Sour milk cheese

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Various sour milk cheeses cut: a basket cheese in the back , a Harzer counter in front and a Harz cheese in front

Sour milk cheese is a cheese from milk by fermentation with lactic acid bacteria curdled is. Although this applies to many cheese, in particular fresh cheese including cottage cheese , is understood to sour milk cheese in the proper sense only ripened varieties to be made of curd by ripening agents, salts and other additions. The quark used is not the usual edible quark with which one is familiar as a consumer, but rather sour milk quark, also called cheese quark, a semi-finished product of the dairy industry . Unlike quark, it is thickened without rennet or rennet substitutes; With some types of cheese, rennet quark is also added.


The German cheese ordinance defines 3 different standard types from the group of sour milk cheeses. All are made in the lean stage (less than 10% fat in dry matter) and may be seasoned with caraway or natural caraway flavor. A distinction is made between two types: "yellow cheese" - matured with yellow or red smear bacteria and "noble mold cheese" with camembert mold.

On the other hand, the regulation counts the cooked cheese , also made from sour milk quark , among processed cheeses .

The Austrian Food Book defines the following types of sour milk cheese:

  • Sour milk cheese with red culture, especially quargel: maturing with red smear bacteria, disc-shaped loaves approx. 4.5 cm in diameter, packaged in rolls
  • Gray cheese (including Tyrolean gray cheese ): mold maturation, as a loaf or stick with 300–4000 g.
  • Ennstaler Styrian cheese: Made from heated, reheated quark, seasoned with salt and pepper, matured with natural mold and yeast, frustoconical loaves up to 2500 g
  • Vorarlberg sour cheese : Small blocks of approx. 200 g or loaves, greasy surface
  • cooking cheese

The Würchwitz mite cheese is also a sour milk cheese , which is unique in that it is not bacteria or molds, but mites - animal organisms - that cause the ripening.

Other types of cheese with acid precipitation count as sour milk cheese in the broader sense. These include, for example, curd cheese, which nowadays is generally made with the addition of rennet (this was not common in earlier times), and Ziger cheese , in which casein is precipitated from a mixture of skimmed milk and whey using added acid and heating.


Very young hand cheese with a distinct core made from sour milk quark

The starting product for the production of sour milk cheese is skimmed milk, which is first processed into sour milk quark. To do this, it is inoculated with an acid culture from lactic acid bacteria and thickened within a few hours at high temperatures (usually 38–40 ° C, but other processes also occur). The resulting curd is cut and mechanically processed and the whey is separated out thoroughly, for which purpose the mass is pressed into sacks or in a so-called curd press into a firm curd, which is then ground in a curd mill. The desired dryness depends on the intended use: Molded cheeses are worked a little more moist; For a longer shelf life of the quark, the whey leak can also be promoted by heating the quark. The sour milk quark is often produced in dairies , which then deliver it to the cheese manufacturers as a semi-finished product . On the occasion of merger proceedings in 2008, the German Federal Cartel Office established that there was only one sour milk cheese manufacturer (probably related to the German market) who also produced sour milk quark itself, namely the Theo Müller group of companies .

Further processing depends on which type of cheese is to be produced. As a rule, the sour milk quark is ground again in the cheese dairy and then ripening agents, salt and, if necessary, spices (such as caraway seeds ) are added. The ripening agents are sodium bicarbonate or calcium carbonate and serve to partially neutralize the pronounced acidity of the quark.

Yellow and red smear cheese

For the production of sour milk cheese with yellow or red smear , the quark is formed into small loaves and stored for a few days in the so-called sweat room in warm, very humid air. Meanwhile, cream yeast grows on the loafs and deacidifies the surface, whereby a smooth "fatty skin" forms and colonization by yellow or red smear bacteria is only possible. At the end of the sweating process, the cheeses are wetted with salt water containing red cultures and stored in a cooler place; after a few more days they are ready to be packaged.

Mold cheese

Harzer counter, sour milk cheese with white mold growth

For the production of white or blue cheese , the sour milk quark is less salted and slightly less strongly neutralized. In addition, a considerable amount of rennet quark is added for some varieties, the production of which is similar to that of sour milk quark, only that the milk is thickened with rennet instead of lactic acid bacteria . There is no sweating here, the loaves are sprayed or brushed with mold cultures immediately after molding (sometimes the cultures are also mixed into the quark) and stored for 6–7 days at 17–19 ° C to mature. They can then continue to ripen in a cool place or be packaged.

cooking cheese

Cooking cheese, preparation as cooking cheese with music

No loaves are formed for the production of cooked cheese, and the addition of ripening agents is not mandatory. The quark is spread out in a loose layer and left to mature for a few days until it becomes yellowish and glassy. Then it is "boiled", which means heating to a maximum of 75 ° C, or a maximum of 90 ° C to achieve a longer shelf life. Depending on the intended thinness of the cheese, 10–20% water or skimmed milk is added, and butter and cream are also added to produce thicker cheese . Cooking continues until the consistency is homogeneous and syrupy. Only at the end is the cheese salted and seasoned and then bottled.


Hard sour milk cheese initially has a crumbly, quark-like firmness, which in the course of the very short ripening period changes from the outside to the inside into a compact, elastic one. The color changes from white to a translucent, yellowish tone. A spicy taste develops, accompanied by a strong smell.

Sour milk cheese is very rich in proteins , low in carbohydrates and, unlike most other cheeses, contains very little fat . A typical sour milk cheese consists of almost 30 percent protein, but less than one percent carbohydrates and fat. This property makes it a valuable food for people who want to lose weight and / or build muscle .

Web links

Commons : Sour milk cheese  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Heinrich Mair-Waldburg: Cheese production . In: Ludwig Acker u. a. (Ed.): Handbuch der Lebensmittelchemie . 3: milk, butter, cheese. Springer, Berlin 1968, p. 558 ff .
  2. Cheese Ordinance , Annex 1, Table B.
  3. Austrian Food Book, Codex Chapter B 32 - Milk and Dairy Products, Section Sour milk cheese
  4. ^ Heinrich Mair-Waldburg: Handbook of cheese. Cheese of the world from A – Z; an encyclopedia . Volkswirtschaftlicher Verlag, Kempten (Allgäu) 1974, p. 720 ff .
  5. ^ A b Georg Roeder: Basic features of the dairy industry and the dairy industry . Parey, Hamburg 1954, p. 546 ff .
  6. Decision in the administrative procedure Az. B2 - 359/07. Bundeskartellamt, July 2, 2008, p. 11 , accessed on June 29, 2014 .