New Year's Isn't New Year's Without the Dip

In 2003, I visited my friend Jana in Munich during Oktoberfest. I love Bavarian beer and lederhausen as much as the next girl, but the highlight of the festival's offerings, in my opinion, was this mysterious cheese dip that complemented the famous Bavarian soft pretzels. Jana and I probably polished off one order every day we went to Oktoberfest. She didn't know what it was called or was in it, or pretended not to know, so we continued inhaling artery-defeating quantities. In thinking of unusual party recipes that might be good for New Year's, I remembered the dip and did a little internet research. Turns out it's called "obatzda," and the key ingredients are camembert, cream cheese, butter, beer, and paprika. It tastes just as good as it sounds, and I bring you what seems to me a pretty accurate recipe. Don't forget the soft pretzels:

Bavarian Cheese Dip (Obatzda)

Another of my favorite unusual dips, should you be lactose-intolerant (in which case the obatza would, well, it just might kill you. just thinking about it is probably making you gassy. it's okay, don't be shy!), is olive tapanade. It's actually kinda healthy, if you ignore the vast quantities of salt:

Kalamata Tapenade
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