An array of Mexican cheeses can add taste, texture and flavour to many dishes.
In theory, cheese is optional and can be served with any dish. However, it can significantly improve the flavour of your Mexican food. Most traditional recipes did not include cheese in the outset. Goats and cows, which produce cheese, were not indigenous to Mexico before the arrival of the Europeans. In spite of this, several traditional recipes now call for cheeses like Queso Fresco, Oaxaca, Cotija, Manchego, Panela, and others.
Read this complete guide introducing 7 Mexican cheeses!
It is a well-known cheese from Mexico. Manchego has the same name as a Spanish cheese. But instead of using goat's milk, this recipe uses cow's milk. It is a mild yellow tint, and it melts and shreds easily. Use it as a Mexican quesadilla cheese or eat it by itself as a snack.
The cheese variation panela is salty, smooth, and firm. It varies from queso fresco in both texture and elasticity because it is produced with skim milk. Although panela cannot be crushed, it can be cut easily. Some folks like it fried since it doesn't melt! When you bite into it, it squeaks similar to some American cheeses. You can have it as a snack on its own or as a sandwich topping.
It is an equivalent of ricotta in Italy. Requesón is fairly mild, unsalted, and reminiscent of cottage cheese. Because it is very spreadable, many chefs use it in enchilada filling, empanadas, or gorditas, which are maize cakes loaded with various types of filling.
Queso Oaxaca, Image Credit: Wikimedia
This cheese is a native of Oaxaca. It is a soft variety of white string cheese. You'll frequently find this kind of queso in recipes because it melts quite easily and is a favourite choice for fillings. Many chefs use it for Chili Relleno and Enchiladas Rojas.
The aged variety of queso fresco is called queso añejo. In Spanish añejo translates to aged. It is equally crumbly but much harder than its fresh cousin. It has a pungent flavor due to its antiquity. It's a crumbled Mexican cheese that tastes fantastic over salads and refried beans. In addition, it can be roasted and grilled.
One of the most popular forms of Mexican cheeses is Queso Fresco. The name translates to fresh cheese. It is a crumbly, and white Mexican cheese that is akin to feta. There are salty and unsalted varieties available. It's commonly used as a garnish on dips and other side dishes.
Cotija cheese, Image Credit: brokebankvegan.com
A town in the state of Michoacán bears its name. This cheese is another favourite. Cotija has an old appearance and a crumbly, dry texture. It tastes similar to parmesan and is salty and sharp. Popular in Mexico, it tastes wonderful when grilled with street corn. It can also be included in soup, salad, or beans.
It's time to make your favourite Mexican dish with these types of cheese.