One special experience during a family holiday in Der Unterschwarzachhof is butter making on the Alpine pasture – at the farm on the mountain. Right after guests meet at the hotel reception and the children are excited to get to the Alpine pasture, everyone heads with Jacky on the Zwölferkogel cable car, on the hotel bus or on foot to the farm on the mountain.
Once we get to the Alpine pasture, we meet at the dairy next to the farm and quench our thirst with some elderberry juice and refreshing mint leaves. The fantastic aroma of freshly baked bread from the wood-fired oven fills our nostrils – an irresistible smell.
Pinzgauer dairy cows munch on the fresh Alpine herbs all summer long, while in the winter they enjoy the aromatic hay from Glemmtal’s mountain meadows. It is these special herbs that are responsible for the aroma and the rich colour of the milk, and in turn, the butter too. This milk contains the best of Salzburg’s Alpine pastures. You can taste this, not just in the milk, but in the Alpine butter too and in he aromatic ‘Sennkäse’ and fresh ‘Almkäse’ cheeses that are made up here on the Alpine pasture.
Fresh milk is best consumed "warm from the cow" - better still when you have milked the cow yourself. But to make butter from it, it has to rest a while, so the cream (the fat) settles the surface, separate from the skimmed milk. The cream is skimmed off the top and is then put in a butter churn, in which Jacky stirs and beats it until little flakes are formed and the fluid separates from these little solid flakes of butter.
Incidentally, the liquid is separated is healthy buttermilk. Now the little flakes of butter are put into a strainer and Jacky presses the residual butter milk out using a wooden spoon; or you could knead the butter carefully so the butter milk flows out.
The finished butter is then pressed into hand-carved butter moulds (wooden shapes), that give it a lovely shape and respective pattern. The guests are happy to help out too and make the fresh Alpine butter into their preferred shapes. To let the butter firm up it is put in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Fresh mountain air and all that exciting hustle and bustle in the dairy works up an appetite – high time to sample some of that delicious Alpine butter. The best thing to do is sample it on crispy baked farmhouse bread with some ‘Alm-Käse’ cheese made by Toni himself and cut fresh from the large wheel of cheese – genuine Alpine delectation.
Satisfied, and with a smile on our faces, we hike together back into the valley to the hotel. Those of you who prefer to enjoy a leisurely option can take the hotel bus. And everyone agrees - you just don’t get Alpine butter as good as this in the supermarket - only here on the Alpine pasture with Jacky during a family summer holiday in Der Unterschwarzachhof – hand-stirred and made with so much care.
Cheese sampling & gifts to take home
Anyone who would like to enjoy a piece of Der Unterschwarzachhof at home has the chance to purchase produce from Der Unterschwarzachhof farm shop. On request we are happy to organise cheese tasting for you in the dairy at Der Unterschwarzachhof.