Behind only France, Brazil won 57 medals in the world cheese competition.
The Mondial du Fromage aims to discover the best cheeses in the world and its 5th edition had Brazil as one of the main countries on the medals table. Behind only France, Brazilian cheeses won 57 medals, 5 of which were super gold, the top award.
Cheese making was brought to Brazil by European migrants, especially the Italians and Germans who mainly settled in the south, as well as the Portuguese. The state most famed for its cheeses is undoubtedly Minas Gerais, with more than 30,000 cheesemakers, according to the state government. In fact, one of the most traditional types of Brazilian cheese is named Minas cheese (queijo Minas) because it’s origins; it’s also a central ingredient in Pão de Queijo, the little cheesy tapioca buns loved both within Brazil and overseas.
According to the SerTãoBras institution, 183 cheeses from Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Pará, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Paraná took part in the world ‘s competition in September in Loire Valley, France.
The event featured 900 cheeses from 46 countries and a total of 331 medals were distributed. Brazil won 11 gold medals, 26 silver medals, and 16 bronze medals – with 5 super gold medals, an award given to cheeses who have already won a gold medal, but deserve to be mentioned again:
SUPER GOLD CHEESES
Minas Crafted Quilombo Cheese In Cachaça – Ivacy Pires Dos Santos
Canasta do Ivair – Reserve – Ivair José De Oliveira
Queijo Santo Casamenteiro – Laticínios Cruzília
Mandala Cheese Matured 12 Months – Pardinho Artesanal
Canastra Serjao Cheese Matured 100 Days – Sergio De Paula Alves
São Paulo won 15 medals and had one of the Brazilian highlights: cheesemaker Camila Almeida, from Estância Silvania farm, got 2 gold medals with Primavera Silvania and Serrinha cheese in beer, 1 bronze with Taiada Silvania and 2 silver medals with matured cheeses.
According to Débora Sperat Czar, president of SerTãoBras, the value of a winning cheese can rise up to 200%, therefore, the participation of artisanal producers in this type of competition is crucial to leverage the industry in Brazil, the world’s fourth largest milk and cheese producer.
Since 2019, Brazil has had the edition of the World Cheese, in partnership with the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers. The second edition, in September 2022, will be in Inhotim, Minas Gerais.