A Transylvanian cheese cave closed by Dutch dairy FrieslandCampina in 2013 has been reopened after outcry from fans of the traditional Nasal cheese made solely there.
Fabrica de Brânzeturi Transilvania (Cheese Factory Transylvania), owned by Romanian dairies AgroTransilvania Cluster and Agricultural Cooperative Somes Aries, announced last month it had sealed a deal to resume operations in the cave in Taga on behalf of FrieslandCampina.
Netherlands-based FrieslandCampina announced in May 2013 that production of Nasal cheese would end when the Taga site closed the following month. It blamed falling Romanian consumer interest in traditional cheese.
Production of Napolact brand cow's milk Nasal cheese, which has earned the nickname 'Transylvanian Camembert', will recommence "in a few months," said Cornel Cărămizaru, director of sales, FrieslandCampina Romania.
“We are extremely happy that we managed through this complicated novel solution business to resume work in the factory in Taga, a unique unit in Transylvania," said Cărămizaru.
"When we announced the conservation at Taga, consumers and other members of the local communities sent numerous messages expressing regret that they will not be able to buy nasal cheese. We are pleased that Napolact Nasal cheese will soon be available on the market again.”
"Part of Transylvania"
Felix Arion, general manager, AgroTransylvania Cluster, meanwhile heralded Fabrica de Brânzeturi Transilvania's partnership with FrieslandCampina as "an opportunity to carry on recipes and traditions."
"The Grotto of Taga, where the cheese matures, is part of Transylvania and it is our duty to do everything possible to support the production process here," Arion said.
Nasal cheese, the only Romanian cheese made with mold, is left to mature in the Taga cave for 21 days.
Brevibacterium linens, the bacteria that causes foot odor and is employed to make Limburger and Port du Salut cheeses, is naturally present in the cave.
The natural existence of this bacteria and the constant temperature and humidity of the cave are reportedly impossible to reproduce.