Cotija cheese is a hard aged Spanish cheese, mostly made from cow’s milk. Cheese got its name after the town of Cotija in the Mexican state of Michoacán. This cheese is made high in the mountains (about 170 meters). This cheese is of limited production – produced only from July to October when the cows are fed with the rich grass that grows on the mountains during the rainy season. This gives the cheese unique color and flavor, which tastes good in many different recipes. The curds for this cheese is milled into small pieces before pressing and aging.
How to make Cotija cheese?
Traditionally it is made with raw milk and aged from three to twelve months. Cotija is not eaten as a table or dessert cheese, it is used to add flavour to refried beans, tostadas, tacos, salads, soups, and chilli. One popular street snack is made with Cotija cheese too: an ear of roasts corn spread with mayonnaise and rolled in crumbled Cotija cheese, dusted with chilli powder and sprinkled with lime juice. You can also made tortillas with this cheese, put it in a fresh vegetable salads with olive oil, lemon juice or any other seasoning, top the soups.
More about Cotija cheese
Cotija cheese does not actually change its shape or consistency when heated, only softens. Fresh Cotija cheese is very similar to Feta by its flavour and texture, when aged it is likely to Parmigiano-Reggiano and is called “Mexican Parmesan”. This cheese is several times salter than usual ones.
Cotija cheese is available in small rounds or in larger blocks as well.