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Tourismusverband Großarltal

+43 6414 281info@grossarltal.info

World of Curd Cheeses

from milk to curd cheese

Topfen, or as some know it, quark, is one of those dairy products that's a staple in the kitchens of this part of the world, lending itself to a host of culinary creations, and coming in a myriad of forms:

Topfen curd cheese, with its natural fat content, is made from fresh whole milk.
To make 1 kg of Topfen, we need 8 liters of milk. This milk is then heated to 84°C and immediately cooled to 21°C. After that, we add lactic acid bacteria, and rennet powder or drops to curdle the milk. The milk is then covered and left at room temperature for 24 hours to become a firm mass, which we scoop into a sieve lined with cheesecloth.

This allows the whey to drain away, and after about 5-6 hours, we're left in the cloth with our finished Topfen, which, once chilled, keeps for 14 days. This Topfen or quark is now ready to incorporate into all kinds of recipes - it’s perfect for spreads, cakes, and cheesecakes. When we further process our Topfen for the breakfast table into balls, roulades, cream-cheese rolls wrapped in bacon, etc., it is pressed beforehand to be more malleable. A colorful array of Topfen products on the breakfast table is a true feast for the eyes, and the variety of flavors is boundless!
And in our Genuss Region Grossarltal, we don't just have Topfen from cow's milk but also from sheep's and goat's milk, too - a true taste experience indeed!!

But not all Topfen is created equal - in this valley, everyone is also well acquainted with the differences between Magertopfen, Bröseltopfen – and as some call it, “sour cheese Topfen”:
This Topfen is made from soured skim milk and contains less than 5% fat – perfect for the health-conscious!

The soured skim milk is heated to 54°C, causing the curd to rise to the top of the whey. After about 1-2 hours, the curd mass is scooped into a cloth. Once the whey has almost completely drained off, the curd is processed further! Our Bröseltopfen tastes excellent with some sour cream and fresh chives - but it also finds its way into the kitchen for a variety of uses:

Head chef Marcel Mahrling, along with Susi and David from the Nesslerhof, wowed visitors at the 3rd Wine & Food Gala with their sour-cheese curd dumplings in a game consommé with wild herbs. Absolutely delicious!

By the way: Seasoned Bröseltopfen, pressed into shape and matured, becomes our well-known Sauerkäse. Seasoned and matured at room temperature, then loosely pressed into bowls, it turns into a translucent, spicy Graukäse, or what we also call Schüsserlkas here. Schüsserlkas served with onion rings, pumpkin seed oil, and vinegar makes a fantastic snack in the summer!

But that’s not all: when we shape our translucent Schüsserlkas into small loaves which we smoke or air-dry, we get the very special Nockenkas, unique to our valley. It's with this that our famous Kasnocken are made, and they taste sensational!

Enjoy your meal!

Ski Amadé
Salzburger Land
Nationalpark Hohe Tauern