Cotija cheese

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Cotija Cheese.jpg
Other namesQueso Cincho
Country of originMexico
Region, townMichoacan, Cotija
RegionHills of Michoacan
Source of milkCow
PasteurisedDepends on variety
Weight50 to 70 pounds (23 to 32 kg)[citation needed]
Aging time100 to 365 days

Cotija is a cow's milk hard cheese that originated in Mexico. It is named after the town of Cotija, Michoacán.[1]


Cotija comes in two primary versions.

El Queso Cotija de Montaña[edit]

El queso Cotija de Montaña or "grain cheese" is dry and firm, with little taste other than saltiness (the cheese is usually several times saltier than typical cheese, traditionally for preservative reasons).[1]

El queso Cotija de Montaña is a seasonal cheese and is of limited production. Cotija cheese is produced only during July through October because the cows are fed only on the rich grass that grows naturally on the mountains during the rainy season, giving the cheese its unique color and flavor.


"Tajo" cheese is a moister, fattier, and less salty version that holds its shape when cut, with a flavor similar to Greek feta.


Queso cotija is an artisan cheese made by hand; thus, every cheese is unique. This cheese usually comes in 28-kg cylinders with a creamy color crust. It is a queso de montaña (cheese of the mountains) because the cheesemakers live in the mountains as high as 1700 m (5,500 ft).

The production method involves milling the curds into small pieces before pressing and aging. When cooked, it slightly softens, but does not otherwise change its shape or consistency. In the mouth, the cheese breaks up again to a sandy- or grain-like consistency, adding to the texture of dishes.[1]


Cotija can be purchased in small rounds or large blocks, and it is often used crumbled or grated as a topping for wet burritos, soups, salads, beans, tostadas, or tacos, and traditional Mexican elote (corn on the cob). Like Parmesan, it is often sold already grated.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Janet Fletcher (2006-03-16). "Cotija puts the accent on Mexican foods". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-10-15.

External links[edit]