The ranking of the 50 best in the world from “The Taste Atlas” in June puts Minas cheese in the spotlight, in front of famous products
Canastra cheese has attracted attention in networks today. The Web site The Atlas of Taste Canasta listed as the best in the world in the “50 Best Cheeses in the World” ranking. The miners were in turmoil. In one of the most liked comments on the Facebook post, a user states that “everyone knows that Minas cheeses are really better”.
The criteria of the ranking published on Monday 20 are not clear: according to the publication, the cheeses have been listed according to the ratings of the Atlas of Taste and refer to the month of June of this year. Canastra, from Minas Gerais, was ahead of other famous cheeses, such as the Italian Parmeggiano Reggiano and Pecorino and the Portuguese Serra da Estrela.
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The result surprised the food journalist and cheese specialist, Eduardo Girao, among other things, for being a world ranking when Canastra cheese is rarely found outside the country. Therefore, view the result with caution. “It is a Brazilian cheese that is not recognized worldwide among cheeses that have a very widespread production and global distribution. It seems to me more like a group of people who voted here than something that reflects popularity,” he reflects.
Regardless of the aspects related to the ranking, Canastra cheese deserves our appreciation. Made with raw cow’s milk, pressed by hand and matured on a wooden shelf, the artisanal Minas cheese produced in the Canastra region it is slightly spicy with aging and of medium intensity, with a more moderate taste.
And it has already won important awards to the producers of Minas Gerais. The Canastra do Queijo do Ivaior cheese, for example, is a two-time gold champion in Mondial du Fromage et des Produits Laitiers de Tours – awarded in 2019 and 2021.
There is a common misconception in considering Canastra the type of cheese, when in reality it concerns the region in which it is produced. Artisanal Minas (this is the type) is produced in 10 recognized micro-regions, one of which is Canastra, explains Girão. “They come from the same recipe, but because they are produced in different regions, they have different properties. The climate, the vegetation, the altitude generate differences in more subtle characteristics,” he adds.
In fact, the artisanal way of making cheese was registered as intangible cultural heritage of the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (Iphan).