The renowned event celebrates the best cheeses of the region and awards the ones with the finest ingredients and best taste.
More than 100 dairymen from Germany, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are battling it out for the coveted “Golden Dairyman’s Harp” trophy. Just like in the real Olympics, the event is all about peak performances. After all, the winning cheeses have to excel in their quality as well as in their taste and use of regional ingredients.
Whether hard, soft, mild or nutty – there are strict quality criteria governing participation by the Alpine cheese producers from Austria, Germany, South Tyrol and Switzerland. Only authentic cheese made from unpasteurised fresh Alpine milk can be submitted before the jury. In addition, only cheese made on a registered, farmed alpine pasture may enter the competition. Depending on the variety, the cheese needs to mature for different lengths of time in order to develop its typical flavour and appearance. This can take several days or even years. Judging the five categories will be "cheese experts" from industry, commerce and education from Austria, South Tyrol, Germany and Switzerland. It will then award the coveted Galtür Dairyman's Harp in gold, silver and bronze.
The first International Alpine Cheese Olympics were held as far back as in September 1995. Its founding fathers, Luggi Salner, Galtürer Hotelier, and Norbert Walter, later an ÖVP politician, initiated the Olympics in their home village. Their aim was to provide cheesemakers from the Alpine region with a setting in which to present their products to a wide audience and stimulate demand. The fact that the Golden Dairyman's Harp is being awarded for the 28th time this year, proves that regional produce can still be in fashion, the organisers of the Galtür regional youth council are certain.
Outside, inside, consistency, holes, … the expert jury is putting the best cheeses of the Alps to the test. In addition, there is also a children’s jury awarding the tastiest products with a special junior prize during a blind taste testing.
The best thing about the International Alpine Cheese Olympics? You don’t have to be a dairyman or jury member to enjoy the fine taste of the exquisite cheese specialties! Guests of the event are encouraged to sample, enjoy and of course purchase the gourmet cheeses on the event day between 11:00 and 18:00.
Alpine cheese or mountain cheese, Emmenthal or Tilsit cheese, hard, soft or nutty: The “Olympics of good taste” are a dream come true for every cheese lover!