Austrian cheese along with strudel and schnitzel has gained gourmet recognition throughout the world. The traditions of its production are rooted in the past and are based on old recipes.
Hard and semi-hard, soft, natural and fresh – Austrian cheeses are not inferior in quality to the best Swiss, French, Dutch samples. That is why thousands of tourists coming to the country consider it their duty to appreciate the taste variety of local cheese products.
In total, Austria produces about 140-150 different varieties of cheese.
Exceptionally Natural Product
Alpine valleys, spread among the mountains, are considered to be unique. Words cannot convey the beauty of natural landscapes, green meadows with streams flowing along them. These places near mountains and pastures became ideal for farmers producing the best Austrian cheeses. All farms are compact and small, here you will not meet huge dairy plants.
In the summer, animals graze on mountain pastures, where selective clover grows, drink clean water from springs. In winter, cows are fed grain and dry hay, without using any harmful artificial additives. As a result, in Austria they get a 100% natural product – delicious milk, which is rich in healthy fatty amino acids. Cheeses made from it have won many prizes and awards at European and world competitions.
Seven famous Austrian cheeses
All cheeses in the country are incredibly tasty, so it’s difficult to make a mistake with their choice. But there are some varieties that were first produced in Austria, and it is worth paying attention to them first.
The history of this cheese originates in Upper Austria, in the Schlierbach monastery. They produce Saint Severin in the form of small circles (weighing up to 200 g). When ripening, they are treated with a special composition, due to which the cheese is covered with a characteristic crust of yellow-red color.
Cheese Saint Severin
Saint Severin is the only cheese in the country that is still produced in the cheese factory at the monastery.
The resulting product is oily and greasy (55%), has a delicate texture, herbal aroma and spicy taste. Cheese is served as a separate dish or as an appetizer for wines.
The birthplace of this Austrian blue noble cheese is Styria. For a long time it was made here manually and only relatively recently switched to industrial technology. A greasy (more than 55%) and oily product is interspersed with mold, has a spicy taste and a rather sharp aroma. It is very easy to chop, but does not crumble.
Cheese can be eaten with fresh bread, served with dessert wines, offered as an independent snack. In Austria, Ostercron is widely used in cooking: it is used to prepare various sauces, add it to soups and salads, and pasta.
This Austrian variety will be appreciated by hard cheese lovers. It is called mountainous because it produces a product from raw cow’s milk in cheese dairies at a height of at least 1000 m. It has a high calcium content and the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes the cheese incredibly useful.
What food can be brought from Austria
Bergkeze ripens from 3 months to six months, while the heads must be regularly turned over and wiped. The finished product has a dense texture, small holes and a soft crust. Intense sweetish taste inherent nutty notes. Cheese is served with pears, nuts or just with fresh bread, it is also used in the preparation of hot dishes.
Moosbacher is considered the king among the semi-hard cheeses of Austria. It has a rich flavor palette – it can be spicy or sweet, with nutty or honey notes.
Moosbacher is distinguished from all Austrian cheeses by a particular painstaking method of production. Walnuts are added to the cow’s milk and form heads that are wrapped in linen fabric (with this method of storage branded “eyes” are formed). The cheese crust is rough, and the flesh is tender and yellowish. The product is ideal for young wines and traditional Austrian beer.
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The most famous Austrian gray cheese, Graukese, was first made in the mid-19th century in the Tyrolean valleys of the Alps. Make it from cow’s milk. The product has a rough crust, stable aroma, spicy-sour taste and low fat content (from 0.5 to 2%). The cheese acquires a gray tint due to noble mold.
Delicacy is served as a snack with brown bread, dessert wines or as a side dish for hot dishes. Locals use it to make risotto. The most famous brand of cheese in Austria is Tiroler Graukäse.
This hard cheese was named after the famous Austrian musician and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. During ripening, the cheese is treated with wine.