Cheese, Brazilian Minas style – a recipe and updates

Cheese Minas Style

Together with millions of people around the world, I really enjoy a good cheese board too. Since moving to London I have tasted many cheese varieties from all over the world. Cheese is a milk based product. It can be made from sheep, cow, goat, buffalo and other mammals milk.  The basic milk making procedure is curdling the milk using rennet and other rennet replacements.
There are many types of cheeses and they are classified by making methods, type of milk including fat content, lenght of ageing, mould, texture and some cases bacteria etc. The most common is fresh cheese, which is easy and simple process that can be made at domestic kitchen.  For ages I have been trying to get hold of one particular recipe, Cheese Minas Style, a fresh cheese very popular in Brazil and usually made in the Minas Gerais state. The first recipe was brought over to Brazil from Portugal in 1800’s and adapted to local conditions. In the original recipe the salt is pulverised onto the top of the cheese, and left for a while, then it is turned upside down, a layer of salt is applied to the other side.
For over 200 years the way of making this cheese has changed very little.  Just like wine, this cheese became a product with Denomination of Controlled Origin, and in May 2008 was recognised as Brazilian cultural heritage by the Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage. Here is a very simple recipe for you to enjoy it too.

Brazilian Minas style cheese recipe

• 4 Litre of full fat milk
• 1 tablespoon and 1/2 (soup) salt
• 2 1/2 tablespoons (soup) of rennet

big pan
cheese cloth

cheese mould or any recipient /bowl

kitchen thermometer


  • • Bring the milk to simmering point until it reaches the temperature of 35 º C (i.e.: until placing the little finger and can count to 10)
    • Turn it off, add the salt and the rennet
    • Mix the milk well and cover the pan for 1 hour
    • check if the dough is firm
  • Make cuts in horizontal and vertical ways
    • Let the mixture to stand for 30 minutes
    • cover the sieve with the cheesecloth and let the mixture drain and squeeze almost all the liquid out. It should have a crumbly consistence – now you have ricotta.
  • At this point the mixture weight about 500g
    • Place the mixture in a mould/bowl and place a plate on top and weight on top of the plate to press the cheese.
    • Leave the cheese out of the refrigerator overnight next day drain the excess water.
    • Place the cheese  in the refrigerator for a minimum of 5 hours
    • Turn out the cheese and it is ready to be devoured!

Yield:  about 400 gr

cheese, homemade cheese, white cheese, queso fresco recipe

Brazilian Minas style cheese – a recipe

I have also tried with half fat milk and it worked too.  You can serve it for breakfast, as desert with red guava paste, the Brazilian way or part of cheese board.


UPDATED: 9th November 2012

Since the release of this post I have now tried making this cheese without rennet, as it’s not that wildly available and sometimes you haven’t got time to look  for it or ordered online.

I found a recipe online that used limes or white vinegar to coagulate the milk. This method works a treat!

Small recipe:  2litres of whole milk  and 150ml of lime juice or white wine vinegar and the method is basically the same as above, except that you add the lime or white vinegar when the milk is just about to simmer at 35C and leave to cook for 2 minutes maximum. Turn the stove off and wait 10 minutes and the milk is coagulated. Wait until is cool enough to handle. I also didn’t have my muslin/cheese cloth with me so I used a clean tea towel to drain the whey. The rest is the same method as above.

I also make a cream cheese by adding double cream to 1/3 of the mixture before putting in to the moulds. It’s delicious!

Brilliant! Queso Fresco or Minas Style cheese anytime and quickly.

Thanks Tiff from Kitchen Conversations for bringing the chipotle to the experiment.



  1. Pasta Bites
    September 24, 2012 / 10:04 pm

    Yummi! But what is rennet?

  2. September 25, 2012 / 11:07 am

    Hi Federica, Rennet is a complex enzyme from mammals used to coagulate milk to made cheese, it separates solids (curds) from the liquid (whey). You can find ready to use Rennet online. I was actually going to cover this subject in the next posts about another method of cheese making. Thanks for reading my blog.