Franconian Delicacy: Gerupfter

Franconia is probably most well known for our fine, often dry, white wines. And where there is wine, there is almost always good food. Good food in Franconia is often simple rather than extravagant. But don't let that fool you: It is delicious, nonetheless.

A prime example of a fine Franconian snack with wine is "Gerupfter" (known in other parts of Bavaria as "Obatzda" or in high German "angemachter Käse"). Essentially this is nothing more (or less) than a mixture of fine Camembert cheese with butter, sweet red paprika powder (some prefer a dash of the spicy variety) and chopped onions. This is an excellent spread for the hearty German "Graubrot" or sour-dough bread. But beware: The longer the cheese sits with the onions mixed in, the spicier it gets (which is why it is often served with rings/slices of fresh onion in the side).

And it wouldn't be Germany if we didn't have laws and/or regulations governing the production of "Gerupfter" (at least for serving in restaurants). The regulation is called the "Käseverordnung" or "cheese regulation" and stipulates that for a cheese dish bearing this name it must be prepared with 50% Camembert and 50% butter. This is important because every Franconian cook usually has his/her own house recipe of how to prepare this cheese extravaganza (with a hint of cream cheese for example). In Restaurants you will usually find the original recipe for cooks' fear of being caught by a lab analysis of mixing in anything other than cheese and butter (and spices, of course) into the holy "Gerupfter".


Obatzda/Gerupfter (Wikipedia, English):

Graubrot (Wikipedia, German):

Käseverordnung (Wikipedia, German):

Photo: "Fränkische Käseplatte" in a Gasthaus in Bamberg with a small helping of Gerupfter (at the top of the picture)