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Eating 150 tons of cheese and riding a tractor: what was prepared for the public at the largest agricultural festival

Date: June 22, 2024 Time: 14:47:34

On August 4, a food festival began in the village of Dubrovskoye near Moscow.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

– Which mold do you prefer, white or blue? This cheese is more seasoned, and this soft, tender…

– Olya, Anya, leave those linen dresses of yours – there is such a sausage! That? Let’s try some champagne…

11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 4. In the rows of farm sweets, despite the working day and the heat, it is no longer easy to make your way. A gastronomic festival beloved by many has just started in the village of Dubrovskoye near Moscow. It is being held for the eighth time at Oleg Sirota’s Istra Cheese Factory with the support of the Moscow Region government. This year – from August 4 to 6. Cheese alone now brought 150 tons of five hundred different varieties! And there are other products, the holidays have long turned from the original cheese into a general gastronomy.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

The festival literally brings together farmers from all over the country. Here is cheese with lavender from the Crimea, and here is honey from the Amur taiga. For visitors, this is an opportunity to get acquainted with products that, despite their Russian origin, you are unlikely to find in ordinary retail chains. Hence the excitement. But farmers also come with great pleasure – to look for their buyer.

GRAND PRIZE FOR THE CALL OF THE SOUL

It catches the eye: a blonde with a cap in the shape of a goat’s snout on her head.

– I am Olga Kosheleva, I have my own cheese factory in Chuvashia. We produce about 20 types of premium segment goat cheeses using European technologies, we also make cheeses from cow’s milk.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

Olga’s cheeses are winners of many competitions for the best cheese in Russia, which used to be part of the Istra festival. Last year they took a lot of prizes here: the Grand Prix, four golds and bronzes in different categories. Seasoned visitors seem to know this: there is chaos at the counter.

Olga’s story for today’s Russian “artisanal cheesemakers” is quite indicative. Doctor by profession, obstetrician-gynecologist. She worked in a hospital in the Nizhny Novgorod region, then she was called to a foreign pharmaceutical company. She made a managerial career there, transferred to the main office in Moscow …

“But I wanted to do something interesting, both for people and for the heart and soul,” Olga shared with KP. – I started making cheese in Moscow, in a rented apartment. This was six years ago. And I couldn’t stop, it was such an exciting process. The cheese sold strongly, the customer base began to grow slowly. I also had a dream to return to my hometown, to Cheboksary. So she came back, opened her own cheese factory there.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

BLUE AND FRAGRANT

However, long-established companies can surprise the public. Here I look, and I cannot believe my eyes: the cheese is not just interspersed with some kind of blue mold, but in general it is all blue. It turned out – with lavender. Came from the Crimea, from Dzhankoy.

– Our company is more than 60 years old, but we are trying to find new approaches. And bring something interesting here. For example, our cheeses with natural fillings: Crimean lavender, olives and black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, says Mikhail. – We use only Crimean ingredients. Herbs: Crimean basil, parsley, lemongrass, thyme. Cheese with lavender is one of the most popular, it is bought in the first place, the color is very attractive. But our Parmesan and jur-dzhur are also highly appreciated (a semi-hard cheese with an unusual sweet-salty taste, named after the famous Crimean waterfall – Ed.)

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

– Isn’t it difficult to get here from the Crimea?

– Our path was not through the Crimean bridge, but through Mariupol. There were no problems – a new track, we drove calmly, says Mikhail. – In general, such festivals are important to us. We are trying to expand and be represented not only in the south of Russia. We want all of Russia to know our brand.

By the way, many Crimean companies came to the festival. Not far from the blue lavender cheese Dzhankoy there is a counter with semi-hard and hard Crimean Belogorsk cheeses. Mmm, yum-yum, the flavor is almost indistinguishable from its Italian counterparts.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

PSKOV CHARGE

But what are we all about cheese? Have you been to Paris? Did they eat snails there? But you don’t need to go to Paris for snails.

– My name is Alexey Korochkin, I am the founder and head of the snail company, this is a snail farm in the south of the Pskov region. We are engaged in the collection, processing of grape or Burgundy snails and the preparation of delicacies from them.

For those who don’t know, escargots are the famous French escargot dish.

– Alexei, where are you and where is Burgundy? The Pskov region is not very associated with the grape snail…

– In fact of the matter. But we want to restore justice. Nature has given the Pskov region a unique opportunity. After all, today in Europe the main population of the wild-growing grape snail has remained precisely in the south of the Pskov region. Here it is collected and from here it is sent to Europe itself. We can say that in Parisian restaurants every third street is from the Nevelsky district of the Pskov region. And we make such treats for the Russians. We deliver to Moscow and Sochi with Krasnaya Polyana, and even to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Our snails are exactly wild, they grow in natural conditions in a few years and do not grow in farms with compound feed in a few months. Therefore, the taste and nutritional properties are more pronounced. And those snails are much more appreciated by connoisseurs.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

WINE, MICE AND A MILKING ROBOT

There is also a wine tent at the festival, where you can taste some 20 wineries, honey, sweets, bread, mushrooms… And all kinds of knitting to taste their novelties. I fell in love with the cheesy knitted mice. It turned out that the creations of the Istra club “Active Longevity”. Retired seamstresses weave toys, make pottery, create clothes.

-We already traditionally have much more requests for participation than we can provide seats at the festival. We try to select the best, – says the initiator of the festival, the Istra farmer Oleg Sirota, on the territory of whose cheese factory the event is held. – And every year the assortment changes, some new “chips” appear. The first two years were dominated by burrata (Italian cream cheese, a relative of mozzarella – Ed.). Then came the year of cheese candy. Then it was the goat cheeses, really on every second counter. Now it’s the year of blue cheese – there’s a lot going on at the festival. I think that in one or two years there will be many sheep cheeses, everything is heading towards that, although at the moment there are not enough. There is a lot of interesting bread this year, its quantity has increased significantly. More sausages. Much of it came from horse meat, from Mari El, Tatarstan.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

Even the festival is attracted by entertainment. After all, many people come here to spend time with the whole family. In addition to the more or less traditional ones (all kinds of competitions and master classes, a children’s playground, the opportunity to visit a mini-farm with a goat, rabbits and other animals), there are quite unusual ones. For example, this year they ride a tractor. But don’t laugh: a long line lined up for the shiny new red Kirovts, circling across the green field, even longer than for cheese.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

This is another of the current characteristics of the festival. For the second year, new Russian agricultural machinery has been brought here – they are organizing an exhibition. This year, in addition to tractors with combines, there are master classes for schoolchildren on handling all kinds of miraculous equipment of domestic origin: a milking robot (we have one, they make it in Nizhny Novgorod), unmanned mini-tractors, agricultural drones (the drones, however, fly in a specially fenced area). The adults look at all this with some wonder in their eyes (it remains in our minds that agriculture is dung and pitchforks). And they rush to take selfies.

Photo: Oksana ZUYKO

ON A NOTE

How to get to the festival and what to consider

On August 5 and 6 -Saturday and Sunday- the farmer’s gastrofestival awaits visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. By public transport, it is best to get to the Novoerusalimskaya railway station. From there, there are free charter buses that will take you directly to the festival. And they will get it back.

By car, you need the 61st kilometer of the Novorizhskoye highway. Then you definitely will not get lost: right from here the queue for parking usually begins, under which there is a huge field. Then follow the instructions of the traffic controllers who stop at every turn. The organizers warn that during the days of the festival, check-in for visitors is only from the side of the Novorizhskoye highway, so there is no need to try to drive through the “gardens”, it will turn around.

Another caveat is that it is better to wear comfortable sports shoes on your feet. A farmers festival is a farmers festival, you have to walk, even on gravel and grass.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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