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Oct 12, 2008 07:34 AM

Where to find fresh queijo de minas/minas-style Brazilian cheese?

hi chowers -- this summer in brazil i got addicted to various styles of brazilian cheeses from minas. in particular there is a fresh cheese that is packed in water, almost like fresh mozzarella. i've tried the various options available at mundial in somerville (the market that used to be gol), but none of them quite compare. is there anywhere to get good, fresh, brazilian cheeses?

thank you!

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  1. I bought it at the Somerville Market Basket a few months ago, but it's not fresh- it's wrapped in plastic and has a dry texture.

    1. The Brazilian cheeses distributed in the area are a mixture of cheeses made in NY and some imported cheeses. There definitely isn't a fresh imported cheese, they are all pressed/slightly aged, and I haven't been a huge fan of the one from NYC. Market Basket sells the same cheeses as Mundial, but Somerville MB carries a Portuguese fresh cheese from Rhode Island (its got an orange and green label) which might be the closest option to what you are looking for. Sometimes the bakeries have some imported dairy products which the markets don't have (particularly the butter from Ibituruna, which also has better cheeses than the other brand, but not fresh cheese). Tony's foodland in East Somerville sometimes has a few unusual Brazilian sausages, as well as a decent selection of central american fresh cheeses. The Chelsea Demoula's is another good spot for Latino fresh cheeses (although I don't always see the portuguese cheese there). Also look for basket cheeses from Calabro in CT (Sessa's and McKinnon's at Easter, but can be ordered year round) and even Purity in Quincy (available at Fresh Cheese in the NE) which are nice, non-melting fresh cheeses, but unsalted unlike the Brazilian. Don't feel bad, when I have been in Minas Gerais I have had to carry back local cheeses to folks in Rio, so its not going to be the same here unfortunately. If you go down to the South Coast its worth poking around Seabro Markets and anytime you are in Newark NJ you can find a lot more Brazilian and Portuguese options.

      From the products I think you saw at Mundial. The queijo prato is a nice melting cheese, but their version is a bit metallic tasting. I do like the curado/aged cheese for mixing to make pao de queijo (you can mix it with mozz) and they used to sell it grated which was convenient. They also had a meia cura (traditionally cured 3 months or so in olive oil) which didn't melt as well as the prato, but much better flavor so was my overall favorite.

      1. To echo the other replies, MB out in Ashland and Bellingham both carry more than one variey of this. It is plastic wrapped but pretty fresh. Melts nicely too.
        There are several independent Brazilian groceries and meat shops around Framingham center. If there are other varieties available that would be your go-to location.

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