Mozzarella from the Alps
In this story, I take a look behind the scenes of a small Alpine dairy, the speciality of which could be described as "Mozzarella from the Alps".
Cheesemakers get up early
05:00 am is the wake-up time for Sigi, a young cheesemaker on the Marten Alm in Hinterglemm. The day on the mountain pasture already begins before sunrise. First, the cows have to be brought out of the barn, then the milk has to be put into the tanks so that the cheese refinement process can be prepared. In the meantime, Nelly, the calf, is allowed to snooze a little longer in the barn.
Sigi the cheesemaker
By the time I join the cheese-making process, it is already half-past seven, and a considerable amount of work has already been carried out on the Alpine pasture. Sigi, the 23-year-old cheesemaker, started making cheese in Saalbach at the age of 19, with the support of his parents. After 4 years, he is already a real professional in his field. He virtually runs the summer cheese dairy single-handedly.
A true speciality that the young cheesemaker has come up with is a fresh cheese that can be compared to mozzarella in terms of taste and consistency. During my visit to the Alm, I get a behind-the-scenes look at how this unique cheese is prepared. I'm in "Alpine pasture wellbeing mode" very quickly. Because what a good cheese requires in the production process are peace and time. Watching Sigi stirring and decanting the curd by hand with slow movements feels almost meditative. And then the curd needs time to rest again. You definitely learn composure here. Good timing, a lot of sensitivity and passion are required in order to make the fresh cheese. Everything is in Sigi's head. He knows every minute and every move by heart. I am enthusiastic about the young cheesemaker and his craft. It takes a lot of knowledge, ability to multitask, love of experimenting and discipline.
From fresh milk to Mozzarella from the Alps
While the hand-mixed curd rests in the tank, I am also allowed to visit the Alm's own treasure chamber, the maturing cellar. A real highlight and a first for me is that the first cheese cutting of the season occurs. It's an eagerly awaited moment, like Christmas, when you sample the first piece. I think my eyes light up to the sky. And then I also get a "Mozzarella from the Alps" to take home, which I later use to conjure up "Caprese Saalbach Style". A real delight for me as a cheese fan.
The mozzarella from the alps can be purchased at the Almladl of the Martenalm upon pre reservation.
Caprese Saalbach Style
By the way, the Caprese recipe is easy to follow: just a few ingredients, and you have a delicious regional summer dish.
Here are the ingredients:
- The fresh cheese from Sigi
- Tomatoes (preferably home-grown)
- Oil of your choice
- Salt and pepper
- few Alpine flowers & herbs
The Caprese Saalbach Style is ready. Bon appétit!