Culinary pleasures have long since lost any connection with high-flown recipes, flight schedules for exotic fruit or complicated ingredients. What really counts now is the origin of the food, its eco-friendly production and freshness.
All this is to be found in the gourmet region of the Genussregion Gailtal valley. The farmers do not fatten their pigs and cattle with synthetic protein additives, and do not consider their animals as a means of production, to be converted as soon as possible into money. On the contrary, the animals enjoy a life of sun and liberty high on the velvet green alpine pastures over the summer. Their fodder consists of fresh mountain herbs and succulent grass.
Milk is converted into butter or cheese directly on the alpine pastures. A unique way of observing this is the Gailtaler Käserundwanderweg or “Gailtal Cheese Trail”, on which gourmets can find out all they want to know about cheese. Gailtaler Almkäse or “Gailtal alpine pasture cheese” has been given the “Protected designation of origin in the EU“ rating. Only cheese that is produced here to strict standards of quality may be called "Gailtaler Almkäse".
Another quality product in Carinthia’s Natural Arena is the aromatic Gailtaler Speck or “Gailtal Bacon”, which, like its brother the Gailtaler Almkäse, is protected by the EU.
The Bacon Festival ( in June) in Hermagor, the Cheese Festival (in September) in Kötschach-Mauthen and the Polenta Festival (in October) in Nötsch are the highlights for all friends of regional culinary delicacies. Obviously, wines from the neighbouring region of Friuli are on offer to accompany the dishes.