Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Making queijo minas from scratch

My search for liquid cheese coagulant (“coalho” in Portuguese and “rennet’ in English) continues.  I thought I found it at a local specialty delicatessen/bakery.  I asked about it and an employee told me to come back on Wednesday (presumably they were out and the supplier delivers on Wednesday) but when I returned everyone I spoke with insisted they never carry it.

So I keep looking.  If anyone has a lead, let me know.

In the mean time my friend Amanda went to visit her mother and father at their sitio in Barra Mansa in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro state.  Dona Irene has been making quiejo minas every day for most of her life.  She agreed to be videoed so we could see how it is done.

Special thanks to Amanda for creating the video – and especially to Dona Irene for sharing her method.

I’ve tasted this stuff and it is (wait for it…) fabulous!


Shelley said...

This is SOOO cool! My brother started making cheese in the US, and after reading "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral" I've been interested in trying. Let us know when you find the rennet!

Rachel said...

SO VERY cool! Queijo Minas has always been my favorite Brazilian cheese!

knowitallnanna said...

mine too... I wish we could import it

Gil and Ray said...


Would "Dona Irene" know where to get "rennet"?
And when you said "wait for it" I was expecting the word "legendary" ...lol... :)

Anonymous said...

Great video! My husband's aunt makes cheese almost every day and it's one of my favorite things to eat when we go out to visit them on the farm (well, that and the homemade butter, homemade jabuticaba jam, freshly fried mandioca, roasted leitão, frango caipira, washed down with a little homemade cachaça)

Jim said...

Shelly - Rachel - Nana - I am so grateful for my country connections and how they inspire me.

Ray - EXACTLY - Dona Irene is coming to Rio for Carnaval and will be bringing some rennet for me -- we will discuss how I can buy it locally.

Zoe - qualidade de vida!

Jim said...

@uma vida - lucky you! Wonderful - tasty. =8^)

Karla Kellermann Melllo said...

Hi There Jim :-)

I am half Brazilian and I love Queijo de Mina's, I have tried this recipe twice and didn't work out, although I have a good rennet. I have few questions for you and will be very happy and thankful if you could answer them

1- What kind of milk is used? Pasteurized or no- pasteurized?
2- which temperature should the milch be to add the rennet?
3- Is the rennet diluted in water or added pure? If diluted in water should the water be could or warm
4- How long should the Rennet & Milk & Salt mixture rest to reach a curd. Muito obrigada e espero obter respostas. Abraços