Found at: Vilmilk Cheese Truck, United Nations University Farmer’s Market in Aoyama
Producer: Vilmilk Cheese Factory
Region: Japan, Gunma, Oizumi
Texture: semi-hard, firm, rubbery when cooked
Flavor: salty, light, fresh
Extra Notes: Fantastic on a salad or grilled for a tasty snack
Link to recipes on Vilmilk’s website here.
During Portuguese colonial times, the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil split its economy between agriculture and mining. Workers at the mines often brought their own food into the depths of the mines. A simple white cheese nicknamed “minas” (Portuguese for “mine”) became a particular favorite because it was easy to make a home and versatile in the kitchen. The name stuck and the cheese called “minas” is now an important part of the Brazilian diet.
In Gunma Prefecture of Japan, a Brazilian named Vilmar makes "minas". Working with Matsui Ranch in Ota City, quality milk from happy Japanese cows helps make a Brazilian style cheese. "Minas" is a real fusion of Brazil and Japan. Firm, mild, and endlessly versatile, "Minas". This cheese and other products are sold from the Vilmilk food truck at the weekly Aoyama Farmer’s Market in front of the UN University in Tokyo. The freshly grilled "minas" is a fantastic farmer's market snack.
Check out the blog post here.