What is cotija cheese?
Cotija is a Mexican-style cheese from the town of Cotija in the state of Michoacán. Made from cow's milk, fresh cotija resembles feta cheese. After aging, it's more like crumbly parmigiano-reggiano, and Cotija cheese is very versatile, so it can be used in a variety of ways. In Mexico it is often used to enrich the flavor of savory hot dishes.
How is cotija cheese made?
Cotija cheese is made by milling the cheese curd into small pieces, mixing it with salt, pressing the cheese for extended time to remove moisture, soaking it in a salt brine for several days, then allowing the cheese to age 2 to 12 months.
What does Cotija mean?
Like many of the cheeses made in Wisconsin, the name comes from the place that the cheese originated. Cotija is the name of the town in the state of Michoacán, which lies in the south west of Mexico.
Is cotija cheese the same as queso fresco or oaxaca cheese?
Cotija cheese is quite different from queso fresco and oaxaca cheese. As its name implies, queso fresco is a fresh cheese, while cotija is typically aged 2 to 12 months. Cotija has a hard, granular texture and does not melt, so it is used sprinkled on top of various dishes to enhance them with its sharp tangy flavor. Queso fresco is softer and creamier with a milder flavor than cotija. Oaxaca cheese, on the other hand, has a different texture altogether – it's more stringy and elastic like mozzarella.