Seara Raw Milk Colonian Cheese

Slow Food Presidium

Brazil

Santa Catarina

Milk and milk products

Back to the archive >

Queijo colonial is a raw cow’s milk cheese from the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná: These lowland areas are usually cultivated with annual crops and have a subtropical climate (hot summers, with more than 30 millimeters of rain).
This cheese is one of the most emblematic of a group of products from southern Brazil known as “colonial”: foods traditionally produced on the farm by farmers of Italian or German origin, usually destined for family consumption.
Forms of queijo colonial are round and weigh between 1 and 3 kilos. The rind is yellowish and the consistency is semi-hard, though buttery in the middle. The flavor is delicate at first, but after aging it develops a spiced finish.
When produced artisanally, on a small scale, the entire cheesemaking process is carried out by women, from tending the animals to producing the cheese to selling it. Milk is used from hardy, pasture-grazed breeds of cow, their diet supplemented by corn, tapioca, sweet potato leaves and forage.
If the cheese is not sold fresh (after 5 to 12 days) it can be preserved in various ways. The most common method is immersion in wine for 2 to 3 days, but the rind can also be rubbed with lard, annatto and pepper. The forms are then hung in a net for up to a year.
Cheeses under 3 months of age are eaten on their own or with polenta and bread, while the more mature cheeses are usually grated and used in cooking.

Back to the archive >
Artisanal production of this cheese is increasingly declining, and the market is flooded with industrial products from big companies. Raw-milk cheeses are now legal, but the process of applying the law and supporting producers still has a long way to go. Food-safety rules continue to serve large-scale industry, to the detriment of small-scale producers and traditional techniques, which are rapidly disappearing. After starting as an informal group working to defend raw-milk cheeses in the state of Santa Catarina, the Presidium is now continuing the struggle for the legalization of the artisanal production of other “colonial” foods.

Production area
Seara municipality, western Santa Catarina state, South region

Technical partners
CrediSeara
Agricoper
APACO (Association of Small-Scale Farmers in Western Santa Catarina)
EPAGRI
SC Rural
20 producers
Presidium producers’ coordinators
Vladir Magri
Tel. +55 49 99971 - 7027
magricrediseara@gmail.com

Claudete Finger
Tel. +55 (49) 98856 6727

Slow Food Coordinator
Giselle Miotto
Tel. +55 (48) 996 214 231
g.miotto@slowfoodbrasil.com
Artisanal production of this cheese is increasingly declining, and the market is flooded with industrial products from big companies. Raw-milk cheeses are now legal, but the process of applying the law and supporting producers still has a long way to go. Food-safety rules continue to serve large-scale industry, to the detriment of small-scale producers and traditional techniques, which are rapidly disappearing. After starting as an informal group working to defend raw-milk cheeses in the state of Santa Catarina, the Presidium is now continuing the struggle for the legalization of the artisanal production of other “colonial” foods.

Production area
Seara municipality, western Santa Catarina state, South region

Technical partners
CrediSeara
Agricoper
APACO (Association of Small-Scale Farmers in Western Santa Catarina)
EPAGRI
SC Rural
20 producers
Presidium producers’ coordinators
Vladir Magri
Tel. +55 49 99971 - 7027
magricrediseara@gmail.com

Claudete Finger
Tel. +55 (49) 98856 6727

Slow Food Coordinator
Giselle Miotto
Tel. +55 (48) 996 214 231
g.miotto@slowfoodbrasil.com

Territory

StateBrazil
RegionSanta Catarina

Other info

CategoriesMilk and milk products