Forty-nine ‘Golden Autumn’ festival venues opened all over Moscow on 23 September. Visitors will find seasonal produce from 37 Russian regions and Customs Union member-states, and be able to attend concerts and learn something useful at workshops.
From festival to supermarket
Visitors at this gastronomic feast will be offered prime beef, venison, bear meat, Iberian ham, roe deer meet, Brie and Camembert cheeses, sea urchins, trepangs and other foods. Soon, all that could appear on Moscow grocery shelves, said Natalia Sergunina, Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy and Property and Land Relations, at the festival opening.
“Items that are sold during our food festivals in Moscow can later be found on grocery store shelves. You know that we’ve had fish festivals twice. Items delivered by large producers are already available in our chain stores,” she said.
According to the Deputy Mayor, large suppliers sign contracts with retailers, while produce from smaller farms is available at regional and weekend fairs.
With each new festival, the number of producers visiting Moscow grows and the assortment of items expands in trade chalets. “The stands are provided at no cost. It is an opportunity for farmers to show their produce, to prove its quality, so that in the future Muscovites can vote for these products with their wallets,” she said.
Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachyov also pointed out that now it is easier for farms to sign contracts to deliver food to Moscow trade networks. “Moscow does a lot to promote our produce, for trade networks to build up relations and sign contracts in the course of this fair so that tomorrow these and other items will find their way to store shelves in Moscow and other places. The situation in Moscow has changed; access to the trade networks has become much easier,” he said.
Both fish and meat
The ‘Golden Autumn’ festival will runs through 9 October. Twenty-four venues are open in the city centre, 10 venues and 15 regional fairs in the districts. This festival continues the ‘Moscow Seasons’ series of events.
The festival opens with ‘Meat Week’ which will run from 23 September until 2 October. On those days the retail chalets will sell beef, including marbled beef, lamb, veal, pork and rabbit meat. Meat delicacies will also be on sale, such as Yamal reindeer meat, bear meat, wild boar meat and venison. Poultry will also be available: chicken, turkey, goose, pearl hen and quail. Shoppers will also find preserves, pates, ham and sausages. Producers will offer traditional goulash, meat for roasting and soup sets and some things quite out of the ordinary. For example, Angus bull fat that can be used for frying instead of oil. In addition to ordinary trade chalets, Revolution Square will host a meat market. Professional butchers will show how steaks are made and what cuts are used.
‘Cheese Days’ are in store for Muscovites from 30 September until 2 October. Over 100 cheese varieties will be displayed at festival venues, including Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Burrata and others. Food lovers will be offered soft-ripened cheese from Maslovka village near Lipetsk, ‘Comrade Kopiski’ cheese, Moscow Gorgonzola, Moscow-area semi-firm governor’s cheese and firm Bergkase cheese. A new Moscow variety will be made right in Manezhnaya Square.
‘Fish Week’ will continue the festival. About 200 varieties of fish will be on sale from 3 October through 9 October: chilled, frozen, dried, light-salted and canned. The chalets will be selling Caspian black-spined herring, sea urchin, trepang, mackerel, carp and many other kinds of fish. The market in Revolution Square and the cooking school at Kuznetsky Most will also offer fish and sea food.