11:51 GMT05 March 2021
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    In the wake of the recent stand-off between Russia and Europe, an Italian entrepreneur has found a way to bring European gourmet traditions to Russia. Donato Parisi is an Italian businessman in Russia who makes mozzarella and other Italian cheeses right before the eyes of his customers and sells his produce in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    In an interview with Sputnik Italy, Donato Parisi, the owner of Alta Gamma Food Company, said he was keeping the tradition of Italian cheese making alive now in Moscow.

    “We make fresh cheese in Russia and import ingredients that are produced only in Italy. It all started several years ago when I was presenting Italian firms, including food producers. Alta Gamma Company was founded in 2014 when Russia needed fresh cheeses,” Parisi explained.

    He added that he decided to launch after one of his business partners, Globus Gourmet supermarket chain, felt the shortage of fresh cheeses following the Russian ban on food imports from the EU.

    “Things were going well, we needed additional investments and invited seasoned cheesemakers from Italy. We kept working with Globus and we are now selling our cheeses to the best restaurants in the city,” Donato Parisi said.

    He added that they only used Russian milk and cream while all other ingredients, allowed for export to Russia, are brought in from Italy.

    “So far we are more than happy with the results. There are many Italians living in Moscow and they say that our chesses are as good as those made in Italy. We make them right before their eyes, so anyone who comes to Globus Gourmet can watch the entire process,” he noted.

    He said the Western sanctions were a big mistake because they don’t let Italian products expand their production and “Italy is losing a lot of money from this.”

    “More and more Italian entrepreneurs now think about starting production in Russia. Many of my fellow cheesemakers are now trying to make bresaola and prosciutto here,” Donato Parisi said.

    Since 2014, relations between Russia, the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine.

    Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia on the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.

    In response to the restrictive measures, Russia imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.

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