Did you know that Austria is responsible for the production of 8% of all cheeses produced in the world? Almost certainly not!
Even though France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Italy are the nations most well-known for the variety of cheeses they produce, Austria is more than capable of giving these cheese-producing countries a run for their money.
This hilly nation is relatively tiny, but it has an abundance of green grassland, which makes it an ideal location for cattle to graze. In point of fact, throughout the summer months, the vast majority of farmers let their cows go to the highlands to forage on their own.
It should thus come as no surprise that throughout the course of history, Austrians have developed about 400 distinct varieties of cheese. You can’t just throw away all of that leftover cow’s milk without doing anything productive with it, can you?
This section will acquaint you with some of the most mouthwatering cheeses that Austria has to offer. But before we get into that, let’s start with some cold, hard facts regarding the cheese industry in Austria.
A few interesting tidbits regarding the cheese produced in Austria
In contrast to other nations’ practices of using goat’s milk and sheep’s milk in cheese production, cow’s milk is the primary ingredient in most types of cheese produced in Austria. The explanation for this is straightforward: Austria’s farmers care for more than 1.8 million cows, which results in a human-to-cow ratio of four to one.
Additionally, Austrians have a deep and abiding passion for cheese. This little Alpine nation produces approximately 200,000 tonnes of cheese each year, despite the fact that its population is just 8 million people. In addition to selling its own cheese internationally, Austria is also a significant importer of cheese.
An estimated 23 kilogrammes of cheese is consumed annually by the typical Austrian. This should not come as much of a surprise since anybody who has been to rural areas in Austria will be familiar with the area known as the “Bretteljause” or the “Kalte Platte.” This is a traditional country cuisine that often includes a variety of cheeses, sausages, ham, and dark bread as its components.
The fact that this meal is presented to the diner on a wooden cutting board rather than on a plate is what gives it its unique air of sophistication. This is a fairly common supper meal that is served in the countryside of Austria. In addition, it is a very well-liked snack that is often offered in rustic pubs and mountain cottages.
The top 10 most well-known kinds of cheese produced in Austria
1. Bergkase: Alpenkase
The mountain cheese known as Bergkase, which is sometimes spelt Alpkase and may be translated either as Alpine cheese or mountain cheese, is perhaps the most prevalent kind of cheese in Austria.
It has a robust flavour that is often described as having a harsh aftertaste. This cheese is perfect for you if you want to experience the flavour of the Austrian highlands in your mouth. If you give it a go with some white wine, some almonds, some grapes, and some fresh bread, you will be well on your way to cheese paradise.
2. Tiroler Graukase
The word “graukase” refers to a cheese that is traditionally produced in the area of Tyrol in Austria. Because it has a very small amount of fat, this cheese is considered to be one of the healthiest options available. Despite the fact that it is now regarded as a superfood and a delicacy, its history reveals a quite different picture.
Graukase was a method for reusing the milk that was leftover after the production of butter. Back in the day, when peasants were forced to make do with whatever nutrients they could wring out of their products, Graukase was a method for doing so.
You should give this Tyrolean delicacy a try if you are interested in tasting a cheese that is not only very tasty but also incredibly healthy and nutritious in large quantities.
3. Moosbacher Kase
Moosbacher Kase is another cheese that you must not pass up the opportunity to taste. This cheese, which has been honoured with a great number of accolades, may be recognized by the many huge holes that it contains.
It is by far the most well-liked cheese in the world because it is the cheese that is shipped the most from all of Austria. It is believed to have originated in Styria, which is located in the south-eastern section of Austria. Styria is geographically near to Italy and is well-known for the gastronomic pleasures found there.
It may have a flavour that is light and sweet or spicy and robust, depending on the kind, and this versatility makes it the ideal complement to a cheese platter. Because of the great affection that the Austrians have for this cheese, they came up with a unique cheese soup that they named Moosbacher Suppe.
If you like a slice of cheese with mould on it, then you will most likely enjoy Osterkron. This cheese has a notably robust flavour, and its texture ranges from somewhat crumbly to quite wet while yet retaining some moisture. Spreads are made with it, salads feature it prominently, and some Austrians even add it to their stews and meat dishes for an added kick of flavour.
But while there is no end to the ways in which you may utilise this award-winning cheese, the greatest way to properly savour its rich taste is from a cheese plate with some grapes, fresh bread, and a glass of wine. This is the finest way to truly appreciate the cheese’s depth.
5. Amadeus Cheese
This cheese was first manufactured in the mountain huts of Salzburg and was later given its namesake after the great Austrian musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, In spite of the fact that it was aged for a whole month and a half, this delicate cheese has an exceptionally balanced flavour.
If you like cheeses that have been aged for a long time yet still have a subtle flavour, then Amadeus is the one for you!
6. Mondseer Cheese
Another cheese from Austria that you absolutely have to have at least once is called Monster Kase. As a result of the fact that this Salzburg area speciality was initially packaged and sold in little boxes, it is often referred to as Mondseer Schachtelkase, which literally translates to “box cheese from Mondsee.”
This cheese, which has a texture between soft and semi-firm, is currently made all across Austria and is famous for the robust and spicy flavour it has. This cheese is often used in cheese salads, cheese platters, and frequently as a component of Bretteljausens.
7. St. Severin Cheese
The monastic establishment in Austria that was responsible for the cheese’s first production gave the cheese its name. In addition, we guarantee that the texture, which is described as gently melting, and the scent, which is described as slightly sour, will transport you to paradise.
8. Schlierbacher Schlosskase
It would seem that cheese production was a regular means through which Austrian monks were able to make ends meet in days gone by.
Cheese enthusiasts all around the globe continue to be delighted by a cheese that is known as Schlierbacher Schlosskase. This cheese was first developed by monks in the northern region of Austria. The ripening process for this soft cheese takes approximately two weeks, and it is famous for its flavour that is both robust and substantial.
9. Staazer Kase
Raw cow’s milk is used in the production of Staazer Kase. While this may seem to be nothing out of the ordinary, there is really an interesting turn of events in this tale. The grass, herbs, and hay that nature provides are the only things that the cows who make the milk for this cheese consume.
The natural diet of the cows contributes to the production of cheese that has a flavour profile that is very appetising. However, that is not all there is to it: the cheese has been aged for at least three months, which is another factor that adds to the cheese’s wonderful flavour.
If you are seeking something that is just a little bit different, then Mostkase could be the perfect place for you. This cheese is periodically submerged in Most, a locally produced fruit-based alcoholic beverage that is consumed extensively in Austria, during its maturing period of three months.
Because of its unique processing, the Mostkase has a flavour that is somewhat reminiscent of either an apple or a pear. If you want to sample the finest cheese and booze that Austria has to offer in one convenient package, then the Mostkase is the product for you.
Cheese-making capital in the world: Austria
Cheeses that are milder, cheeses that have mould on them, and cheeses with a strong scent may all be found in Austria; there is something for everyone! Therefore, why not go on an adventure and experience it for yourself?