Austrian Cheese in Europe: A Longstanding History With Outstanding Results

Austrian Cheese in Europe: A Longstanding History With Outstanding Results

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Austria is made up of many small regions, each with its own unmistakable cultural identity. From the high mountains that define the country’s stunning landscape, come some of Europe’s finest cheeses.

An Authentic Know-How

Most Austrian cheese companies are located in the Austrian Alps. Here, agriculture is traditionally small because of the mountainous geography. Alpine pasture farmers look after an average of 20 heads of cattle, and most farmers still call their cows by name. They milk in the mornings and evenings and practice the art and craft of cheese production.

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A Perfect Pairing

A Perfect Pairing

Combining savory cheese with sweet chocolate results in unique flavor sensations.

Autumn excites chocolate lovers. The summer heat that melts the sweet stuff in our hands also coats a silky, dark brown bar, left to sit, in a bloom of white dust. But let the cooler weather set in, and we gravitate towards chocolate, just as a greater variety of cheese beckons.

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When The Work Is Worth It

When The Work Is Worth It

Creating Portuguese cheese is labor-intensive, but the results make it worth the effort.

Portugal’s most famous consumable may be Port, but everybody knows that few foods pair better with wine than cheese. So it should come as no surprise that this small country on the Iberian Peninsula produces outstanding cheeses—some so good they were once used in place of currency. From soft cheeses melting inside hard rinds to crumbly, firm cheeses that are perfect for grating, everyone can find something they’ll love on a Portuguese cheese platter.

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The Cheese CSA

The Cheese CSA

Sustainably staying afloat through community.

Farms and creameries around the country are diversifying their marketing and sales strategies to try to set themselves apart. Some are ushering product into neighborhoods at farmer’s markets or in grocery stores, and others are meeting customers exactly where they are by offering Community Supported Agriculture shares, or CSAs.

Every farm has a slightly different process for this, but most are very similar: customers purchase a “share”, either directly from a creamery or from a farm that makes cheese or has partnered with a cheesemaker, and that customer receives a number of cheeses or dairy products on a regular basis throughout a season.

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Salute Grana Padano

Salute  Grana Padano

A healthy Italian cheese with gusto.

Beloved in its Italian homeland and throughout Europe, Grana Padano cheese was a familiar sight on the dinner table when chef Danilo Cortellini was growing up in the Abruzzo region. Now Cortellini is passing that tradition on to his own family, and to visitors to the Italian Embassy in London, where he is the head chef.

“There is a culture/heritage factor in my love for it,” says Cortellini. “And it is one of the most nutritious options when it comes to cheeses. In fact, it is the first cheese that my baby daughter ever tasted.”

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Casu Marzu: An Illegal Cheese

Casu Marzu:                                                An Illegal Cheese

Those with a weak stomach may want to stop reading now, as there is an Italian cheese delicacy that is not for the faint of heart.

In a past issue, Cheese Connoisseur detailed the making of Anthill cheese, chèvre topped with citrus-flavored ants originating from Australia.

Italy’s Casu Marzu takes pairing cheese and insects a big step further. Known as ‘maggot cheese’ and originating from Sardinia, this variety includes thousands of live maggots.

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Bringing Italy’s Finest to the U.S.: Ambrosi Food USA’s CEO Giacomo Veraldi

Bringing Italy’s Finest to the U.S.: Ambrosi Food USA’s CEO Giacomo Veraldi

One man’s mission to increase awareness of an Italian cheesemakers authentic offerings.

When Italian Giacomo Veraldi joined Ambrosi in 2007, little did he know how far his mission to market the company’s cheeses would take him.

Fast forward almost a decade and a half later, and his goal to make a name for the company’s hard, washed rind, fresh, semi-hard and blue cheeses in the U.S. has been a rousing success. Among the highly-regarded varieties are Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and Grana Padano. As for the brands, the most sought after are the White Gold, Millennials and Tradizione lines.

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Reflecting Its Roots: Lively Run Dairy’s Finger Lakes Reserve

Reflecting Its Roots: Lively Run Dairy’s Finger Lakes Reserve

Good things happen when cheese has the back of the region it’s created in.

Interlaken, NY-based Lively Run Dairy’s focus is on supporting family farms and using their milk to make original cheese. One of its most heralded is Finger Lakes Reserve, which won first place at the 2019 American Cheese Society (ACS) conference in the Goat Cheese Aged Over 60 Days category. It also was in the top 15 out of 1,700 cheeses for ACS’ top prize, the Best in Show.

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A Sustainable Cheese Company

A Sustainable Cheese Company

Mozzarella has been a boon for Wisconsin’s Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese.

In the early 80s, a group of four brothers acquired a farm in Waterloo, WI and started raising and milking 90 cows on a 200-acre property.

Today, the farm is still run by brothers Charles, Thomas and Mark, while brother George and his wife Debbie now serve as cheesemaker and manager of the farm’s cheese operation, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese.

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Tradition and French AOC Cheeses

Tradition and French AOC Cheeses

It’s all about the history, terroir, quality and flavor imparted in France.

In 1962, French President Charles de Gaulle famously mused, “How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?” While the point holds true, de Gaulle’s estimate was a lowball—France boasts closer to 1,600 varieties of cheese, which is a whole lot of cheese for a country roughly the size of Texas.

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