Cheese can be divided into 6 different types of cheese:
Hard cheese has a firm and grainy cheese curd, taking at least three months to mature with a mild taste, and several years to develop a strong tangy taste. To produce hard cheese fresh milk with a rich aroma is used in copper kettles, some of which are still heated with wood.
Examples: Vorarlberger Bergkäse g.U., Emmental or Gruyere
Semi-hard cheese is the most popular type of cheese, offering the greatest variety in our local cheeses from a mild to a tangy taste. The curd is malleable and ripens under a wax film, protective foil or a culture of red or edible mould for at least 4 weeks.
Examples: Gouda, Tilsiter, Edam
The soft curd is enclosed in an edible mould or red-smear rind and ripens over several weeks from the outside inwards. Depending on the production and ripening period, the taste of soft cheese ranges from mild and creamy to tangy.
Examples: Camembert, Brie
Cream cheese has a very soft, easy to spread consistency and can be eaten immediately after production without ripening. Cream cheese is often embellished with ingredients such as herbs.
Examples: Gervais, cottage cheese
Sour milk cheese
Sour milk cheese is made from low fat quark and is, therefore, very low in fat. The malleable curd ripens from the outside inwards and has a yellowish transparent colour, in the centre often white, and is sealed, depending on type, with white or red-smear mould.
Processed cheese typically has a fine creamy, easy to spread consistency and is made from various types of cheese. The cheese used has a fine basic cheesy taste and is often embellished with a variety of ingredients such as herbs, ham or paprika.
Examples: Triangles, slices, tubs, fondue
The fat content in cheese is given as a percentage of dry mass and not as a percentage of the total weight. The reason for this is that cheese as it ripens and stored can continue to lose moisture and weight. The relative fat content can thus vary whilst the ratio of fat content to dry mass in the cheese remains constant.
The Austrian Food Code places cheese, depending on its fat content in dry mass, in the following fat levels:
The fat content of cheese is usually indicated in the form of fat in dry mass, abbreviated as FDM or FiDM. This measurement relates to the percentage of fat to be found in the cheese’s mass after all the water has been removed.
The Protected Designation of Origin states that preparation, processing and production of a product take place in a specific geographic location according to recognised and fixed procedures.
In Austria there are six cheese products with Protected Designation of Origin such as Vorarlberger Bergkäse g.U., which are labelled “g.U.” on the basis of the EU community symbol for products with Protected Designation of Origin.