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Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route
The far north of Germany - in search of pleasure

Turning the cheeses in the maturing chamber

We have the art of the cheese makers to thank for the existence of so many different varieties. Tilsiter is one of the cheeses typically produced in Schleswig-Holstein. The abbeys of medieval Europe are the source for much current knowledge about the history of cheese making in the region. The whole process begins with milk, of course. The process of separating the curds and the whey requires either a great deal of patience or the addition of special lactic acid bacteria such as rennet, to accelerate curdling and help the milk to separate. The quality and taste of the various types of cheese are determined by the length of the maturing process and also by the know-how of expert cheese makers. The cheeses are coated, brushed and turned in special maturing chambers at between 8 and 24 degrees Celsius and humidity levels of 85 to 95 per cent, until each cheese has developed its own characteristic appearance, consistency, smell and taste. Over the course of the maturing process each cheese will have developed its own pattern of holes. During your visit to the cheese dairy, a cheese maker will explain how this comes about.

Grapes, apples, bread and milk complement this heavenly cheeseboard

Despite modern technical refinements, cheese making remains an art that depends on the skill and craftsmanship of each individual cheese maker. If you would like to look around a cheese dairy, it is best to make an appointment in advance. The Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route offers breathtaking scenery, an introduction to the world of cheese making and many other activities along the way. And if the cheese makers of Schleswig-Holstein are the "winegrowers of the north", the Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route must be the equivalent of the wine routes in more southern parts of Germany. There are magnificent country estates, fine manor houses, baroque-style stately homes, brick Gothic buildings, beautiful churches and many museums to visit along the entire route. For example, north Germany's largest open-air museum in Molfsee is well worth a visit. How about walking or cycling along the Kiel Canal? There are also plenty of boat trips to choose from. The region offers excellent camping and farm holidays and its seaside resorts are perfect for wellness breaks or simply relaxing in the fresh, healthy air. The Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route also has a wide-ranging programme of events with something to suit everyone. However, to fully appreciate the route, you really do need to come here in person.

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Basic information

  • Length
  • Themes
    Traditionally made raw milk cheeses, cheese dairies

Highlights in brief

  • Holtsee
    Dairy cooperative, cheese cellar, cheese shops, guided tours
  • Molfsee
    Open-air museum, traditional dairy and garden
  • Kiel
    Laboe village, harbour
  • Glücksburg
    Moated castle, rosarium, Mencke Planetarium, "artefact" energy infotainment centre
  • Lübeck
    Hanseatic town, dairy, Holsten Gate, marzipan
  • Horst
    Dannwisch cheese dairy
  • Bendorf
    Lohmühle cheese makers
  • Plön
    Lakes, castle
  • Oster-Ohrstedt
    Raw milk cheese dairy
  • Ratzeburg
    Island town, surrounded by four lakes