By Mike Pomranz
Updated November 23, 2015
© PHILIPPE ROY / Alamy Stock Photo

As the Russian government continues its ban on Western foods, Russian cheesemakers have been left with only one option… No, not taking pride in the Russian cheeses they are already making. Instead, they are sending their employees to France to learn how to make cheese there so they can bring that knowledge back to the motherland. Call it a very delicious loophole.

“It’s not a secret that the European cheese culture is at a much higher level than it is in Russia,” Taras Kozhanov, director of a Russian cheese company told RT. “That’s why we’ve come up with an idea to send our technologist to France. We intend to make cheese superior to the one made in Russia now.”

Apparently, though the Kremlin has strict rules against literal imports, trading knowledge and technology hasn’t been a problem, meaning that many companies are simply changing the way they do business. According to a representative for the organization Business France, her group is now selling Russian cheesemakers technology and inviting them to France to learn techniques. “We are…working in accordance with Russian government policy,” she said.

The result: French-style cheeses made entirely in Russia with a mix Russian milk and foreign yeasts and techniques. But Kozhanov stresses that the products are still very much Russian.