The term originally referred to a mountain cheese " on the mountain " made ​​cheeses. Alpine or mountain cheese called cheese which is produced on an alp / Alm (mountain pasture ). Today, the term Berg-/Alm-/Alpkäse is a hard cheese that is produced according to certain production standards and has a defined texture.


In earlier times actually were almost all produced in mountainous areas in the summer mountain cheese cheese in the sense that they were on the mountain, so on the alp, gekäst. This happened during the summer months in the ending depending on the region between 70 and 120 days time period in which the cows grazed the high mountain meadows. The animals were then almost continuously outdoors and found particularly juicy and rich food with plenty of herbs, which affected in particular quality and tangy taste of mountain milk. Since the transport options were limited, it was close to caseate this milk and thus to focus simultaneously by removing the water and to preserve in order to draw in the barren winter time it can. After the cattle drive, the forage quality, so that the milk yield of cows plummeted deteriorated. Mostly they gave was in the winter just yet, gekäst the self-catering farm then barely.

Mountain cheese and cheese-

Alpine cheese is cheese made from milk from cows that graze on the mountain, which is made ​​into cheese in place with traditional methods on the alp. Cheese is produced only in the summer months, in the perpetual depending on the region between 70 and 120 days time period in which the cows graze on the high mountain meadows. Researchers from ETH Zurich have demonstrated that Alpkäse significantly more polyunsaturated fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid as industrially produced cheese.

Mountain cheese is cheese from a mountain area or from a nightmare, with 70 % of the feed shall come from a mountainous area or summering. Mountain cheese must be produced in mountain areas, but this does not exclude that it is cheese made from milk from animals fed on hay and concentrates high performance cows produced in a large industrial dairy is. The traditional production is only possible in silage-free areas, as this may result to bad fermentation. Mountain cheese can be produced throughout the year.

Legal situation in Germany

In Germany the term mountain cheese for a standard places by the cheese Regulation ( KäseV ) may be used. The designation as a mountain cheese is bound to compliance with specific production requirements and to a certain condition. To produce must Milk and products thereof buttermilk, cream ( cream ), sweet whey, acid whey and whey cream ( whey ) are used; thickening must be performed by withdrawal of water; also allowed in the production of only certain spices in the form of spice mixtures and their corresponding flavors are used with flavoring substances which are listed separately. Minimum fat content is full fat, the minimum dry matter content is set at 62%.

Legal under European law

In the EU, the term mountain cheese is not isolated as a protected designation of origin ( PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI) or protected as a traditional specialty guaranteed ( TSG).

About the type or style of the designated as a mountain cheese product, the term says little, mostly it involves more or less spicy hard cheese or semi-hard cheese with little or no perforation, usually with natural rind, but it can also be sliced ​​cheese and even soft ripened this designation. Today common types of mountain cheese, for example, Allgäu, Grisons, Vorarlberg or Tyrolean mountain cheese.

Protection as a geographical indication

In Germany and Austria producers have begun by genuine mountain cheese in some regions in recent years to obtain protection for the names of their cheese and / or to confirm the authenticity of a seal a listening club, etc. ( Origin) to the consumer the to allow acquisition of high-quality Almkäse also far away from the origin dairies and to protect their product from cheap imitations.

Under EU law, the use of the PDO label is permitted in compliance with the provisions for the following mountain cheese.

In Germany, as " mountain cheese " so far only the Allgäu mountain cheese with a protected designation of origin (PDO or English. PDO ) recognized.

The following mountain cheeses from Austria must bear the seal of the protected designation of origin:

  • Gail Valley Alpine Cheese PDO
  • Tyrolean mountain cheese / Tyrolean mountain cheese PDO
  • Tyrolean mountain cheese PDO
  • Tyrolean gray cheese PDO
  • Vorarlberg alpine cheese PDO
  • Vorarlberg mountain cheese PDO

In Switzerland, both alpine cheese as well as mountain cheeses protected in accordance with the terms mountain and Alp - Regulation SR 910.19 on 8 November 2006. The Bernese mountain cheese has additionally the AOC seal. Grisons mountain cheese is made exclusively in village dairies to over 1000 m.