South Tyrol has numerous quality-labelled products made from the good milk of the local mountain farmers
Image gallery: South Tyrolean Milk
"The white gold of South Tyrol" is the name given to the milk that is delivered every day by the family farms on the mountains and in the valleys to the nearby dairy farms. On average, a farm in the country has 15 cows and is located between 800 and 2,000 m a.s.l. - that's a total of 75,000 cows standing in the local cowsheds. The quality milk is then delivered to one of the nine dairy farms, such as Brimi in Bressanone, the Vipiteno and Merano Dairy Farms, or the Mila World - Mountain Milk South Tyrol, founded in 1962 and the largest dairy cooperative in South Tyrol.
There, the milk is bottled as fresh milk or long-life milk (whole milk, skimmed, semi-skimmed or lactose-free) or processed into one of the delicious products such as yoghurt, cheese, curd, mozzarella and butter. Skyr, low-fat and protein-rich fresh cheese made according to an Icelandic recipe, is also included. What distinguishes South Tyrol's dairy farms is the daily collection of milk even from the most remote areas, the continuous controls, the gentle processing and the use of exclusively GMO-free ingredients. Recently, part of South Tyrol's milk has been bottled as Hay Milk, a seal of quality that confirms that the nutritious drink is produced on the farm as it used to be.
This means that the feeding schedule adapts to the course of the seasons. So the cows get fresh grass and spicy herbs in summer, and hay and grain meal in winter, so that the valuable ingredients are preserved. In 2016, South Tyrolean Hay Milk was awarded and protected by the European Union as a "traditional speciality guaranteed" (TSG).