December 6, 2022

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A Brief History of Austrian Cheese

A Brief History of Austrian Cheese

We’ve teamed up with Europe Dwelling of Cheese: Austrian Cheese to share all the beauty—and allll the cheese—that Austria has to offer. Austria’s mountainous landscape is household to 100% GMO-no cost dairy creation, which will make for some definitely legendary and undeniably delightful curds.


Austria is recognised for several things—Mozart, meticulously crafted cakes, hills so stunning they make Julie Andrews burst into song. However, a person of the country’s correct hidden gems is its cheese culture. Even with the recognition of neighboring alpine cheesemaking regions, Austrian cheese wasn’t available in other European nations around the world until the 1990s, and did not arrive to the U.S. till lately. For generations, the only way to consider Austria’s special, flavorful cheeses was to go to Austria. The good news is for us all, that is setting up to modify.

Cow Region

In Austria, cheese is a way of everyday living. 3-quarters of the country is rugged mountain terrain that’s difficult for developing crops, but perfect for alpine dairy farming. In this amazing landscape, smaller herds of indigenous alpine cows munch clover, dandelion, meadowsweet, marigold, thistle, and the innumerable other wild herbs and grasses that blanket the idyllic alpine pastureland. And as if which is not bucolic adequate, they also quench their thirst with snow soften from distinct mountain streams. Respect for these cows runs so deep in Austrian society, they actually throw them a celebration to welcome them house from high mountain pastures each and every fall—it’s known as Almabtrieb, and the animals dress in flower crowns and bells for it.

“[It’s] a colorful and lovely tribute,” says Sarah Mentin, who has attended many an Almabtrieb and is effective for Alma, an Austrian dairy cooperative. Mentin claims each individual farmer has all around 20 cows, and thinks of them as loved ones. The milk from these cows is pooled at area dairy co-ops that renovate it into cheese, or else it’s created into youthful wheels by the farmers them selves. They do so in mountain chalets referred to as Berghütte, in which curd is cooked in copper kettles around fires designed with clean-chopped wooden to coax out flavors of brown butter and toasted nuts. Wheels are then aged on spruce shelves in hundreds of years-old ripening cellars, in a hyper-nearby output line that is as sustainable today as it has been for centuries.

A Tale of Curds Earlier

In point, Austrian cheese is older than Austria by itself. Their mountain cheeses descend from caseus alpinus, created underneath Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Charlemagne in the ninth century. Even prior to the Romans arrived to the spot, itinerant wanderers have been crafting sour milk cheeses like Tyrolean Grey Cheese (or Tiroler Graukäse), Glundner Käse, Montafoner Sura Käse, Ennstaler Steirerkäse, Murtaler Steirerkäse, and numerous other individuals as far back again as the Stone Age.

This record has led to a variety of styles—450 varieties, give or take—and the names can get baffling. It helps to know that Austrians communicate German, and in German “käse” interprets to “cheese,” “berg” to “mountain,” and “alp” or “alm” to “mountain pasture.” The cheeses also usually consider on the title of a region—popular wheels of Vorarlberg Bergkäse PDO and Alpkäse, for instance, come from the Vorarlberg mountains. Every region’s exceptional terroir gives its cheeses their have style of place. Considerably like wine, inputs like local weather, h2o, plant existence, and even geological makeup in Austria produce flavors completely expressive of the land.

And it is not just tough mountain cheeses—Austria also generates delicate wheels that vary from moderate bloomy rinds to pungent washed ones, and day again to when monasteries peppered the hillsides. There are blues, too, and medium-business wheels that are identified for their smooth paste and enormous Emmentaler-like eye holes. No make a difference the design and style, they are all manufactured with utmost regard for the land (Austria’s 6.9 million acres of agricultural land are all GMO-totally free), working with recipes passed down through generations of loved ones-owned operations.

The resulting cheese culture is robust. Each and every Austrian city has cheese shops, from Jumi Käse in Vienna to Kaslochl in Salzburg, and most grocery outlets have cheese counters. In Vorarlberg, there’s even a KäseStrasse (Cheese Highway), known for developing 60 cheese varieties in 17 valley dairies and 90 alpine farmsteads.

Austrian Cheese in the Kitchen area

So what do Austrians do with all this cheese? Effectively, like any happy alpine dweller, they make fondue. But they also craft dishes like Käsespätzle (consider: Austrian micro mac & cheese), Käseknödel (cheese dumplings), and Palatschinken (cheese pancakes), which Mentin claims are well known in households through the country. Austrians even make their individual version of cheese plates, named Kalte Platten or Bretteljausen, accented by brown bread and wursts (sausages) of forest recreation meat.

These cheeses are finally building their way into kitchens overseas, way too. They are globe-class melters, fantastic for grilled cheeses, cheesy pastas, dips, egg dishes, and tarts the two sweet and savory. They’re fast close friends with zippy Austrian wines like Grüner Veltliner, or Bavarian brews like Weizenbier, Helles and Vienna lagers, and bocks. And they’re excellent for snacking—you never need substantially more than an apple and a crusty piece of bread to enjoy them. No matter how you pick to welcome this unusual treat into your kitchen area, you are guaranteed an eye-opening taste of Austria’s attractive land and loaded history in each and every chunk.



What is your favourite sort of cheese from Austria? Explain to us in the feedback underneath!

Our mates at Europe Dwelling of Cheese: Austrian Cheese are spreading the phrase on curds produced in this amazing alpine location. Cheesemaking in Austria is sustainable by character many thanks to the region’s normal means, making certain the hundreds of years-outdated artisanal methods can continue—and that the herds of satisfied cows can go on to be, very well, delighted.

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