Friday, 23 December 2011

Shoes and Cheese -- stinky feet?

This week the Brazilian Instituto Nacional da Propiedad Industrial (INPI) announced the approval of two geographical indications: Queijo of Canastra (cheese) and calçados de Franca (footwear), both of them to be registered in the form Indication of Origin. The producers have, from now on, a period of 60 days to pay the fee required and once fulfilled, INPI will issue the said certificate.

Queijo of Canastra is a typical product from the region of Serra da Canastra, situated in Minas Gerais. It is handmade and is made out of raw milk. Produced for more than two hundred years, it is said to be related to the cheese called Serra da Estrela, Portugal, brought by immigrants. The climate, altitude, native pastures and waters of Canastra give this cheese a unique flavor: strong, medium spicy, dense and full bodied. Note that since May 2008 Queijo of Canastra became an intangible cultural heritage of Brazil, a title granted by the Institute for National Artistic and Historical Heritage (IPHAN).

Calçados de Franca...well in other words: shoes from the city of Franca. Franca is a large city in the Brazilian state of São Paulo and it is well recognised (at least by me) for its shoes industry. [OK, I need to be objective, they do also manufacture other things like furniture, vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and according to a person that is sited next to me – men’s basketball, and Mogiana coffee -- but what can I say, a girl likes shoes!]. The city is also known for its leather production and you do not need to guess but if you put this together with shoes, then I am in! Full stop.

I am afraid INPI does not give any information regarding these two products, therefore we will need to wait for someone [perhaps a Brazilian reader? Or a lady?] who can enlighten us on what makes these shoes so special to grant them a GI.

Disclaimer: any resemble with the saying that there are shoes that make your feet smell like cheese should be avoided in this post.

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