Delicious mountain cheeses from the SalzburgerLand
he delightful specialities of the Valley of Alpine Meadows include Alpine farm cheeses produced in the Grossarl Valley. These received official recognition as a regional food of Austria from the Austrian GenussRegion scheme in 2014. Made exclusively by Alpine farmers in the Salzburger Land, the Grossarl Valley’s Alpine farm cheeses come in many forms.
From curd cheeses enriched with herbs, garlic or paprika, to semi-hard cheeses and – of course – the region’s famous sour cheese, the Grossarl Valley’s Alpine farm cheeses offer a wide variety born of an age-old cheese-making tradition. Sour cheese is a strongly flavoured, acid-set cheese found throughout the Tyrolean region. This grey, rennet-free cheese is only made in around 40 Alpine pasture and valley farms in the Salzburg region’s Grossarl Valley, using milk from Pinzgauer and Fleckvieh cows. Grossarl’s sour cheese is best eaten with a slice of farmhouse bread and lashings of Alpine butter.
Hard, semi-hard, cream and curd cheeses made with cow’s, ewe’s and goat’s milk are all part of the varied cheeseboard in Grossarl. Organic and extensive – as opposed to intensive – dairy farming are integral to the region’s cheesemakers. The GROSSARLER HOF holds regional foods in high regard, and our Head Chef Walter Viehhauser sources most of his culinary treasures from local producers. He opts for seasonal produce and the finest Grossarl Valley specialities to offer our guests the most delectable dishes – fully in the spirit of the Austrian GenussRegion scheme. This is why the Grossarl Valley’s Alpine farm cheeses also form part of our culinary tradition.
How sour cheese is made:
First the milk is separated from the cream, which goes on to become our famous golden yellow farmhouse butter. The remaining skimmed milk is used to make Grossarl’s equally famous sour cheese. The milk is left to stand for around 24 hours to make curds, which are then placed in a cauldron and heated to 40oC before being left to stand for another half an hour. The curds are drained, then crumbled into cheese moulds and seasoned with salt and pepper. The perforated cheese moulds are covered with a lid and weighed down with heavy stones to press the last of the whey out of the cheeses, which stay in the mould for around a day and a half before being turned out. This is when they are placed in the cheese cellar at the perfect room temperature and humidity for ripening. The cheeses are turned every day for the first week, and after ripening for six to eight weeks, Grossarl’s sour cheese is ready to enjoy. We should also add that sour cheese is very low in calories – perfect for the figure-conscious!
Enjoy the Grossarl Valley’s regional foods and bon appetit in the Salzburger Land!