Russian Delicacy Deficit
Bloomberg’s Rome-based photographer traveled to the Coduro cheese factory in Fidenza, Italy, to document the manufacture of one of Italy’s finest cheeses, Parmesan .
In his efforts to hit back at the West, President Vladimir Putin is depriving Russians of the delicacies to which they have grown accustomed since the Soviet Union collapsed.
Imports of the crumbly Pamigiano Reggiano cheese have been banned since Aug. 7 when Putin’s government banned many food imports from nations supporting sanctions due to the country’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
The embargo appears focused on products that Russia can source internally or from friendlier countries. It includes all kinds of dairy, fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood. Parmesan cheese is banned, but Italian olive oil isn’t. German sausage is out, but German beer can still be imported. French foie gras is out, but Sauternes is in. Irish cheddar will be gone from the few Russian stores that sell it, but Irish whiskey will still be served in Moscow bars, reported Bloomberg View contributor Leonid Bershidsky.
- Italy has about 500 certified Parmesan producers, represented by the Consortium of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, who all strictly follow an 800-year-old process to make the cheese.
- Parmigiano Reggiano has been protected as a geographical indication in the 27-nation EU since 1996, meaning the phrase can only be used for cheeses made, grated and packaged in the northern Italian regions around the cities of Parma and Reggio.
Read more on the European food ban here.
Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg
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