Most dairy producers in Latvia use the generic name 'Russian' cheese for Tilsiter-style cheeses, but that is now set to change.
“We wanted to take such a step long ago, but the change of name has always been a complicated and lengthy process. Under the name “Tilsit”, and “Tilsiter”, we have been working in export markets for several years, and this type of cheese is known throughout Europe by this name, not by the name of Russia. The beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine at the end of February removed any doubt – it was time to change the name,” said Agris Skvarnovičs, executive director of Cesvaines piens.
Currently, the 'Russian' cheese is the most demanded product from the cheeses Cesvaines piens produces. On average, the company produces more than 500 tonnes of this type of cheese per year. When the name changes, the recipe will remain unchanged.
The company noted that the Tilsit cheese recipe originates in the 19th century Prussia. The origins of the name of Russian cheese are in the 1960s, in the former Soviet Union. There, a cheese called 'Russian' was produced using the recipe of Tilsiter.
Cesvaines piens specializes in the production of semi-hard cheeses and butter. The company operates production under the brands 'Cesvaines piens' and 'Siera nams'. The producer is one of the largest employers in the municipality of Madona, employing 153 workers. The main export markets are Israel, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, and others. Russia is not a market for exports of the company.