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Harzer is often small and round, in which case it is called Handkäse or Taler, or cylindrical, in which case it is called Stangenkäse. Frequently, the small and round variety is sold in a cylindrical package, which is then called Harzer Roller.
Harzer cheese is typically flavoured with caraway. Some varieties are white mold cheeses, others red mold cheeses. The latter type generally has a stronger flavour, and both types develop a strong aroma after maturing for a few days or weeks. Harzer has a distinctive strong smell and overpowering flavour.
Harzer contains very little fat (less than 1%) but extremely high protein (usually around 30%) and therefore is often used for special diets and sport nutrition.