Quark is a type of fresh cheese, also known as tvorog, topfen, etc. It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins and then strained. Dictionaries usually translate it as curd cheese or cottage cheese, although most commercial varieties of cottage cheese are made with rennet, whereas traditional quark is not. It is soft, white and un-aged, similar to some types of fromage frais. It is distinct from ricotta because ricotta (Italian: recooked) is made from scalded whey. Quark usually has much lower fat content (about the same as yoghurt) than cream cheeses and has no salt added.
In Germany, quark is sold in small plastic tubs and usually comes in two different varieties, "Magerquark" (lean quark) and "Sahnequark" (cream quark) with added cream. While the former is often used for baking and as health food, e.g. as a breakfast spread, the latter also forms the basis of a large number of quark desserts. Much like yoghurts in most parts of the world, these treats mostly come with fruit flavouring ("Früchtequark", i.e. fruit quark), and are often also simply referred to as quark. As the large popularity of quark desserts is limited to mainly the German-speaking countries, confusion might arise when talking about quark with people unfamiliar with the German of Austrian cuisine.