What You Need to Know About 3 Mexican Cheeses

Mexican cheeses add such character to many dishes. Here are three cheeses with different attributes:

Queso Fresco

Like other fresh cheeses, queso fresco is lower in fat and sodium (despite its salty flavor) than aged cheeses. This mild cheese is great to crumble on a salad or on top of enchiladas.

Panela

Panela cheese is a Mexican firm, fresh cheese that is fantastic for baking, grilling, and frying. This cheese will melt, so it is great for quesadillas.

Cotija

Named after the town of Cotija in Michoacán, Mexico, this salty, crumbly, dry cow’s milk cheese is sort of like a cross between feta and Parmesan. People often use ricotta salata as a cotija substitute, but cotija has a noticeably funkier, longer-aged flavor crubles like queso fresco, but it is much more sharp.

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