Discover cheeses that Lula gave to Macron and see where to buy – 04/01/2024 – Food

Discover cheeses that Lula gave to Macron and see where to buy – 04/01/2024 – Food
Discover cheeses that Lula gave to Macron and see where to buy – 04/01/2024 – Food

It was a rush. On Wednesday morning, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called cheesemaker Rosanna Tarcitano, who lives in Brasília, out of breath.

At the request of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), he needed to organize a basket of Brazilian products, with emphasis on national cheeses, to be given as a gift to French President, Emmanuel Macron. The problem was the deadline: the gift had to be delivered the next morning.

With a decade of experience in the industry and one of the founders of the Brazilian Cheese Makers Association, ComerQueijo, Tarcitano didn’t hold back. He called a colleague from the Federal District, Sandra Moser, and asked for help. “As she sells cheeses at fairs, she usually has some stock,” she says.

The production of the gift also went through negotiation worthy of diplomats. Itamaraty’s expectation was to only include cheeses from Minas Gerais in the box, but Tarcitano was against it. “I suggested a greater diversity of flavors, because several regions of Brazil have wonderful, award-winning cheeses,” he says. The argument worked.

From the initial list, with ten cheeses, the products that required refrigeration were left out — it was impossible to know how the gift would reach Macron, and whether the French president would taste the cheeses right here, on Brazilian soil, or if he would take them to House.

Another demand from Itamaraty helped to reduce the list: that the cheeses had won medals at Le Mondial du Fromage et des Produits Laitiers, also known as the World Tours, one of the most important international competitions, held in France. The idea was for the gift to function as a fun provocation to Macron.

Of those ten cheeses in the first selection, four qualified. But Tarcitano appealed to diplomacy once again and convinced the ministry official to include two other products that, in his opinion, better portrayed the country’s cheese diversity. Bingo again.

“At 2 pm, the list was already closed and approved and we started to form the gift. As some cheeses are huge, we chose to deliver packaged fractions. At 5 pm, the gift was ready, to be delivered the following morning”, recalls the cheesemaker .

The cardboard box given to Macron, with sawdust at the bottom, didn’t just contain cheese. Included in the kit was a packet of coffee and sparkling wine 130 Brut Blanc de Blanc, produced with Chardonnay grapes from special harvests by Casa Valduga from Rio Grande do Sul.

On the eve of the Good Friday holiday, the photo of the two presidents, smiling with the gift in their hands, quickly circulated on social media and news portals.

Whether the gesture will result in increased sales, it is too early to know. But cheesemaker Bento Mineiro, producer of Pardinho cheese in São Paulo, is optimistic. “There is no doubt about the relevance of the gesture. This public relations work can, indeed, have a commercial effect.”

Owner of the Galeria do Queijo store, in the south of São Paulo, merchant Falco Bonfadini did not notice an immediate increase in demand for the president’s cheeses. But he was bothered by the political debate that took over his Instagram profile.


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“I made a post to celebrate the visibility of national cheeses, nothing to do with politics, but they started fighting over my post”, he laments.

All the cheeses that Macron received as a gift are on sale in specialized stores and can be purchased directly from the producers.

Discover each of the cheeses given by Lula to Macron and see where to find them.

One of the most awarded cheesemakers in São Paulo, Pardinho Artesanal makes Cuesta in old copper pans, using raw milk from cows raised on pasture at Fazenda Sant’Anna, in Pardinho (SP). Over the course of eight months of maturation in underground cellars, the skin incorporates fungi that give it a grayish color and almond notes.

Awards – silver medal at the Mondial du Fromage and at the 2023 Queijo Brasil Award.

How much – R$ 279.90 per kilo

Where to find – Cheese Gallery (Hortifruti Imigrantes, Av. Professor Abraão de Morais, 1500, Box 6, Saúde, website

Goa Moderate
In Aiuruoca (MG), doctor Guilherme Maciel produces Mantiqueira de Minas with raw milk from his own herd. The pasta is semi-cooked and goes through brine, a process similar to that of Italian parmesan. The Moderate label cures for 120 days. Visitors can visit Fazenda da Lage, follow production and participate in tastings (R$ 50 per person, booking via Instagram @produtosgoa).

Awards – gold medal at the Mundial du Fromage 2023

How much – R$ 77 (370 g)

Where to find – Empório Ouro das Gerais (R. Canário, 1.132, Moema, and R. Vieira de Moraes, 865, Campo Belo, Instagram @ourodasgerais)

Full moon
Airton Gianesi, owner of the Serra das Antas dairy, in Bueno Brandão (MG), was inspired by Camembert to create the recipe based on raw cow’s milk and cream, but adds charcoal to the rind. The cheese matures for three weeks in a cold room. On Saturdays, the dairy welcomes guests for lunch at the Bissurdô restaurant.

Awards – bronze medal at the World Cheese Awards 2023/2024

How much – R$ 38.30 (300 g)

Where to find – on the official website.

Maranata Bronze
The couple Henrique and Paula Laim, from Virgínia (MG), produce Mantiqueira de Minas cheese based on raw cow’s milk, from their own herd — Bronze matures for one hundred days. Rancho Maranata welcomes visitors and organizes experience programs, with accommodation.

Awards – silver medal at the Queijo Brasil Award 2023

How much – R$ 32.50 (250 g)

Where to find – on the official website.

Queijo do Marajó Fazenda São Victor
In Salvaterra, Marajó Archipelago (PA), Cecilia and Marcus Pinheiro produce the island’s traditional cream cheese, based on raw milk and buffalo milk cream, which they inherited from their ancestors. Creamy, with a buttery flavor, these cheeses obtained Geographical Indication (GI) recognition in 2021.

Awards – gold medal at the Queijo Brasil Award 2023

How much – R$59 (about 420 g)

Where to find – O Queijólatra (R. Dr. Melo Alves, 138, Jardim Paulista; Av. Sapopemba, 1553, Vila Regente Feijó; official website)

Serjão Canastra 20 Days
In Piumhi (MG), in the heart of Serra da Canastra, Sérgio de Paula Alves produces the region’s traditional cheeses, based on raw cow’s milk. The white mold on the rind, which naturally proliferates over 20 days in the maturation cellar, gives the product its identity.

Awards – Super Gold medal in Le Mondial du Fromage

How much – R$ 109.90 (1 kg to 1.2 kg)

Where to find – on the official website.

The article is in Portuguese

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