Best Mexican Cheese For All Kinds Of Mexican Foods

Do you know that using the best Mexican cheese can help elevate your Mexican recipe to a new level?

Indeed, they will result in the most authentic taste and give your dish some extra points. Thus, if you also wonder which are the best cheese options for some of the most famous dishes, today’s article is for you. 

Best Mexican Cheese For Different Mexican Food

For quesadillas

oaxaca cheese

Oaxaca and Chihuahua are the best Mexican cheese for quesadillas due to their quickly melted texture and easy stretch. 

Oaxaca cheese appears as a whitish, semi-soft Mexican cow’s milk cheese. Its taste is mild and buttery, comparable to string cheeses, featuring incredible creaminess and a mild saltiness. Meanwhile, its light taste offers a wonderful counterpoint to the spicy and savory Mexican meals like quesadillas.

Queso Chihuahua, a semi-soft Mexican cheese manufactured from pasteurized cow’s milk, is also an ideal choice for quesadillas. Chihuahua possesses a semi-firm consistency and is light yellowish in tone, different from famous white Mexican cheese. This product has a pleasant, buttery flavor plus a sharpness similar to cheddar.

For tacos 

Anejo enchilado cheese

For the most authentic taste, it’s advisable to use cotija, Anejo enchilado, and queso fresco for tacos. Indeed, they are the 3 best types of Mexican cheese for tacos.

Cotija has a firm, crumbly whitish appearance and belongs to the Parmesan category. It resembles Feta cheese, delivers a sharp, salty taste, does not melt, and serves as a fantastic pick for tacos.

Another tasty option for tacos is Anejo Enchilado. Whether you make it using goat or cow milk, the end product often appears as a semi-hard cheese having a distinctive, spicy, salty taste. It gets easier to shred or grate as this cheese develops, making it great for fried or grilled tacos.

Thanks to its mellow, salty taste, queso fresco is a favorite pick among children. It’s a spongy whitish cheese with a gritty texture and a moderately tangy aftertaste. Often produced with a blend of cow’s and goat’s milk,  It’s commonly sprinkled on appetizers, tacos, and soups. In some cases, Feta that has a very light taste is an acceptable replacement.

For enchiladas

Queso Blanco cheese

Queso Blanco is the best Mexican cheese for enchiladas. Even though this fresh cow’s-milk cheese is crumbly, you could still shred it using a large-hole shredder. Often, it’s classified as a hybrid of cottage plus mozzarella.

Queso Blanco possesses a mild and somewhat salty taste that is popular in Mexican cuisine. It’s frequently served as a garnish for enchiladas and empanadas, as well as a stuffing for different dishes.

Besides Queso Blanco, Panela cheese is also another great option when it comes to enchiladas. It has a similar taste and consistency to fresh mozzarella and takes seasonings well. That is the reason why it is suitable for meals like enchiladas.

For nachos

Queso Quesadilla cheese

For nachos, people typically use American cheese. Yet, do you know using Queso Quesadilla will result in the most authentic outcome? Yes, Queso Quesadilla is the best Mexican cheese for nachos.  

Many diners enjoy this semi-soft, mellow-tasted cheese. It appears as a smooth, whitish, stretchy option with a creamy texture and flavor. The greatest part about queso quesadilla is that it does not become watery or muddy once melted.

Instead, It softens and then turns flexible, with a luscious, deep, and delightful not-quite-liquid texture. However, it is less messy and does not cause your chips to go sloppy fast. 

Moreover, its subtle taste complements almost everything. If you enjoy your nachos having only chips plus cheese or loaded with a slew of toppings, queso quesadilla cheese is a good choice.

For queso

Asadero Cheese

Queso, the Tex-Mex cheese condiment that has taken over restaurants and media throughout the globe, is an abbreviation for “chile con queso,” which refers to “chile with cheese.”

While there are a few different selections when it comes to Queso Dip preparation, the best Mexican cheese for queso is Asadero cheese. 

Indeed, Asadero Cheese is a terrific semi-soft melting choice boasting a creamy-smooth, luscious feel comparable to string cheese while giving off a mellow taste. 

Asadero (queso asadero), a delicacy manufactured in the Northern region of Chihuahua of Mexico, is sometimes mistaken with Oaxaca ones. 

They have a comparable consistency, but they are made using different procedures, which lends Oaxaca extra moistures. In other words, Asadero has a relatively drier consistency and is considerably tougher compared to its counterpart.

FAQ’s

What is the most popular cheese in Mexico?

The most popular cheese in Mexico is queso fresco. It is a Mexican delicacy referred to as “fresh cheese,” typically prepared using pure cow milk or a mix of cow and goat milk. Pasteurized variants are most likely to be found in the United States.

Its taste is very basic — refreshing, bright, milky, and mellow — but it is an excellent complement to several recipes, either as a counterpoint to a richer recipe like enchiladas or frijoles rancheros or as a companion to anything as delicate, such as salads or roasted veggies.

Queso fresco boasts a distinct salty-sour flavor, and yet it’s creamy due to its purity; it’s neither rich nor buttery in flavor.

What Mexican cheese melts the best?

The greatest melting cheese is Oaxaca, a semi-soft whitish product derived from cow’s milk. The stringy consistency of this dairy product distinguishes it from others. It provides a delicious, creamy, mellow, buttery taste that complements fajitas, tamales, and tlayudas.

Its name is from the Southern Mexican region of Oaxaca, where it was initially manufactured. The procedure of creating the famous Filata, which originated from Italy, was introduced into Mexico by Dominican priests who resided in Oaxaca. Later on, the locals took on the recipe and adjusted it to create the renowned Oaxaca we see nowadays. 

What kind of cheese is used at Mexican restaurants?

Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Queso Blanco aren’t the only options you’ll find on a Tex-Mex menu, yet they are the most prevalent. Whereas Queso Blanco is a traditional Mexican delicacy, cheddar cheese is of British derivation, and Monterey Jack possesses both Mexican and American lineage.

What Mexican cheese is most like mozzarella?

The answer is Oaxaca. It has the consistency of mozzarella and the taste of unaged Monterey jack. It’s mild and buttery, and it serves well as a melting cheese. As a result, it is the most widely used product in quesadillas.

What is the white cheese Mexican restaurants use?

If it crumbles into shreds, it’s most likely Cotija. If it melts smoothly and boasts a mellow taste, it’s most likely Oaxaca; if it melts well but features a more “full-bodied” taste, it may be Chihuahua. 

On the other hand, it’s Queso Fresco if it’s crumbly, delicate, and doesn’t melt well. Meanwhile, if the cheese still doesn’t melt well, yet it is crumbly and salty, it’s Queso Cotija.

Is Mexican cheese healthy?

While most Mexican options pose beneficial health advantages, some specific names might not. For example, famous names like queso fresco, panela, queso seco, asadero, queso Oaxaca, queso Cotija, and crema may carry dangerous germs if bought elsewhere than in a supermarket’s frozen area.

According to the FDA, consuming any sort of soft cheese derived from unprocessed milk (such as Mexican cheese) can be bad for the overall well-being of seniors, expectant mothers, babies, and those with deficient immune mechanisms. 

Indeed, several dangerous pathogenic disorders, such as listeriosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis, and TB, can be caused by unpasteurized milk soft cheeses.

Why is Mexican sour cream so good?

Unlike traditional sour cream, Mexican crema boasts a greater fat concentration of roughly 30%, is less sour, and is much smoother. Consequently, it does not curdle, making it ideal for imparting richness to hot foods that traditional sour cream cannot.

Can I melt down queso fresco?

Yes, you could melt it at a lower temperature to produce a cheese dip or condiment, but it might still be lumpy. Once warmed, queso fresco softens but is hard to melt. It is often used for chiles relleos (filled chiles), fajitas, and tortillas in its soft condition.

What’s the difference between queso blanco and queso fresco?

Although the phrases are frequently applied interchangeably, there is a distinction between these 2. Queso fresco is prepared using rennet, whereas queso blanco is produced from curdled milk, processed using an acid such as lime extract or vinegar.

Is cotija cheese the same as queso fresco?

No.

The initial distinction is that you may prepare queso fresco from goat and cow milk, but cotija is only made from cow milk.

Additionally, queso fresco offers a creamier and more mellow taste than cotija, which possesses a more intense taste. In terms of shelf life, cotija boasts an extended shelf life than queso fresco. In comparison to cotija, queso fresco also has a softer consistency.

Conclusion

Now you know the best Mexican cheese for the most famous Mexican delicacies like quesadillas, nachos, or enchiladas. Hopefully, this article has given you enough insights into what to use in each dish. Off we go!

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

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