December 05, 2023
A wide variety of animal products within Mexican gastronomy have been part of our history since the Spanish conquest. Cheese in particular has been through several interesting changes.
Nuevo León is credited as the pioneer of artisan manchego sheep cheese. Since then, the cheese industry has spread to the vast majority of states, especially where carriers used to take their mules and horses loaded with cheese to go from one town to another, allowing the presence of this dairy product in many parts of the country.
Cheese held such significant value in the early days that taxes and debts could be settled using this product. Can you believe it?
Keep on reading to discover five Mexican cheeses that you must try.
Type of cheese: Cow cheese.
Description: Its rind, crafted with Colima salt, gives it a distinctive character. The aroma is a blend of salt and milk with sweet notes.
Production method: Producers make this cheese at an elevation of 1,700 meters above sea level, exclusively during the rainy season. It requires a minimum ripening period of 3 months.
Tasting notes: People value this cheese for its distinct combination of salinity and sweetness, contributing to its characteristic flavor.
Curiosities: To produce one kilogram of Cotija mountain cheese, 220 liters of milk and 600 liters of water are needed.
Picture by: https://cotija-de-la-paz-michoacan3.webnode.mx/
Type of cheese: Cow cheese, raw milk.
Description: It is yellow and is characterized by its hard cover.
Tasting notes: It has an acidic, salty, and sweet aftertaste.
Curiosities: It has two layers of quesillo with salt, with which a tortilla is made and covered after 21 days. The second layer is added after three days to give it its round shape.
Picture by: https://laroussecocina.mx/palabra/queso-bola-de-ocosingo/
3. UFO cheese
Type of cheese: Fresh pasteurized sheep cheese.
Description: It has an edible mold rind that initially resembles a camembert.
Tasting notes: It has a smooth texture, and its flavor features notes of mushrooms, salt, milk, and blue cheese.
Description: Producers craft the rind of this cheese with red wine, imparting an aroma reminiscent of butter.
Tasting notes: The cheese boasts a firm texture, lacks silkiness, and is distinguished by flavors of salt, yogurt, and citrus notes.
Picture by: https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/menu/quesos-artesanales-en-el-primer-festival-viva-el-queso-en-tequisquiapan/
Type of cheese: Fresh acid cheese made with cow's milk.
Description: This cheese becomes creamier and saturated with flavors as it loses moisture.
Tasting notes: Its flavor is pronounced, with hints of salt.
Curiosities: People call it heavy cream because, during its production, it retains the layer of cream naturally released by the milk, unlike skimmed cheese, where the cream is removed.
Picture by: https://laroussecocina.mx/palabra/queso-crema-tropical/
At the Xcaret Gastronomic Festival, we went to the presentation of Georgina Yescas, a cheese professional and entrepreneur with her own cheese store called "Lactography" in Mexico City. She is also a great contributor to the gastronomic culture of Mexico, and has been a judge of international cheese competitions in Brazil, Spain, England, and many more countries. She holds a remarkable career and knowledge in the guild.
Picture by: https://expodiseno.wixsite.com/festivalqueso2014/georgina-yescas
Now you know that the production of artisanal Mexican cheeses is a tradition that should be cherished, as each variety represents not only the effort of production but also centuries of culinary history and tradition. Taste these delicious Mexican cheeses and appreciate their diverse flavors and textures as soon as you come across an opportunity.
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