|Tradition of Guda Cheese Production Comes Alive in Tusheti with EU Support
The Story of the Cooperative “Alaznistavi”
“My greatest achievement is that I have revived an almost forgotten tradition. Now this will continue and nothing will hamper the process” - mentions Paata Abulidze, chairman of the cooperative "Alaznistavi".
“Alaznistavi” farm is located some 2,100 metres above sea level in Alaznistavi, in the northeast region of Tusheti. Far from highways and spread out across traditional grazing grounds, the cooperative is surrounded by stunningly preserved pine forests and ancient villages in ruins. The members of the cooperative make Tushetian cheese the old-fashioned way. Nomadic sheep breeding has always been a traditional occupation for the men of Tusheti and has played a role in the development of the local culture. The technology of Tushetian guda cheese production has been passed down from generation to generation. Matured in a guda – a traditional Georgian sack made from sheep or veal skin – the cheese boasts a truly distinct and unique flavor. But in the past 20-30 years, this centuries-old tradition has been replaced by plastic bags. Unfortunately, in the process, the cheese has lost its unique taste. Chairman of the “Alaznistavi” cooperative Paata Abulidze is in love with Tusheti and its traditions, and his ancestors date far back in the region. With the support from European Union in Georgia's ENPARD, Paata revived an almost forgotten tradition. He visits Tusheti on a seasonal basis to run the business.
Cooperative “Alaznistavi” Success Story see here