The name of this German specialty means hand cheese, referring to the fact that it's handshaped into irregular rounds, cylinders or other forms. it's made from skimmed, sour cow's milk, which gives the cheese a sharp, pungent flavor and very strong (some say overpowering) smell. The rind is gray and the interior off-white and soft. Handkäse is usually eaten as a snack.

The best known version is Mainz.

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