Let's talk about cheese produced in Austria. This is one of the foods you should not miss when visiting a new country. Keep in mind that you can take an unlimited amount of cheese from Austria, but bringing it to your home country might be different, so make sure to check the customs rules online.
The International Dairy Federation (IDF) regularly publishes data on cheese consumption worldwide. According to it, an average Austrian eats 21.1 kg of cheese per year. Hmm, did they count in the volume consumed by the tourists as well? We are not quite sure.
Austrians have been producing cheese since at least the Middle Ages. When traveling through the country, try the famous local varieties:
1. Hard mountain and alpine varieties
Hard cheese is high in calcium and includes omega-3 fatty acids. Look for Tiroler Alpkäse, Tiroler Bergkäse, and Vorarlberger Alpkäse. They go best with dry white wine, nuts, and fresh bread.
- Are you in the mood for an aged hard cheese? Then you need Vorarlberger Bergkäse, which matures up to 24 months. A kilogram of it costs 15-25 EUR, depending on the aging.
2. Skim-milk cheese
The most famous cheese of this type, Tiroler Graukäse, has only 1.6% fat content, a strong aroma, a sour taste and a crumbly structure. This is an essential ingredient of many traditional dishes such as Kasspatzln (Käsespätzle) – onion and cheese noodles, and cheese dumplings. A kilogram of such cheese costs 10-15 EUR.
3. Fresh cheese
Kugelkäse is a cow milk cheese with spices, such as pepper, paprika and cumin. It is usually served with beer and included in traditional dishes.
4. Moldy cheese
Moldy cheeses are not everyone’s favorite. If you like them, the following three varieties are worth your attention:
- Schlosskäse with red mold and spicy taste,
- Styrian Osterkron with blue mold, which goes best with dessert wines, and
- Weinkase, served with red wines. During the production process, it is washed with wine and thus receives a sour fruity flavor. This cheese matures for at least a month and is covered with white fuzz.
5. Semi-hard and soft varieties
- Try the delicate Walder produced in Vorarlberg and aged for 140 days. Austrians use it in sauces, salads and even soups.
- We also recommend Moosbacher, which is made with honey and walnuts, and aged in linen. It goes great with beer.
- You may also like Mondseer made from pasteurized cow milk. The peasants created its recipe back in 1818. A kilogram of this cheese costs 10-15 EUR.
- Are you looking for the real smell of Austrian mountain villages? Make sure to buy Amadeus that smells like hay, hot milk and bread.
- If you want to try the only cheese in Austria that is still produced in the monastery, you need St.Severin. They usually serve it with dry white or red wine.
We hope that after reading this article, your gastro tour will be more pleasant, and selecting cheeses in Austrian shops becomes much easier!