There is something truly special about sampling a fine-quality cheese that tantalizes the tastebuds, and with a bevy of natural, artisan cheeses from Europe now available in Canada, it’s no wonder more Canadians are gravitating towards them.
In Europe, centuries of cheese-making tradition preserved across multiple regions have resulted in the production of delicious, unprocessed, locally made cheeses that are still so authentic their quality is unparalleled to this day.
Austria is among those revered European regions producing high-quality, authentic artisan cheese that work for any occasion. As a central European nation famous for its exceptional landscape, Austria produces more than 450 hard and soft cheese varieties. And in keeping with tradition, these cheeses are primarily produced by small, family-owned businesses guided by generations of cheese-making expertise. In fact, 90% of the milk farms in the region are family-owned and 85% of the land is supported by environment measures. Furthermore, all Austrian milk used to make cheeses is GMO-free, and farmers have been voluntarily producing GMO-free milk for nearly two decades. On average, farms keep only 22 heads of cattle, and most farmers still know their cows by name.
“We know that families have a very close relationship with their land and strive to cultivate it in a sustainable way in order to pass it on to the next generation,” says Margret Zeiler, Export Marketing Manager at Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing. “This kind of caring can’t help but be passed on in the careful crafting of these artisan cheeses.”