Cheese: the brand new gold of Minas – Isabella Ricci

(picture: Private assortment/ Isabella Ricci)

On the finish of 2022 I used to be invited to the “arduous” mission of being a juror within the 1st version of the State Contest of Artisan Cheeses of Alagoa and Mantiqueira de Minas, organized by Emater – MG. On the identical day, the fifteenth Minas Artesanal State Cheese Competitors additionally occurred. However relax! We’ll perceive, nonetheless on this textual content, the distinction between the 2, and why the competition separates them. On a scrumptious tasting day, I got here to the conclusion that cheese is the brand new gold of Minas. However the very best factor is that our mine is not going to be exhausted, fairly the opposite. Every year, we will see, and style, that the standard of Minas Gerais cheese will increase, as does its manufacturing, which signifies that the style of Minas can cross borders.

The gastronomy of Minas Gerais is already established as the most effective on the earth. And far of this title is given, I imagine, not just for the scrumptious flavors of the dishes and spices, but additionally for the tradition and historical past that every one carries. Because of this, the rice with beans is completely different, the cabbage is thinner, the espresso has extra aroma and taste, the cachaça goes down clean… And the cheese? Oh, the cheese! Jogs my memory of grandma’s home, even for many who did not have a grandmother current. As a result of v’s home is in everybody’s creativeness, and Minas Gerais cheese manages to make bodily what we really feel, keep in mind or think about.

And with this emotional footprint, however extraordinarily technical, Emater – MG has managed to assist small and medium-sized producers of artisanal cheese to put their manufacturing on the map of world gastronomy. Together with the manufacturing of cheese, municipalities develop into vacationer locations. In spite of everything, we wish to know the place the brand new gold in Minas comes from, proper?

The Minas Artesanal State Cheese Contest accomplished its fifteenth version. However the nice novelty of the State Cheese Contest was the holding of the primary version of the State Contest for Artisan Cheeses of Alagoa and Mantiqueira de Minas. “What allowed us to make a particular version of Alagoa and Mantiqueira de Minas cheese as a result of now they’ve laws. And Minas Artesanal Cheese (QMA) and Alagoa have completely different profiles. QMA is a uncooked milk cheese that doesn’t undergo any heating course of. Alagoa can also be constructed from uncooked milk, however the dough undergoes a heating course of. So the best way of constructing it, the feel and the consistency are completely different, so we won’t choose them in the identical classes”, explains the state coordinator of Minas Artesanal Cheese at Emater-MG, Maria Edinice Rodrigues.

So, are we going to fulfill the winners and the locations of those delicacies from Minas Gerais? Within the fifteenth Minas Artesanal State Cheese Contest, the massive winner was “Cristina’s Cheese”, produced by Maria Cristina Costa Faria. The cheese is produced within the municipality of Vargem Bonita, positioned within the Canastra area. The area that bears the title of one of the crucial well-known cheeses within the state additionally gives many vacationer points of interest. Vargem Bonita is a small, easy and hospitable city. As it’s positioned near the Serra da Canastra Nationwide Park, it’s the vacation spot for these in search of peace and quiet, concord with nature and who additionally wish to uncover the supply of the São Francisco River, which flows from there to its mouth, within the state of Alagoas, the place it meets the Ocean. Atlantic. The town is between two gates of the park. The Casca d’Anta Entrance is the simplest entry to the waterfall of the identical title, with lookout factors and pure swimming pools. With 186 meters excessive, it’s thought-about the postcard of the area. By the So Roque de Minas Gate, vacationers have entry to different elements of the park, corresponding to Chapado da Babilnia, Paredo da Canastra, the supply of the So Francisco River, Curral de Pedras, Fazenda dos Cndidos, Garagem de Pedras and the Serra Brava Tower, with 1,496 meters. Along with the Chinela, Lavra, Lavrinha and Sebastio Waterfalls, the final two choices for journey trails.
Second place went to “Queijo Bicas da Serra”, by producer Jos Orlando Ferreira Jnior. The cheese is produced within the municipality of Carrancas, within the southern area of Minas Gerais. The town is without doubt one of the hottest ecotourism locations within the state, because of its variety of waterfalls, inexperienced mountains, wells and caves. In third place was “Queijo Tropeiro”, which is produced by João José de Melo, at Fazenda Pavo, within the municipality of Serra do Salitre. The municipality is positioned within the mesoregion of Tringo Mineiro and Alto Paranaba. Along with award-winning cheese, the municipality additionally has a big espresso manufacturing, the right mixture for our afternoon espresso. Trails and the Peta waterfall full the tour.
And now let’s perceive somewhat extra concerning the Artisanal Cheeses of Alagoa and Mantiqueira de Minas, which I had the pleasure of tasting samples from 18 producers. Additionally at a really excessive stage, regardless of the competition being in its first version. This cheese is anticipated to be much like parmesan cheese, with a uniform shade, from white to yellowish, cylindrical form, with a skinny crust and no cracks. The consistency ought to be semi-hard, nearly laborious, which can clearly differ in response to the maturation interval. This construction will delight you with a lactic style, barely acidic, reasonably salty, and generally is a little spicy. And the massive winner on this class was Queijo Fazenda Entre Morros, from producer Marcelo Fonseca de Andrade. Second place went to Queijo Sabor de Alagoa, from producer Antnio de Barros Jnior. Each from the municipality of Alagoa, which is positioned between the mountains of Serra da Mantiqueira within the south of Minas Gerais, between the municipalities of Aiuruoca and Itamonte. Small and quiet, town preserves in its customs, delicacies, traditions, festivities, colonial structure and the tradition of the nation man within the south of Minas Gerais.
The third place went to Queijo Almeida Guimares, which is positioned within the metropolis of Itanhandu, within the area of Mantiqueira de Minas. The area has a number of charming municipalities that produce the everyday cheese: Aiuruoca, Baependi, Bocaina de Minas, Carvalhos, Itamonte, Liberdade, Passa Quatro and Pouso Alto. The area, which has a rigorous winter, attracts {couples} and people in search of journey tourism. In spite of everything, there are a number of waterfalls, peaks and varieties of vegetation. There is no such thing as a higher mixture than nature, chilly and cheese!

The richness of Minas Gerais is present in on a regular basis life. In what you eat, drink and within the folks across the desk. On walks via the several types of vegetation that the state has. For our new gold to prosper, it must be acknowledged as greater than meals, as a portrait of our customs. Cheesemakers have superior with every manufacturing. And it’s as much as the locations to work Minas Gerais cheeses as a part of the native tradition. In spite of everything, that is what vacationers are on the lookout for, way more than cities and meals, they’re on the lookout for experiences!

Need to try the whole lot about tourism and related manufacturing, along with simply journey suggestions? Observe me on Instagram @isabellaricci.tur

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