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.

A family-oriented industry for several hundred years, Austria has about 120,000 farming families, accounting for 90% of the country’s cheese producing companies. The history of Austrian cheese dates back to the Stone Age, and cheese specialties such as mountain cheese reach all the way back to the 14th century. At that time, strong population growth resulted in an increase in milk production. Using this milk surplus, mountain farmers began to make cheese for their own use.

Photo credit “Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing (AMA)

Production methods practiced today are still very traditional and close to nature. Farmers care for the wellbeing of their animals and pass their skilled craftsmanship down from generation to generation.

Mountain Cheese Fresh from the Peaks of the Alps

Austrian mountain cheese follows the quality standards set by the European Union, which guarantees the authenticity, quality, place and technique of Austrian alpine cheeses. Mountain cheese is a specialty hard cheese with a rich flavor and taste. It is made from silo-free raw milk according to traditional methods. Its fine, tangy taste is developed over a ripening period of several months.

Photo credit “Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing (AMA)

A lifelong dedication to dairy farming and cheesemaking, guided by knowledge passed down over generations, is what we taste and enjoy in the alpine cheeses. In Austria, food is culture. Austrians are well known for their hospitality, which is deeply connected to culinary enjoyment. Local and sustainable food products have always been at the center of this tradition, thanks to small-scale farm management practiced by local farmers. This, along with domestic products of controlled origin and rigorous processing standards, ensures food safety and diversity.

Natural 100 % GMO Free Cheese

With the growing demand for organic foods, Austria exports a wide range of organic GMO-free products, proving that quality is the key to success. Austria is number 1 in organic farming in the European Union. A quarter of Austria’s agricultural land is already organically farmed, and this trend keeps rising, making Austria a leader in organic farming both in the EU and worldwide. Austria’s cows benefit from clean air and clear water from the mountains. They receive only GMO-free feed, often cultivated by the farm itself. Organic production is enhanced by extensive animal welfare. Special provisions are observed for the animals to have, among other things, a larger amount of space and dry bedding strewn with straw.

Photo credit “Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing (AMA)

Austrian high-quality cheese meets the increasing preference for healthier or unprocessed cheeses in the United States. The European Milk Forum (EMF) coordinates a promotional campaign together with Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing GesmbH (AMA Marketing) to promote European milk and dairy products in the United States.

“The content of this promotion campaign represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission and the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains.”

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Written by Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing (AMA)