Hay-fed cows make the world a happy place


Hay-fed cows make the world a happy place

Alexander Hönigsberger



The kitchen crew of the Tuxerhof (from left to right):

Eva Geisler, Martin Hasemann, Chef Alexander

Hönigsberger, Andrea Weidenauer, Bettina Klausner

and Jelena Gligorijgvic


Hotel Alpin Spa Tuxerhof

Julia & Willi Schneeberger

Vorderlanersbach 80

A-6293 Tux i. Zillertal

Phone:: +43 5287 8511

Fax: +43 5287 851150

E-mail: info@tuxerhof.at



Mildly seasoned natural yogh urt in a parsley aspic sh ell.

Wild salmon marinated in buttermilk wi th a sliced butter brioch e

“In any case, hay milk helped raise people‘s

awareness in Zillertal,“ says Matthias Danninger

of the high-elevation nature park,

Zillertaler Alpen (see box, page 61). This

summer, over 200 businesses will offer their

guests superior products made of hay milk,

and more businesses are joining the fold.

The product line continues to grow: The Zillertal

Alpine dairy in Mayrhofen, something

of an attraction in itself, uses nothing but

old-school milk and is always inventing new

cheeses or refining its classic ones. The same

is true of colleagues in Schlitters at the Zillertal

Alpine Cheese Dairy, as well as the

Zillertal Hay Milk Alpine Dairy in Fügen, the

BergSenn in Ried and the alpine dairy in Zell.

This dedication has also borne fruit in culinary

matters. The regional culture is developing

in leaps and bounds wherever hay milk is

Inspiration of grey ch eese wi th jam buns and grape jelly

Creamy red beet ri sotto wi th fresh goat ch eese and brook trout filet

fried in clarified butter

Stirred alpine ch eese polenta on a bed of beans and bacon, a strong

spicy glaze and pink roasted rack of lamb from th e Tux region

Various soft ch eese specialties: mousse wi th raspberries and

mango jelly, dumplings wi th cinnamon crumble and

home-made ice cream

being creatively refined: “We are starting to

see guests who make a point of visiting us

due to our healthy regional cuisine and say

that local products taste so good that they

buy cheese from the Alpine dairies for the

home trip,“ says Julia Schneeberger.

On the following pages Chef Alexander Hönigsberger

and his team will reveal the details

of one of their festive hay milk menus at

the Tuxerhof hotel. Just how wonderful it tastes

can be experienced in a visit to Zillertal.

And if you don‘t want to wait, strap on your

apron and play around with the five delightful

courses designed to please the palate of

any hay milk gourmet. Don‘t have any of the

original ingredients? “It‘ll still taste good,“

say the residents of Zillertal; just pick up the

ingredients the next time you‘re in the area

on holiday. //


The simple secret of hay milk: Out in the meadows, the

cows eat grass from spring to fall. After they are driven

down from the alpine meadows and return to the stall

in September and October, they eat loose, air-dried hay,

perhaps with a bit of grain as concentrated feed. This is where hay milk comes

from. Businesses that display the hay milk seal of approval produce food products

based on strict criteria and offer foods with natural quality. To obtain this

seal, the businesses promise to use local products. They thereby enhance the

regional economy and prevent a negative balance of energy from the transportation

of goods.

Matthias Danninger and Nina Oestreich

from the Alpine nature reserve Zillertaler

Alpen present the restored barn in


Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke - hay, hay, hay



Not all meadows are equal: Some are called pastures, and that is where cattle graze from spring through fall every

year. As long as the weather permits the animals to be kept outside and there are enough plants to feed them, the

cows, sheep and goats are outdoors, feasting on food served freshly by mother nature. It‘s wonderful to watch this on

the many expansive Alpine pastures. There are also extremely green spaces here, the so-called alpine hay meadows.

They grow steeply along the mountainside with a beautiful lush green from a distance and brilliant colours up close.

Their flower variety is truly overwhelming; the Alpine biodiversity is pure poetry. Hundreds of different grasses and

flowers are thriving on each of these slopes, releasing an extraordinary scent. But the best is yet to come: Even when

the farmer cuts the long stems during the first, second or third mowing, these plants retain their energy and can pass

it on later as hay. “That‘s why the hay on these meadows is so good for the animals“, say Nina Oestreich and Matthias

Danninger from the Alpine nature reserve Zillertaler Alpen. They really appreciate the commitment by the farmers

who even today continue to go to the trouble of mowing the steep slopes. A permanent exhibit inside a restored barn

at the town entrance of Brandberg illustrates how much this work means to the entire ecosystem. This is accompanied

by the “Alpine Hay Meadow Hike“ in Brandberg.

The tour guide Franz Haun shows his guests all of the field flowers and introduces them to nature‘s treasures.


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