from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
origin Northern and Central Europe
milk Cow / whole milk or partially skimmed
treatment Raw milk or pasteurized
Cheese group cut cheese
Fat i. Tr. 30-60%
Energy (at 45% moisture content) 1485 kJ (358 kcal)
Iodine 30 µg
Calcium 840 mg
protein 26.30 g
Vitamin B2 0.36 mg
Measure / weight Wheel or block shape
Ripening time about 6 months
Certification Tilsiter Switzerland / Tilsiter from kb A.

Tilsiter is a semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk with red smear rind with 30 to 60% fat in the dry matter . It is named after the East Prussian town of Tilsit, today's Sowetsk .

Manufacture and properties

The Tilsiter is made from both raw milk and pasteurized milk, whereby the raw milk variant is usually tastier by a few nuances.

In addition to the classic wheel shape, cheese is also increasingly being made in block form. It has a thin, brownish rind that is rubbed off with salt water and red smear cultures during the approximately six months of maturation . The light yellow dough is supple, very elastic and quite moist, it forms holes and slits the size of barley grain. The taste spectrum ranges from mild and slightly spicy to strongly spicy.

Tilsiter historically

Preparation of Tilsit cheese, East Prussia, 1930s. Source: Federal Archives

There were already cheese dairies under the rule of the Teutonic Order , because 17 villages were called Milchbude at the same time . The Tilsiter cheese is a result of improved recipes by Dutch Mennonites , Salzburg residents and immigrants from Switzerland . After the Great Plague in the first half of the 18th century, they had immigrated to the depopulated northern East Prussia as religious refugees or followed the calls of the Prussian rulers. The round red-brown cheese wheels were 10 cm high and approx. 25 cm in diameter. They were wrapped in parchment (later in tinfoil ) and sent ten in wooden rolls.

Tilsiter today

Unlike the “Swiss Tilsiter”, the “Holsteiner Tilsiter” is a product with a protected geographical indication . In addition to the German-speaking region, the cheese is also common in Russia and Poland under the name Tilsiter ( Russian Тильзитер , Polish Tylżycki ).

In Germany, too , cheeses that are milder or almost have a taste that is reminiscent of Edam are increasingly being marketed under the name Tilsiter . Other names such as “Altmecklenburger” or “North Sea cheese” are also used for variants.

Swiss Tilsiter

Poster in the Canton of Thurgau (2009)
Mild (green) and stronger (red-black-gold) Tilsiter from Switzerland

Tilsiter has been produced in Eastern Switzerland since 1893, after two local cheese makers brought the recipe back with them from a trip to East Prussia in 1890. In 1950, the Swiss branch for Tilsiter cheese was set up in Bern. Since 1999 it has been sold under the protected brand name "Tilsiter Switzerland". Production takes place primarily in the cantons of Thurgau , St. Gallen and the Zurich Oberland . The Swiss Tilsiter does not have the heavily perforated shape that is usual in Germany or Denmark and its taste is not as tart or not comparable. The flat, round loaves have a height of approx. 8 cm, a diameter of 25–30 cm and a weight of approx. 4.0–4.5 kg.

The "Sort Organization (SO) Tilsiter Switzerland GmbH", which belongs to milk producers, Tilsiter manufacturers and traders, manages the brand name and also takes care of the quality and marketing of the Tilsiter. It has defined the following types of Tilsit:

  • Tilsiter Switzerland Medium maturity (red and white label) made from fresh raw milk, with a maturation time of 70–110 days.
  • Tilsiter Switzerland Surchoix (red-black-gold label) made from fresh raw milk, with a ripening time of 120–180 days.
  • Bio-Tilsiter Switzerland (red and white label with Bio-Bud ) made from fresh organic milk, with a ripening time of 70–110 days (medium ripe) or 120–180 days (recent).
  • Past-Tilsiter Switzerland (green and white label) made from pasteurized fresh milk, with a ripening time of 30–60 days (mild).
  • Rahm-Tilsiter Switzerland (yellow-white label) made from pasteurized fresh milk with added cream, with a ripening time of 30–75 days.
  • Bio-Rahm-Tilsiter Switzerland (yellow-white label with Bio-Bud) made from pasteurized fresh organic milk with added organic cream, with a maturation time of 30-75 days.
  • Alpenland-Tilsiter Switzerland , temporarily exported under the brand name AlpenTilsiter Switzerland (red and gold label with Alpenland panorama) made from fresh raw milk, with a ripening time of 120–180 days. The loaf is rubbed with a mixture of alpine herbs and Müller-Thurgau white wine as it ripens. This variety has been produced since 2003.

The different types have a fat content of at least 45% fat in the dry matter , with the exception of Rahm-Tilsiter and Bio-Rahm-Tilsiter, which have at least 55% fat in the dry matter.

In 2007, 3787 tons of Swiss Tilsiter were produced, of which 53% were from the varieties Mittelreif, Surchoix, Bio-Tilsiter and Alpenland-Tilsiter, 40% from the variety Past-Tilsiter and 7% from the varieties Rahm-Tilsiter and Bio-Rahm-Tilsiter.

In export, the Tilsiter was temporarily offered as "Royalp" to avoid naming problems. Since 2016 the Swiss Tilsiter has been marketed in Germany under the name “Swizzrocker”.

Holstein Tilsiter

Tilsiter cheese from the entire federal state of Schleswig-Holstein has been protected under the name Holsteiner Tilsiter since 2013. The statement of reasons for the application states that this cheese has been produced in the entire area of ​​today's federal state since the 1920s. The cheese protected in this way can be made from pasteurized milk or from raw milk, which does not have to come from the area mentioned. There are also no requirements for feeding the cows. Only the production must have taken place in the named region. The fat content is between 30 and 60% in the dry matter. The cheese matures for at least five weeks.


  • Willibald Winkler (Ed.): Handbook of the dairy industry . Volume Two / Part Two: Butter, Cheese, Dairy Preparations and By-products. Springer, Vienna 2013, ISBN 978-3-7091-9802-5 , pp. 205–208 (first edition: 1931, e-book version).

Web links

Commons : Tilsiter  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Official Journal of the European Union C 288/08 (PDF) of 25 September 2012
  2. ^ Tilsiter Switzerland, website of the variety organization Tilsiter Switzerland GmbH, accessed on June 8, 2017
  3. Alpenland-Tilsiter brings positive impulses ( Memento from June 11, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Communication from April 28, 2004 from the Swiss Farmers' Association .
  4. Tilsiter Switzerland GmbH, Annual Report 2007  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file; 7.7 MB)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.tilsiter.ch  
  5. SWIZZROCKER - the export Tilsiter website of SO Tilsiter Switzerland GmbH. Retrieved May 8, 2016.