The 6th open cheese festival “The Small Motherland of Big Cheese” became unprecedented in terms of the number of participants, variety of cheese kinds and surprises, which the organizers added to the celebration. Over ten leading manufacturing plants from all over the country brought new products and the best samples of dairy products to Grodno.
It was possible not only to try cheese on Sovetskaya Square, by the way, the cheese exposition consisted of over 80 varieties, but also to cook a delicious product themselves - for hundreds of guests a unique master class was held by Elena Mikulchik, the expert of Belarusian cuisine.The cheese festival acquired cosmic taste and statuswith the appearance of Oleg Novitsky, the cosmonaut, at the celebration.
The festival became another gift from Grodno to its 890th anniversary, and was sustained in the atmosphere of the ancient royal city. OJSC “Molochny Mir”, the organizer of the holiday, “built” a real guest yard on the square: built rows of shops, where they briskly traded and treated with cheeses, themed photo zones worked everywhere, knights in medieval clothes walked around. The holiday for thousands of Grodno residents and city guests began even before the grand opening of the festival.
The celebration traditionally started with the appearance of the main character - the cheese circle. This was another gift from the Grodno milkmen. Specially for the City Day, OJSC “MolochnyMir” produced a new variety named after the royal Grodno “Goroden”. He was brought to the festive platform no less solemnly: in a carriage accompanied by the royal retinue.
- Today gourmets, who honor cheese, have a great holiday. It is symbolic that the festival takes place in Grodno region, which has always been famous for cheese making. Today37 thousand tons of cheese and over 140 of its speciesproduced at the enterprises of the region. OJSC “MolochnyMir”, Shchuchinsky Creamery, Dyatlovsky Cheese-Making Plant, Lida Milk Canning Factory, Oshmyany Cheese-Making Plantare the leaders of cheese-making. Products and other Grodno cheese makers are regularly mentioned at prestigious contests and exhibitions. It's nice that representatives from other areas are participating in the festival today. This suggests that the event is becoming increasingly popular among fans and producers of cheese, said Ivan Zhuk, the first deputy chairman of the regional executive committee, opening the festival
Oleg Novitsky, the cosmonaut, congratulated citizens with the holiday. He became an honorary guest of the festival and took part in cutting the first head of a new variety of cheese.
- I am not the first time in Grodno. I love this ancient city, interesting architecture, friendly people. Therefore, I responded to the invitation with pleasure, - said the astronaut.
At the festival, he had to overcome a more than two-hour marathon for distributing autographs. There were so many people who wanted to receive his handwritten signature as a souvenir. One of the main souvenirs on this day was a selfie with the famous Belarusian.
It was possible to be surprised at the fantasy and invention of the cooks of the Grodno enterprises at the exhibition of cheese sculptures devoted to the theme of the holiday “The Small Homeland of the Big Cheese”. The houses, mills, the Grodno Drama Theater and even the paintings by Marc Chagall, which were brought to the festival by guests from Vitebsk, were all made from cheese. It turns out that cheese is quite a plastic material, and if you wish, you can create unique works from it.
Dozens of stages with songs and dances unfolded in the central part of the city. The trade of cheese and other dairy products was very active in the trade rows, during the national tasting it was possible to try the best cheeses, which were presented to the Grodno residents by dairy enterprises of the republic.
The winners of the competition of taste and quality were announced from the main stage of the holiday. Also, the awards received the best in the opinion of the participants of the national tasting. And guests of the holiday took away some prizes.
The results of the joint drawing, which was organized by the editorial board of “Grodzenskауа Pravda” together with OJSC “Molochny Mir”, became known to the sweet table as well. At stake were two boxes of ice cream "Knight Tournament": the winnerswon them.
But about cheese... it was also tasted at the festival, evaluated, bought, admired and presented to friends. Elena Mikulchik, well-known expert of Belarusian cuisine,not only told how to make, for example, melted cheese at home, but also held a master class for the guests of the holiday. The cheese turned out to be delicious, we confirm it, because we tried it by ourselves. Dairy ingredients in it made at the production of OJSC “Molochny Mir”.
Melted cheese from Elena Mikulchik, the chef:
- 400g of cottage cheese9%,
- 100g of butter 82.5%,
- 2 eggs,
- ½ tsp of soda,
- 1 tsp of salt.
Cottage cheese, eggs, softened butter, soda and salt blend in a blender until smooth. Put the cheese in a saucepan with a thick bottom and put on a small fire or on the "steam bath". Heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spatula and not allowing the cheese to start gurgling. Once the curd is melted, remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. Additionally, you can add fried mushrooms, mustard, cumin. Or another option - chopped greens, chopped walnuts and garlic. Ready cheese to put in the fridge until it hardens.