Serra da Canastra is located in the Southwest of the state of Minas Gerais where numerous springs, rivers, mountains, plains, valleys and Species of Wild Fauna and Flora are found.
The most important product of this region is Canastra cheese, handmade and made from raw milk. Produced for more than two hundred years, it is a distant cousin of cheese from Serra da Estrela, Portugal, Brought by immigrants from the time of the Gold Cycle.
The climate, altitude, native pastures and waters of Canastra gives this cheese a unique flavor: strong, medium spicy, dense and full bodied.
By requiring a minimum maturation period of 60 days from the entry of artisanal cheese made from raw milk on the farm in warehouse inspected by the Federal Inspection Service (SIF), Brasil federal law has become inadequate to the reality, because the products more are currently marketed fresh cheeses, with a maximum maturity of 21 days.
An NGO in Minas Gerais, Sertãobras advocates the legalization of raw milk cheese and policies to protect the small farmers.