“You’re Hungarian right”?
“Maybe you can help me find this Hungarian cheese. I’ve been looking for it and can’t find it anywhere, I had it a long time ago and it was so good, I’ve been trying to find it since.”
“Was it a bit funky? I seem to remember a liptauer cheese, let me find it for you, I’ll post it on the blog when I do.”
I found the recipes right away, it’s amazing to me that I can recall this cheese, but not where I left my phone, or what was I looking for?
What came to mind was this one. I remembered the cheese ball, rolled in a topping then served as a spread with bread or crackers. “Was it funky?” I asked. “Yes” he answered. So this is what I think he is looking for.
According to George Lang, who was a bit of a historian as well as a great chef says this about the origins of this dish:
The cheese which is the base of the spread originally came from a north Hungarian area called Lipto. The Austrians who make a similar mixture call it liptauer, or more correctly Liptauer Garniert. Since in Hungary Lipto is only the name of the cheese itself, this causes undue mixups in non-Hungarian recipes. If you are unable to buy the real sheeps-milk cheese, a very similar product is called Brindza, which comes from Rumania, can be purchased in the better cheese stores.
The basic musts are the sheeps-milk cheese, paprika, onion and caraway seeds. All the other ingredients are optional.
In my home town I would not eat this cheese spread at my friends house because her mother also put capers and sardines in the mixture.
In aristocratic houses and at the National Casino the spread was served topped with Beluga caviar, which makes a very good combination, particularly if you are tired of eating caviar in the traditional way.
Trieste, on the Adriatic, was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the treaty of Trianon in 1920, but even then it had strong Italian food influence. The same cheese spread was made in Trieste with Gorgonzola cheese substituting for the sheeps-milk cheese and Mascarpone, a fresh cream cheese, substituting for the butter.
1/2 pound Lipto sheeps-milk cheese
1/4 pound lightly salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon pounded caraway seeds
1 small onion grated
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1. Sieve the cheese and mix it with softened butter and all other ingredients until the spread is light red in color and evenly mixed. Refrigerate.
2. Serve with wedges of good crusty bread or toast, accompanied by young radishes, green peppers or scallions.
This recipe is from my ancient little Hungarian cookbook.
There you have it. A beginning to mix up your own version of this Austrian, Hungarian, Slovakian, Italian, Swiss, appetizer. Everyone has a version. An american version can be found under pimento cheese spread. I think any cheese spread would be amazing on my savory little buns I’ve made lately. Stop by and taste them. I may just whip up some Lipto spread for you too!