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06/25/2021
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Europe Home of Cheese: Taste the Austrian Alpine Life

Steeped in nature, culture, and tradition, the Austrian mountain cheese is among the finest in Europe

Imagine the stunning landscape of the Alps with cattle grazing on the alpine pastures and tiny huts with beautiful mountainous backdrops. In the Land of the Alps, where the mountain pastures benefit from clean air, soil, and water, comes the Austrian mountain cheese. Steeped in nature, culture, and tradition, these are some of Europe’s finest cheeses.

Here, the mountain pastures invite you to go hiking through its lush green meadows in the summer or go skiing on its rugged mountains and steep slopes in the winter. Beyond the postcard idyll of the Alps, these same mountains offer a clean environment for traditional small scale farming and space for animals to graze on fresh grasses and herbs in the summer and hay in the winter, all of which serve as the base for high quality cheese.

In Austria, agriculture is 100% GMO-free without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. The farmers focus on the traditional ways of agriculture, working within natural systems to preserve the nature and climate to produce high quality mountain cheese. Many farms in the Austrian Alps have been in existence for hundreds of years, the oldest since 1313. More than 90% are family businesses with several generations living and working together. The operations are in such a small scale that farmers look after an average of 20 heads of cows and most still call their cows by name. The cattle enjoy living conditions with strict guidelines that include more space and areas with straw bedding and clean drinking water without chlorine, an essential aspect that makes Austrian cheese of high quality.

The cheese producers’ life is marked by hard work and the beauty of nature. They spend the summer months to produce milk and cheese, from the end of May to the beginning of September, seven days a week from early morning to late evening. To produce Alpine cheese, water is extracted from the milk to get concentrated alpine milk which then follows a strict process that must be followed in the region. The ripening process takes at least three months at a constant temperature of 7-15 degrees Celsius. What you get is high quality cheese that is unique to the Land of the Alps with flavour nuances ranging from delicately nutty to robust and spicy.

Austrian mountain cheese is nature, craftsmanship and art in one, a guardian of culture. When you taste Austrian cheese, you do not just taste its unique quality and rich flavour. You taste the alpine life.

The content of this promotion campaign represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains.