Moldovan businessman of Armenian origin Oganes Vardanean launched the production of traditional Armenian cheeses in Moldova.
"For many years, together with a Moldovan business partner, we have been producing Armenian lavash of several kinds. At the beginning of this year I decided to launch the production of Armenian cheese. After all, in Armenia, cheese is a very popular product. Armenians literally start and finish their day with cheese. It is used in fresh or fried form. It can be made with or without greens and is usually wrapped in lavash. Without it, many traditional dishes are impossible. Generally, the cheese is called "the king of the Armenian meals", said the businessman.
Archaeological findings on the Armenian territory show that the cheese was produced here as early as 5500 BC. (Similar findings dating from later times were discovered on the territory of modern France and Poland). The most ancient Armenian cheese is the ”mklat panir” – it is reminiscent of Roquefort cheeses and has a similar sharp and spicy taste, while the most popular one is ”chechil” - it has a soft and creamy taste and an original string form.
"Since I thought about traditional Armenian cuisine, I decided to start with the production of those cheeses that I loved from childhood, that were made by my grandmother. I went to Armenia and learned how to make cheeses according to old recipes. After that, here in Moldova, I brought the technology to industrial use: I developed the technical conditions and received all the necessary certificates."
The individual enterprise Oganes Vardanean started with the production of two types of cheeses, which are made using traditional technologies, but which were given their own trademarks.
"Liana", a semisolid cheese that is shaped like sausages. When used, it is customary to tear it to several strings.
"Artur", a semisolid cheese shaped like briquettes. You can cut into cubes or slices.
Both cheeses are made from cow's milk, leaven, enzymes for coagulation of milk and alimentary salt. No other additives or chemical substances are added.
"At first, we had several problems with raw materials", recalls Oganes Vardanean. "Now we have established relations with two Moldovan farmers who, thanks to our orders, were able to significantly increase the milk production."
As a raw material we use 100% cow milk with a fat content of 4% or higher. As a result, the fat content of cheeses is more than 40%.
A truly high-quality natural product cannot be cheap. To make one kilogram of cheese, we use from 12 to 14 liters of milk.
For the first time the entrepreneur presented his cheeses "Liana" and "Artur" on October 14, at the feast dedicated to Chisinau’s Birthday. Now these cheeses can be found on the shelves of supermarket chains No. 1, Fourchette and in 42 Salamer stores operating throughout the country.
These high quality cheeses are now in demand in local restaurants as well, and not only in those specialized in Armenian or Georgian cuisine, but also in Moldavian and European cuisine as well.
In this case we are dealing with a very common phenomenon in European countries – the development of a small production line, based on traditional recipes, but using its own unique technology. It also should be noted that the products were certified by state, veterinary, sanitary organs, etc.
These products are intended for people who want to consume high quality products, because each manufacturer understands that if he starts to "muddle" his products, he will simply lose its loyal customers.
In Moldova in recent years emerged several similar enterprises that produce cheeses according to Italian, French, Georgian, Dutch, Greek technologies. Now the buyer can purchase traditional Armenian cheeses as well.
"There are many unique cheeses in Armenia," says Oganes Vardanean. "In the near future, I'm going to start production of several more types, here in Moldova."