Cotija, “Mexican Parmesan”
Marty Martindale

Cotija (Koh-TEE,-Hah) cheese answers the Italian urge to sprinkle almost all savory dishes with grated Parmesan. Cotija_Cacique_P071115Mexicans use Cotija to sprinkle a strong, cheesy-salty flavor as a garnish to compliment usually hot, savory dishes. While Parmesan requires grating, Cotija is softer and is a more easily crumbled to be an accent topping.

Salty, cream-colored, Feta-like, Cotija is made from milk, skim milk, enzymes and salt. It is sold in rounds or wedges from rounds, Cotija does not melt readily. While artisan amounts of Cotija are deemed very special, mass produced Cotija comes pretty close to special in taste and texture.

Many cheeses are named after their city of origination. Cotija’s town is in the Mexican State of Michoacan, a little north of the state of Jalisco. The cheese was made official in the  year 1896. The small town, known for its agriculture and ranching, is also famed for being the birthplace of many religious leaders. Continue reading