Vorarlberger Alpkäse cheese

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Vorarlberger Alpkäse cheese
  • Description

Vorarlberger Alpkäse is a g.U. (Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnunghard) cheese made from natural unpasteurised milk produced in areas of Alpine grassland in the Vorsäss and Maisäss regions, which has a dried-on, grainy rind ranging from yellowish-brown to brown in colour. The body ranges from firm to more supple and is ivory-coloured, generally with round pea-size eyes. The cheese contains more than 45% fat in the dry matter and each wheel weighs up to 35 kg. The flavour is mild and aromatic, becoming more piquant as the cheese ages. The minimum maturation period is between three and six months, and there may be slight variations in the characteristics of the cheese (small slits, fewer eyes).

  • Geographical area

Alpine areas in the Vorsäss and Maisäss regions of the Austrian Land Vorarlberg. Officially recognised Alpine farms lie around 1 000 to 1 800 m above sea level and are only farmed in the summer months as part of a 3-stage farming system.

  • History

Documents show that the "Süss- bzw. Fettsennen" ( a process which remains the basis of Vorarlberger Alpkäse cheese making) was used as early as the time of the Thirty Years' War. In the 18th century a large proportion of Alpine milk was already used to produce Alpine cheese. The designation "Vorarlberger Alpkäse" has been used since then.

  • Method of production:

Raw milk suitable for making hard cheese is obtained from officially controlled herds that are not fed any silage fodder. It is processed on-site, rather than being transported elsewhere or put into interim storage. Neither does it undergo pasteurisation, heat treatment or bactofugation. Milk yielded in the evening is immediately placed in small containers (wooden tubs or vats),to allow the cream to rise. The cream is separated the next day in order to obtain the desired fat content; this is done by skimming off the cream by hand (Alpine butter). The Alpine cheese is then produced in Sennkesseln (copper kettles) using this matured, skimmed milk together with whole milk yielded in the morning, lactic acid cultures and rennet. The curd is removed by hand using cheese cloths rather than cheese making machines. The curd is then heated up to between 51.5C and 52.5C, pressed and regularly treated with brine to form the rind. The cheese making process is restricted to the months of summer pasturing (i.e. herd fed exclusively on mountain grazing). The short summering period (3-4 months) means that the product is only available seasonally and in small quantities. Use of milk from valley farms in any form is prohibited. National regulations govern livestock farming, animal welfare, farm hygiene and staff hygiene. Quality is guaranteed by means of controls and staff training courses, including hygiene courses.

  • Link

The milk used to produce Vorarlberger Alpkäse has a particular flavour as a result of the Alpine vegetation in the area of manufacture, since the cattle are entirely grass-fed. This, together with the fact that the cheese is produced by hand using traditional methods, gives the cheese its characteristic appearance and taste. Cheese making plays a key role in preserving Vorarlberg's traditional Alpine farming and is indispensable to maintaining the biodiversity and stability of Vorarlberg's Alpine cultural landscape.

Reference: The European Commission

Calories in different varieties and various types of cheeses

The number of calories in various types of cheese is very similar when you compare your cheese to a similar types of cheese.

For example, almost cheeses that are similar to Cheddar cheese have around 400 calories per 100g

If the Vorarlberger Alpkäse cheese is not listed below, select a similar type of cheese from the list below to get a rough idea for the number of calories in Vorarlberger Alpkäse cheese.

The calorie lists are sortable by clicking the up and down arrows in the heading columns

Cheese type Calories per 100g
American cheese 371
Blue cheese 353
Camembert cheese 299
Cheddar cheese 402
Cottage cheese 98
Edam cheese 357
Farmer's cheese 98
Feta cheese 264
Fontina cheese 389
Goat cheese 364
Gouda cheese 356
Gruyere cheese 413
Mozzarella cheese 280
Parmesan cheese 431
Pimento cheese 375
Provolone cheese 352
Queso blanco cheese 310
Ricotta cheese 174
Roquefort cheese 369
Swiss cheese 380

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Errors and omissions

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