When most of us think about Mexican food, we notice there is one element that is found in many Mexican dishes and that is cheese. So many Mexican dishes have cheese as an ingredient, and you simply cannot go without the cheese. When dinning at a Mexican restaurant, so many of our favorite dishes will come with cheese. However, a restaurant uses a limited variety of cheese as you would when making your own Mexican dishes. Most people assume there are only about three types of Mexican cheeses. However, there are a lot of different types of Mexican cheese and each is used for different Mexican dishes. Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant would like to share the number of quality Mexican style cheeses that you should incorporate into your own Mexican style meals.
Traditional Mexican Cheese Types
Queso Fresco – Queso Fresco, which means fresh cheese, is a soft, moist and crumbly cheese. It is very similar to feta. Queso fresco is often sprinkled over beans and appetizers. Queso fresco is made from a whole milk and is very salty. You can add queso fresco to a number of different dishes.
Queso Anejo – Queso anejo, which means old cheese, is simply an aged queso fresco. It is made from whole milk, but as it ages, it is drier and has a harder texture. Queso anejo is most often sold pre-grated and is best used on the top of and inside our enchiladas.
Cotija – Cotija is another type of aged cheese. This cheese is named after the town of Cotija, in the state of Michoacan where this cheese was first developed. Cotija has a strong salty flavor and is often used as a topping. Cotija is great on beans, salads, and many other Mexican dishes. You will most often see cotija sprinkled on top of grilled corn. At a cooler temperature, this cheese is firm and dry. Then, as it warms up, it become a soft and moist variety of cheese.
Queso De Oaxaca – Queso de Oaxaca, or also known as quesillo, is like a ball of white string cheese. Queso de oaxaca is a creamy and mildly flavored cheese that is easily melted. Queso de oaxaca is most often used for chiles rellenos which is a cheese stuffed pepper. This cheese is also great when shredded and is used as garnish for soup, tostadas and beans.
Panela – Panela is a soft white cheese which is both firm and flexible. Panela is made from a skim milk that will not melt, not even when it is heated. Panela is often enjoyed as a snack and is eaten by itself. Panela is also used for sandwiches. This cheese has a light and salty flavor.
Manchego – Manchego is a Spanish cheese that was brought to South America. Manchego is made from sheep’s milk. However there are some cow and goat milk based versions of this cheese. Manchego is similar to a sharp cheddar cheese and is often used as a topping or eaten by itself as a snack.
Authentic Mexican Cuisine in Las Vegas, Nevada (Just Minutes from Summerlin, North LV, Paradise, Lone Mountain & Henderson, NV)
These Mexican types of cheese can enhance some of your most favorite Mexican dishes. When making your favorite Mexican dish at home, take the time to find the right cheese for your dish. For great tasting Mexican cuisine, come on down to Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant today!