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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

Jul 21
Deep-fried avocados with fried Cotija cheese, poblano pesto and roasted tomatoes. #Thrillunch
Jul 16
Stewed mushroom (guajillo, clove, achiote and veg stock) tacos w/ zucchini, cucumber & serrano salsa + cotija cheese
Jul 15
#TACOTUESDAY Smoked pork, salsa verde, cotija cheese, pickled onions with a side of borrocho beans
Jul 14
Meatless Monday? Chipotle black beans topped with pico de gallo, cotija cheese, cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Jul 14
Our Taco Salad is packed w/ Avocado, Croutons, Hell Grande Sauce, Refried Beans, Cotija Cheese & more... Dig in!
Jul 13
@BigGreenEgg grilled corn w jalapeño garlic compound butter and cotija cheese! #spectacular
Jul 11
Tonight at @noshtavern lobster and corn chowder. Bacon, sriracha, cornbread croutons and cotija cheese. #eatlocal
Jul 10
Tasty summer salad with watermelon, pecans, snap peas, cotija cheese, grilled strawberry dressing at @WashingtonDuke
Jul 07
Kick #MeatLessMonday up a notch with our Chile & Cheese Tamales, made with Monterey Jack, cheddar and cotija cheeses.
Jul 04
Mexican style corn on the cob: blanched with epazote, finished on the grill with chipotle mayo and cotija cheese
Jul 04
Salad of the Day: Kale w/ pulled pork, roasted red bell peppers, cotija cheese, & cilantro vinaigrette!
Jul 04
Best way to make something delicious: add bacon! Cotija cheese & bacon guacamole.
Jun 30
@Thursday__Angel - breakfast tacos with cotija cheese... actually plenty of them. Let's eat on the balcony, babe.
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