Hispanic cheeses, derived from various Latin American countries, present a delightful palette of flavors and textures. Much like the diverse cultures they come from, these cheeses have characteristics that reflect their unique regional influences. Dive into the world of Hispanic cheeses, and discover the flavors that people love.
Originating from Mexico, queso fresco translates to "fresh cheese" in Spanish. This soft, crumbly cheese is mildly acidic and often sprinkled over tacos, salads, and even sweet dishes. Its delicate milky flavor and crumbly texture make it a favorite for garnishing and as a contrast to spicy dishes.
Named after the Mexican town of Cotija, this cheese is often called the "Parmesan of Mexico." Aged and crumbly, it boasts a strong, salty flavor, making it perfect for grating over dishes. From elotes, the popular Mexican grilled corn, to refried beans, cotija adds a delectable savory punch.
This cheese hails from the La Mancha region of Spain and is made exclusively from the milk of the manchega sheep. With a firm texture, Manchego can range from young and creamy to aged and crumbly. Its flavor profile varies with age, from mild and milky in its freshest form to nutty and caramel-like when aged.
Another treasure from Mexico, panela is a soft, white cheese known for its smooth, creamy texture. Unlike queso fresco, it does not crumble easily, making it ideal for grilling or frying. Its gentle flavor makes it a popular choice for salads and snacking.
Often referred to as the "Mexican mozzarella," Oaxaca cheese is a string cheese made by stretching the curd into long ropes and then rolling it into a ball. Its stretchy, melt-in-your-mouth quality makes it perfect for quesadillas and other melted cheese dishes.
Añejo cheese is aged queso fresco, often rolled in spicy chili powder. With its firm texture and sharp taste, it's typically grated onto dishes, offering a burst of flavor and a hint of spice.
A mixed-milk cheese from Spain, Iberico is made from a blend of cow, sheep, and goat milk. It shares some similarities with Manchego but has a milder flavor and creamier texture. Iberico is delightful on charcuterie boards or melted into sandwiches.
This white cheese is popular in many Latin American countries. Soft, creamy, and mild, queso blanco can be enjoyed fresh or fried. When heated, it softens without melting, creating a unique texture perfect for many dishes.
Contact a local Mexican cheese supplier to learn more.