Know your Hispanic Cheeses? Conozca Sus Quesos Hispanos

Juliann Esquivel


In the past if a recipe called for Queso Fresco, you would often use Monterey Jack as a substitute. However, now we want the dishes we make as authentic as possible. That includes using traditional cheeses. Those of you who did not grow up with these cheeses. I want to explain how to use them and what to use them in. They may be bland or excessively salty, however, they are meant to counterbalance spicy foods and sauces rather than adding another flavor. Here is a small list of some of the most popular cheeses. Hope this helps you all when trying to make a decision as to what cheese to use.


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can be used in all of the above
No-Cook or Other


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fresh moist cheese, mild firm slightly tangy cheese similar in texture to mozzarella. usually in a ball or braided. it strings like mozzarella when heated and can be used in quesadillas and other cooked dishes.
milky and mild, with a texture similar to high moisture mozzarella, softens with heat but does not melt use in cooked dishes such as enchilada or crumble over tacos or chili can be sliced and fried.
queso fresco, soft, moist, mild and crumbly cheese for sprinkling over enchiladas, black bean soup, or onto a salad; it does not melt
queso blanco, mild meltable cheese similar to monetery jack
requeson, fresh mild curdlike cheese similar to ricotta. used in fillings and desserts
above are all fresh, moist cheeses

How to Make Know your Hispanic Cheeses? Conozca Sus Quesos Hispanos


  • 1Below Firm Dry Cheeses:
    Asadero, Also called queso quesadilla becasue of it's usefulness in that dish. Usualy sold sliced, asadero melts well and can be used for nachos or burgers.
  • 2Chihuahua, Melting cheese, similar to a mild cheddar or Monterey Jack; also known as queso menonita because it was introduced by the Mennonites. Use in queso fundido, cheese sauces or casseroles.
  • 3Cotija, Salty, dry grating cheese, sometimes referred to Mexican Parmesan, Use as a topping for beans, Caesar salads and many other savory dishes. Softens but does not melt.
  • 4Cotija Anejo, An aged version of Cotija, it is dry, salty, and crumbly, suitable for grating over noodles, beans, enchiladas, tacos, soups or eggs.
  • 5Enchilado, Literally means flavored with chile; similar to cotija anejo but coated with mild chile or paprika.
  • 6Manchego, Mellow, firm cheese similar to a slightly aged Jack, with some nutty character; melts well; use in cooked dishes or as a snacking cheese.
  • 7The cheeses up way above on the ingredient list are fresh moist cheeses. There are lots more but these are the more popular ones. Hope this helps you understand what these different cheeses are used for. Enjoy Them
  • 8Will try to post some pictures of some Hispanic cheeses soon.

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About Know your Hispanic Cheeses? Conozca Sus Quesos Hispanos

Main Ingredient: Dairy
Regional Style: Mexican
Dietary Needs: Low Carb
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, Healthy

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