Mountain Cheese Olympics
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Mountain Cheese The International Mountain Cheese Olympics, is a cheese festival and competition that has been going on for over 18 years. Cheese makers from all around the world including Switzerland, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Germany, and so many others compete for having the most exceptional quality, artisan mountain cheese. In previous years, the festival has been held in Appenzell, Switzerland, and it was originally intended to help promote the economic interests of the mountain regions of Switzerland. Currently, the festival is held in Galtür, Austria, a small ski resort village. Some popular tourist attractions in Galtür include hiking, biking and open-air thermal spas regularly enjoyed by tourists and natives alike. Many people love the mountain air and crystal-clear lakes, but it is high-altitude sun, not snow, that is the new obsession. and will be celebrating the 25th annual event in September of 2019. The festival is centered around the qualities of mountain cheeses.
Mountain cheeses are particularly important to this festival and actually differ from mass produced cheese sold all around the world. The festival focuses on "mountain cheese" because they have separate and more distinct qualities that other kinds of cheese don't. Mountain cheeses are most often made from sheep or goat milk, and tend to be softer than most other types of cheeses.This cheese focused on in the International Mountain Cheese Olympics, can also be known as Alpine cheese. The term “alpine cheese” simply means any cheese indigenous to the Alps, the European mountain range marking the borders of Switzerland, France, Austria, and Italy. These cheeses have achieved global fame and replication, however, because of the centuries-old recipes and methods that make these cheeses so special. This particular group of cheese is made from animals such as sheep and goats, that have grazed in the high elevation pastures. These cheeses are important because they have a rich and complex flavor, which is why people from around the world come to compete for the best mountain cheese. The cheese makers allowed to compete in this event have to be cheese artisans, making cheeses at altitudes over 600m (1,970ft) are allowed to compete in the Cheese Olympics, with prizes for taste and quality.
The 2019 International Mountain Cheese Olympics will be held in Galtür, Austria, which is a small, well known ski resort village located in the upper Paznaun valley in the state of Tyrol. The Mountain Cheese Olympics founded in 2002 "to promote the mountain region economy" and the festival itself consists of many events. This annual celebration allows festival goers to be able to purchase all different types of mountain cheeses by the competitors themselves and explore international cuisine. The competition is the main highlight of the entire annual event, centering around how the mountain cheese is shaped, displayed, as well as taste. According to experts, the cheese industry is affected by several factors; economic factors like marketing, and sales, and cultural factors related to the areas where the cheese is manufactured. This is why at first, Switzerland started this competition to help both their economic interest, and allow individuals from all around the world to be able to share their appreciation for mountain cheeses. This year, competitors will be competing for the Galtür Dairyman Harp.Though it was started primarily by Switzerland- France, and Italy, happen to dominate its awards, and there are typically over 100 entries, from all over the world, including Japan, Mexico, and Ethiopia. There will be over 100 competitors, and over 600 types of cheese ready to be consumed by both the judges and the festival goers. The event begins at 11:00am at the Galtür Sports and Culture Center. Visitors are invited to sample and purchase the fine artisan cheeses between 11:00am and 6:00pm.
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- "International Mountain Cheese Olympics". Tyrol in Austria. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
- "International Mountain Cheese Olympics". Tyrol in Austria. Retrieved 2019-05-08.