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Sour milk cheeses are produced from reduced-fat milk. The milk is curdled through the addition of lactic acid bacteria. Sour milk cheese is usually only stored for 14 days in relatively warm surroundings. Only 8 to 9 kg of sour milk cheese are produced from 100 l milk. These cheeses contain less than 10 percent fat in dry matter, which puts them in the low-fat category, and they have a very high milk protein content (up to 37 percent).


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Categories of sour milk cheeses

Sour milk cheeses can be differentiated in two major groups. Many different regional varieties of those two groups exist though.

Two groups of sour milk cheese

  • with red smear or yellow smear (also called red mould cheese or yellow mould cheese). These varieties are sprayed with certain cultured bacteria and stored until the surface is covered in red or yellow smear. The bacteria give a special slightly sour taste to the cheese.
  • with white mould. These are sprayed with special white mould cultures. During storage they develop an even white mould surface. Some varieties are prepared with rennet quark and treated with red smear bacteria. (i.e. Handkäse, Korbkäse and Stangenkäse)

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Different varieties of sour milk cheeses


  • Bauern-Handkäse
  • Harzer Handkäse
  • Harzer Korbkäse
  • Harzer Stangenkäse
  • Olmützer Quargel
  • Tiroler Graukäse

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