The Difference Between Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese

January 14, 2021

Many of us love cheese. Who doesn’t? Its combination of taste and flavors makes us want more of it. It’s considered a form of concentrated dairy; it creates a sensation of rich flavors. Many love adding it to their dishes to give it more flavor and texture.

Cheese is a whole food and is an excellent source of certain nutrients such as calcium, fat, and protein. Plus, it also contains higher levels of Vitamin A and B-12 as well as zinc too. There are different types of cheese that are eaten around the world. Did you know that there are a few types of Mexican cheese that have become more popular today? Mexican cheeses are becoming increasingly popular due to the popularity of Mexican cuisines.

Queso fresco and cotija cheese

Two of the most common Mexican cheeses you probably heard are cotija and queso fresco. These two popular Mexican kinds of cheese have distinctive characters that they add to various Mexican dishes. Queso fresco and cotija cheese are the most common and are often compared to each other for multiple reasons.

Queso fresco

The name of the cheese alone can give you an idea about its taste. Queso fresco is a literal translation to fresh cheese. This cheese can be made from cow or goat milk and can be sold immediately or aged for a few days compared to many other kinds of cheese that age for a minimum of a couple of weeks to months. Considering trying queso fresco? Find it in your local international grocery store and give it a try! Can’t find it? The nearest taste you can compare with it is fresh mozzarella or goat cheese.

Queso fresco has a different way of creating it, and that’s what sets it apart from other well-known cheese. Queso fresco has a bolder, tangier flavor than mozzarella cheese but is smoother and saltier than that of goat cheese. It is used in several classic Mexican dishes such as tacos and bean dishes.  Using queso fresco cheese on any dish can give it a cheese accent making it tastier.

Cotija cheese

Cotija is a type of cheese made from cow’s milk named after the town of the same name in Mexico. Cotija is white in color, firm and crumbly – like that of a Parmesan cheese. It has saltiness brought by aging. Traditionally, the aging process of a cotija cheese can last from 3 to 12 months. Cotija cheese does have a taste of saltiness, but it is not noticeable on softer varieties. There are softer varieties of cotija cheese – these are those cheeses that are not aged for long. Unlike queso fresco with a mild flavor, cotija can add a dash of bold flavor in every dish. That is why you mustn’t use much of it, so its taste doesn’t become overpowering.

Cheese lovers can get satisfaction from these two Mexican cheeses – queso fresco and cotija cheese, but note that there is a difference between these two. They are also used in different ways to achieve distinctive taste to various dishes.

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