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Cotija is a Hispanic-style cheese named after the town of Cotija in the Mexican state of Michoacán. This hard, crumbly Mexican cheese is made mainly from cow’s milk.

When the cheese is made, it is white, fresh and salty thus bearing immense resemblance to feta cheese. However, with aging it becomes hard and crumbly like Parmigiano-Reggiano. Its similarity with Parmesan has earned it the nickname "Parmesan of Mexico". The aged version of Cotija is referred to as "anejo".

Traditionally, Cotija cheese was made with raw milk aged for three to twelve months. But the commercial productions add an enzyme to speed up the ripening process. This need for acceleration gives the commercial produce a slight change in flavor compared to the artisanal variety.

Since, Cotija cheese is very salty, strongly flavored, firm and does not actually melt, it is used for grating on salads, soups, casseroles, tacos, tostadas and chili. In Mexico, it is also widely used to enhance the flavor of many savory dishes by mixing directly into the casserole or recipe. In the U.S. it is increasingly popular on pasta. It is typically shredded onto cooked foods, also in salads and with fruit.

  • Made from cow's milk
  • Country of origin: Mexico
  • Region: Michoacán and Jalisco
  • Type: fresh firm, artisan
  • Texture: crumbly and dense
  • Rind: rindless
  • Color: white

Other cheeses from Mexico:

Top photos from Twitter

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Roasted beet salad. Cotija cheese. Salted pepitas. Guajillo vinaigrette. Awesome.
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Mar 19
Salad: Kale and Roasted Sweet Corn w/ cotija cheese and bacon vinaigrette! Soup: Vegan Tomato Basil
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YUM! My #beachparty Grilled Spicy Corn on the Cob w Fresh Lemon & Cotija Cheese #surf #foodie
Mar 10
Guacamole with bacon, chicharones, pickled chiles, and cotija cheese at Maya Restaurant in Avon, Colorado.
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Feb 14
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Feb 13
Sopes topped with black bean puree, chicken, salsa, crema fresca and cotija cheese- yes, please! @LuxorLV
Feb 12
So I made garlic parmesan penne pasta with spicy Italian pork broccoli carrots and cotija cheese for lunch 🔥
Feb 12
chicken, brown rice & black beans over avocado, scallions, tortilla chips & cotija cheese chop’t w. kale & spinach
Jan 31
In the desert we eat cactus! Nopalitos-- prickly pear cactus pads topped with crumbled cotija cheese #onechipwonder
Jan 30
Try Our #Denver Mile High Ranchero Burger w/Fried Egg, Cotija Cheese, Spicy Pico de Gallo & Avocado #SuperBowl #SB48
Jan 21
Probably the best torta I've ever made! Turkey pastrami, mayo, jalapeños, cotija cheese and tomatoes 😏👌👏 #foodporn
Jan 17
Today's Taco Special: Habanero Braised Pork with smoked poblano aioli, pickled onion, and cotija cheese. #winning
Jan 10
BEST CORN EVER. Grilled Sweet Corn w/ lime mayo, cotija cheese and truffle oil @DiabloTacoLA in #Silverlake.
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From our new lunch menu. One of 3 Pizzas; Hen of the Woods Mushroom Pizza with Cotija Cheese @NorthEndGrill
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