the ratios right.

In its finished form, this cheese spread is not unlike others known by different names in other parts of the world. The unique flavorings of liptauer may make it a singular dish that appeals to a desire for exotic snack foods, but other cheese spreads may incorporate many of the same spices and elements. The chiefly unique properties of this dish seem to consist of its use of non-bovine milk cheeses, blended with the array of spices that accomplish the distinctly smoky, spicy taste.

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