Minas Gerais  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

a state in south-eastern Brazil which has Belo Horizonte as its capital.

Minas Gerais may be called Deep Brazil by analogy with the France profonde. It has a distinctly more native flavour than cosmopolitan São Paulo, a more traditional slant than flashy Rio de Janeiro, and is more Portuguese than the South and São Paulo with their great influx of Italians and other Central Europeans, the North with its native Indians, or the Northeast with its heavy Afro-Brazilian influence.

The people are considered reserved, prudent, relatively silent to the point of melancholy, but welcoming and family-focused. It is one of the most religious states, with a large proportion of staunch Roman Catholics and a burgeoning Evangelical and neo-Pentecostal population, with pockets of African religions. Kardecist Spiritism is also professed by a significant portion of the population, partly due to the influence of Chico Xavier, the main spiritual icon of Brazil, who lived in Minas Gerais all his life.

Minas Gerais is also known nationally for its cuisine. The cultural basis of its cuisine is the small farmhouse, and many of the dishes are prepared using locally produced vegetables and meats, especially chicken and pork. Traditional cooking is done using coal- or wood-fired ovens and cast iron pans, making for a particularly tasty flavor; some restaurant chains have adopted these techniques and made this type of food popular in other parts of the country.

Many of the cakes and appetizers of the local cuisine use corn or cassava (known there as mandioca) flour instead of wheat, as the latter didn't adapt well to the local weather. The best-known dish from Minas Gerais is "pão de queijo", a small baked roll (known internationally as "Brazilian cheese rolls") made with cheese and cassava flour that can be served hot as an appetizer or for breakfast.

The state is also Brazil's most traditional producer of cheese. Minas cheese is renowned nationwide as the distinct Brazilian cheese. Cachaça is also a local produce of some importance.

Minas Gerais is often recognised abroad as the state where the footballer Pelé was born (he has lived in the state of São Paulo since childhood, though).

Many famous Brazilian writers were born in Minas Gerais: Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Fernando Sabino and João Guimarães Rosa. Aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont was born in Minas Gerais.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Minas Gerais" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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