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Photo Credit: Cacique


Queso Panela, also called queso canasta or queso de la canasta (basket cheese), is a Mexican cottage cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. This white, fresh and smooth cheese is similar to Indian paneer.

Panela has a soft and creamy texture and a delicious fresh milk flavor. When heated it will soften but not melt or lose its shape. Also, the cheese absorbs flavors easily and at times is sold covered with garlic or pepper paste. It will turn a golden brown when seared as well as crumble easily on appetizers such as quesadillas.

Panela tastes excellent on its own as a fried cheese but is served most often as part of appetizer dishes such as nopal salads or quesadillas.

Other cheeses from Mexico:

Top photos from Twitter

Mar 18
Stepping in for queso Panela this week, Oaxacan cheese from Salazar featured in our vegetarian-Grandaddy stringcheese
Mar 06
Grilled Panela Cheese from @BatangaHouston Crispy Pig's Ears and Pork Ribs were delicious too (we ate them too fast).
Feb 02
Made some healthy pizza (spinach grilled chicken and panela cheese) 😋
Dec 07, 2013
Oven roasted tomatoes and Panela cheese with House pesto; Ribeye with grilled vegetables
Nov 30, 2013
My delicious Mexican torta made out of Thanksgiving turkey: Panela cheese, refried beans, avocado & tomato. #yummy
Oct 05, 2013
Grilled tequila lime panela cheese with tomato relish at Iron Barley #STL
Sep 28, 2013
The best organic greens ever, with a Panela cheese a la plancha and cilantro pesto
Sep 27, 2013
We love @CaciqueUSA's Panela cheese! A crumbly curd style, all-natural fresh cheese. How do you enjoy Panela?
Sep 27, 2013
Tacos de panela topped with more cheese! Oh the goodness! 😄😁 #FatTweet
Sep 07, 2013
Chilaquiles time! Green chilaquiles, fried eggs, panela cheese. #cookingwithJuanito #food
Aug 08, 2013
Fried Mexican Panela cheese from @ElGatoNegroNOLA ... served with fresh tomatillo salsa and homemade chorizo:
Jul 24, 2013
Fried, local panela cheese with heirloom tomatoes, roasted zucchini, basil, aged sherry vinegar
Jul 10, 2013
Three cheese enchiladas ... bubbling over with Panela cheese, queso fresco and queso Chihuahua:
Jul 05, 2013
In this house, it's always #SaladSunday // Lettuce, avocado, cucumber, almonds & panela cheese. #food #yum
Jun 26, 2013
Fried Mexican Panela Cheese … served on a bed of fresh, house-made tomatilla salsa and topped with savory chorizo!
Jun 11, 2013
Dinner: fusilli pasta, tomatoes, purple basi, TONS of garlic & fresh Panela cheese
May 09, 2013
@Gamiliell Panela cheese with Epazote, a healthy vegan morning taco !! yes, some evoo & pumpkin flowers to go with 2
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