If food is the heart of a nation, Brazil’s heart beats most steadily in the state of Minas Gerais. The lush region is home to olive groves, coffee and sugar cane plantations, farm fresh cheese, and so much more that nourishes Brazil . So synonymous with great cuisine that restaurants across the nation bear names like “Little Minas”, “Minas Spoon”, and “Minas Oven. ”
The food movement began in farmhouses in cooler mountainous regions where, to prepare the national dish, feijoada , meats must simmer for hours or, preferably, up to two days for the rich, smoky flavors to reach perfection. In Minas Gerais, nothing is rushed. Here, the pace of life slows dramatically. This is the birthplace of Domingos Tótora, where time stands still and vestiges of a colonial era remain in centuries-old villages with winding , hand-hewn cobblestone streets, Portuguese architecture, ornate mansions, and baroque churches.
Minas Gerais directly translates to general mines, and for good reason. A wealth of minerals and precious gems continue to be sourced from this fertile land of winding rivers, hydro spas, mountains, and caverns.
Continuing to lead the country in productivity, Minas Gerais’ distilleries produce cachaças from the plentiful sugar cane, the main ingredient for the classic Brazilian cocktail, the caipirinha.
Minas Gerais’ food, hospitality, and relaxed way of life are the essence of Brazil.