My daughters and I eat a lot of yogurt, so we were intrigued when Aldi offered creamy German style quark as a Special Buy (ALDI Find). Quark is not technically yogurt. It’s a type of soft cheese, but it looks and tastes similar to yogurt.
Aldi’s quark is made by Elli, based in Los Angeles, California. It’s sold in other stores besides Aldi, but when I visited Elli’s store locator page to find other retailers near me, it only gave me Aldi locations. Does that perhaps mean Aldi might be bringing quark on as a Regular Buy that will be in stores all the time? I’m not sure.
The packaging on the quark I purchased explains what quark is: it’s a “spoonable fresh cheese with a creamy texture similar to Greek yogurt, but with a richer, less sour taste. It also has a better protein-to-carb ratio than Greek yogurt, with high protein and no added sugars.” Elli’s website markets it as “cheesecake in a cup.”
Elli Quark reportedly has some advantages over yogurt. Mainly, it has no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners. The ingredients list for the flavor I bought says it uses a plant-based sweetener blend consisting of erythritol and stevia extract. It’s also 95% lactose free and has 4 grams of net carbs.
Elli Quark is made with non-GMO ingredients, with milk from cows not treated with rBST. It’s all natural, gluten free, and contains probiotics in the form of live active cultures. It’s also vegetarian friendly and made without gelatin.
The ingredients for the brownie batter flavor I bought are: cultured Grade A whole milk, Elli plant-based sweetener blend (erythritol and stevia extract), cocoa, natural flavors, locust bean gum, pectin, and vegetable rennet.
Elli makes quark in a variety of flavors, but Aldi carried just three: coconut, apple pie, and brownie batter. I’d heard some people say they liked the brownie batter flavor, so I picked that one up to try. It has 100 calories in a 5.3-ounce single-serving container, with 4.5 grams of fat and 12 grams of protein (24% of your recommended daily value for protein). I was skeptical about whether anyone in my household would like it, so I bought just one and had everyone taste a spoonful.
My 10-year-old did not like it at all, and neither did my husband (but he isn’t a huge fan of yogurt either). I did not flat-out dislike the quark, but it is something I might have to adjust to or develop an acquired taste for. My 6-year-old kind of liked it, though. I think — at least for us yogurt-eating girls in my family — there is a psychological hurdle to overcome with quark. We’re so accustomed to eating yogurt, and this isn’t quite the same, but it looks like yogurt, comes in a plastic cup like yogurt, and has a similar texture to yogurt … and yet it’s different in subtle ways.
Aldi’s Special Buy Elli Quark is similar to yogurt, but it’s actually a spoonable cheese. It has no added sugar and contains live probiotics. While my family eats a lot of yogurt for its health benefits (and sometimes just as a dessert), quark is something we might have to acquire a taste for because it’s slightly different and new to us. For now, we’re kind of on the fence about whether we like it or not.