When Spanish conquerors arrived to Mexico in the early 16th century, they introduced the population to cheese as well as the cattle, sheep and goats necessary to produce the milk. The Spanish monks who journeyed with the explorers served as the specialist cheese makers, serving fresh cheeses and hard cow’s milk cheeses alongside “New World” ingredients such as tortillas, beans, tomatoes and peppers. The fresh and mild queso blanco (Spanish for “white cheese”) became popular in the cooler and less humid parts of Latin America where cows thrived. Often produced with skimmed cow’s milk or whey, queso blanco is classified as a reduced fat Monterey Jack with features and texture similar to its parent product. Queso amarillo (“yellow cheese”) is classified as reduced fat cheddar with flavor and texture similar to cheddar products. However, these Hispanic cheeses’ melting properties differ from traditional Monterey Jack or cheddar. While those cheeses often become firm as they cool, queso blanco and queso amarillo retain a softer texture as they cool.
- Serve as a topping at salad bars.
- Develop signature pizzas by creating unique toppings with less oil.
- Crumble in tortilla soup.
- Sprinkle over your favorite Mexican dish.
- Use in enchiladas and chiles rellenos.
- Goes well with guava, mangoes, pineapple, chili peppers and any Hispanic dishes.