The magic of Mexican cheese
If you've only ever put Mexican cheese on your burritos and quesadillas, you're in for a big surprise. From queso fresco to cotija and oaxaca to queso quesadilla, a lot more to Mexican cheese than toppings for tacos.
Mexican cheese tends to be fresh cheese, unaged and mostly made from cow's milk with the occasional goat's milk variety. These are soft and yielding cheeses, light and fresh full of creamy goodness.
Take queso fresco for example. This mild and milky, bright and tangy cheese is great as a garnish for soup, or a complement for sweet salads. You can use it in any recipe that calls for ricotta salata or feta, and it can be crumbled on everything from huevos rancheros to pasta casseroles.
Then there's cotija cheese, known as the Mexican parmesan. This dry, crumbly, salty cheese will soften when heated but won't actually melt. Just like its Italian counterpart, it's great as a garnish and flavor booster on pastas and pizzas as well as enchiladas and tostadas, and it's probably most famous as the spectacular flavor finish on Mexican-style grilled corn on the cob.
Oaxaca cheese is a string cheese that is a lot like mozzarella – a semi-soft and super creamy cheese with flavor like a young monterey jack. Oaxaca is great for melting on pizzas and baked pastas, or for making a hot cheese dip for tortilla chips and veggies.
For a super melty Mexican cheese, try a little queso quesadilla, which makes a mean chorizo dip as well as the best quesadillas you're likely to find north of Chihuahua.
Yep, here in Wisconsin we love our Mexican cheese, because for us, cheese has no borders.