Ahrntal Valley Graukäse
A cheese with a long tradition
Graukäse: The revival of this cheese sort in South Tyrolean top gastronomy
Have you ever tried a piece of „Ahrntaler Graukäse? If not, you should do it quickly! Once this cheese, made of sour skim milk was considered a “poor man’s food”, now it’s experiencing a revival in the top gastronomy. Slowfood awarded this cheese with a „Presidio“, the highest price possible.
This ancient farm cheese, almost a “primordial curd”, originates from the Tyrolean Alps and the Alto Adige region, particularly the Aurina valley. Traditionally, local cheesemakers would thoroughly skim cow’s milk from the summer alpine pasturing to make butter. Leftovers were used for Graukäse (‘gray cheese’).
In order to make Graukäse, milk is curdled with an acid (no rennet is added) at medium-low temperatures. After the curd is wrapped in linen cloth, it is pressed, broken and put into molds. Over the brief aging period, the molds imbue the outer rind with their color, giving the cheese its name.
Tures and Aurina Valleys from Gais to Casere (Kasern), including the neighboring valleys of Selva dei Molini (Muehlwald), Lappago (Lappach), Rio Bianco (Weissenbach) and Riva di Tures (Rein)