The Schanck-Haff farm cheese dairy
Since 1989, the Demeter milk from the Schank-Haff farm in Oesling in the north of Luxembourg has been patiently processed, with plenty of savoir-faire, into a hard cheese in the BIOG cheese dairy located right on the farm.
The Schank-Haff farm is considered a pioneer in Luxembourg’s organic landscape. Its conversion to biodynamics began back in 1980. It was synonymous with, among other things, the targeted strengthening of soil fertility and the respectful animal husbandry of the farm's livestock.
Éisleker Kéis: cheese production in the spirit of tradition
The Schanck-Haff farm is mostly known for its Éisleker Kéis, produced with care in artisanal and traditional fashion for the BIOG brand and the cooperative of the same name. The basis for the nine types of cheese – Haarden, Natur, Deelentramt, Paprika, Knuewelek, Peffer, Moschter ans Bauerekéis – is fresh Demeter milk. It comes directly from the milking parlour to the nearby cheese dairy belonging to the cooperative. The direct processing of the milk on site allows them to obtain authentic local produce with impeccable traceability.
In order to preserve the natural character of the cheese, natural rennet is added to the milk along with sea salt and various organic herbs and spices. The mild flavour to be brought out of the cheese develops after a ripening that takes several weeks or months; Haarden is the classic cheese with the strongest flavour because its ripening period is relatively long. During the ripening period, the cheese-maker checks and turns the cheese regularly and rubs it with salted water to create a nice rind. In addition to the typical round moulds, the cheese dairy also produced blocks of cheese which it then markets in the form of slices or cubes of cheese. Grated cheese for pasta, pizza or gratin supplements the range.
The best fodder for a high-quality milk
In total, around 40 horned red cows live on the Schanck-Haff farm, along with their calves and two breeding bulls. At Schanck-Haff, more than 200,000 litres of Demeter milk are processed into Éisleker Kéis cheese every year. The crucial element in obtaining its characteristic flavour is the quality of the milk, which is strongly dependent on the cows’ wellbeing. That’s why the cows live in the meadow from spring to autumn, where they can enjoy a diet of juicy grass, clover and aromatic herbs. Thanks to the special hay dryer, they feed high quality hay in winter, no silage. This means the quality of the milk remains constant all year round.
Éisleker Kéis is sold at NATURATA as well as in the organic section of certain supermarkets under the BIOG brand. However, the NATURATA stores are the only ones offering the full Éisleker range.
Since 2017 the Éisleker Kéis cheese produced at Schanck-Haff has carried the fair&associative label, which symbolises a fair cooperation between all partners of the product's value chain and thus between the milk producers, the processors, the retailers and the consumers.