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更新时间:2015-5-9 8:54:53 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

With Imports Banned, Russian Cheese Fills the Need for Brie

GOLOVKOVO-MARINO, Russia — The creamy goat cheese produced at Koza Nostra, a 12-acre farm in this village 75 miles north of Moscow, had largely been a labor of love. The farm had been losing more than $5,000 a month.

俄罗斯戈洛夫科沃-马里诺——科扎·诺斯特拉(Koza Nostra)生产的香浓山羊奶酪在过去一段时间基本上是靠兴趣在维持着。这个4.8公顷的农场所在的村庄位于莫斯科以北120公里;过去,它每个月都要损失5000多美元(约合3万元人民币)。

Then Russia was hit by Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, and Moscow retaliated by banning European cheese and other agricultural products.


Practically overnight, the farm’s phones started ringing with orders. Restaurant chefs and grocery store managers were clamoring, “‘We want cheese, we want cheese,’” said Daniel G. Sokolov, who manages the farm with his wife, Maria V. Sokolova.

可以说一夜之间,订货电话就开始在这个农场里响个不停。与妻子玛丽亚·V·索科洛娃(Maria V. Sokolova)一同经营农场的丹尼尔·G·索科洛夫(Daniel G. Sokolov)表示,餐厅主厨和食杂店经理都在高呼,“我们要奶酪,我们要奶酪。”

The farm now churns out up to 140 pounds of goat cheese a day, some selling for as much as $14 a pound.


“The sanctions really made us happy,” said Mr. Sokolov, who recalled jumping up and cheering when he saw news of the ban on television last year.


Across the country, dairy farms suddenly have a new purpose: keeping Russia in Brie, Camembert, mozzarella and ricotta through these geopolitically difficult times.


In Moscow, the cheese counter at the hip, locavore grocery store LavkaLavka groans under the weight of rounds of specialty cheese from half a dozen local farmers. One small dairy, Mosmedyn, says it is doing well focusing just on mozzarella, which it sells into the tight Moscow cheese market.


On a national scale, investments in Russian farms by the American snack and beverage giant PepsiCo are paying off because of the ban on imports. The company owns the largest dairy in Russia.


“We can’t keep Camembert on the shelf,” said Olga Makarova, a saleswoman at LavkaLavka, which sells Koza Nostra cheese among others. “People buy it. Then they come back for more and more.”

“我们的货架上留不住卡芒贝尔奶酪,”拉夫卡拉夫卡的女售货员奥尔加·马卡洛娃(Olga Makarova)说。她负责销售的货品包括科扎·诺斯特拉生产的奶酪。“人们买过之后,又会再回来买更多。”

It is the rare bright spot in Russia’s economy.


Financial firms have been ravaged by Western sanctions, which limit banks’ borrowing in the foreign markets to short-term loans. Oil giants are facing the additional headwind of low oil prices. And consumer-oriented businesses, like retailers, are suffering from the general economic malaise.


But cheese makers and other agricultural producers are thriving. Even as the Russian economy is shrinking over all, cheese and curd production by volume was up 16 percent in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, according to the federal state statistical agency. Their success largely comes at the expense of European players that have been heavily dependent on Russian agriculture exports like Finnish dairy producers.


“Any established food processor should be in a rather supportive position right now because of sanctions,” said Vladimir Tikhomirov, chief economist at BCS Financial Group in Moscow.

“对于制裁,任何一个老牌的食品加工企业现在都应该持非常支持的态度,”BCS金融集团(BCS Financial Group)首席经济师弗拉基米尔·蒂霍米罗夫(Vladimir Tikhomirov)说。

Cheese is an unlikely success story in Russia.


As the oil boom bolstered the country’s economy over the last decade, the emerging middle class increasingly had a taste for European cheeses. Products from France, Italy and the Netherlands flooded the Russian market.


“Cheese is just like oil; if you produce a lot of it, the price will fall,” said Dmitry A. Markitan, the master cheese maker at Koza Nostra farm. “It became cheaper to buy it in Europe than make it in Russia.”

“奶酪就像石油一样,如果生产很多,价格就会下降,”科扎·诺斯特拉农场的奶酪制作能手德米特里·A·马基坦(Dmitry A. Markitan)说。“在欧洲的售价,比在俄罗斯生产的成本还低。”

Russia just couldn’t compete.


The country has its own specialties. Farmers in the mountainous Altai province of Siberia traditionally made an Emmental cheese, which is paler, with smaller eyes, than Swiss varieties. Traditional sheep cheeses are found in the Northern Caucasus.


But domestic dairies largely churned out a standardized product, often sold under the brand Friendship Cheese. It is basically the Kraft Singles of Russia. Based on a recipe from the Vologda region, the cheese, which is slightly tangy and medium hard in yellow and white hues, is usually inferior to imports and struggled to compete.

不过,俄罗斯国内的乳酪厂基本上只生产一种标准化的产品,用“友谊奶酪”(Friendship Cheese)的牌子来销售。它基本上就是俄罗斯的卡夫芝士片(Kraft Singles)。这种奶酪是根据沃洛格达地区的一种配方制作的,口味浓烈、中等硬度、黄白相间,质量通常比不上进口产品,没什么竞争力。

In recent years, smaller farms have been trying to improve their quality, aiming to create European-style fine cheeses for the budding Russian artisanal food movement. When sanctions were imposed, they were well positioned.


“We feel the demand,” said Lyudmila Presnyakova, who runs a dairy south of Moscow that makes blue cheese varieties, called Lyudmila. “There are no imports but people want to eat cheese. People call. They ask us for cheese. I understand. I’m a lover of French cheese myself.”

“我们感受到了需求,”柳德米拉·普瑞辛亚科娃(Lyudmila Presnyakova)说。她在莫斯科南部经营着一家名为柳德米拉的奶酪场,生产各种蓝奶酪。“不能进口了,但人们还是想吃奶酪。人们打电话向我们要奶酪。我理解他们的心情。我自己就非常喜欢法国奶酪。”

Mark i Lev, a farm-to-table restaurant in the Tula farming region outside Moscow, says interest has increased in a young cheese it serves called Five Minutes.

在莫斯科城外图拉农业区的餐厅Mark i Lev,工作人员说,人们对这里供应的一种叫做“五分钟”的未成熟干酪需求大增。这家餐馆的食材都是从农场直接供应的。

“We want to make Tula famous for cheese,” said Anna Bogomolova, director of development for the restaurant. “Farmers see the demand and raise output.”

“我们希望让图拉因奶酪而闻名,”餐厅的业务拓展负责人安娜·伯格莫洛娃(Anna Bogomolova)说,“农民们看到了需求,增加了产量。”

The newfound success is evident at Koza Nostra, whose name is a play on the Russian word for goat, koza, and the term for Italian organized crime, Cosa Nostra. The barns are freshly painted. The farm bought a new billy this year, a purebred Anglo-Nubian goat, increasing the herd to 154.

近来的成功在科扎·诺斯特拉身上体现得尤为明显。这个名字来自于俄语山羊“Koza”和意大利有组织犯罪团伙黑手党(Cosa Nostra)这两个词的组合。这里的牲口棚新刷了油漆。农场今年买了一只新的公山羊,纯种的盎格鲁-努比亚山羊,使羊的总数增加到了154头。

The cheese — the farm makes a crème de chevre, a ricotta, a buche de chevre and a Camembert, among other varieties — is rolling out the doors to grocery stores and upscale restaurants in the capital. The farm sells out of each cheese run.


Since the import ban, Koza Nostra has mainly focused on improving quality. It has invested in European stainless steel equipment for the cheese kitchen. Last August, the farm hired Mr. Markitan, a former high school biology teacher turned cheese maker.


“They said they needed a man who could make ricotta,” and fast, Mr. Markitan said of the urgent phone call that led to his employment.


Inside the heart of the cheese kitchen, laboratory precision prevails.