Latin American Queso: Caliente in the U.S. Cheese Market
American curd-lovers are swiftly developing a taste for Hispanic cheese. The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board reports that factories in Wisconsin are churning out more Latin American cheese than ever, and products are flying off grocery store shelves. The most popular varieties are queso fresco (“fresh cheese”) and queso blanco (“white cheese”), but other styles are making headway, including queso quesadilla and queso de freir.
Although the American public is jumping on this delectable bandwagon, many still don't understand the difference between Hispanic cheeses, or how they should be used. Some Latin American cheeses are "fresh," meaning they are non-melting cheeses. Others are traditional melting cheeses, used in cooking to accompany soups or main dishes. There are also drier, flakier cheeses. Thankfully, there are many Hispanic cheese whizzes in the U.S. that can guide a queso novice to an apex of succulence.
Photo by Kristine M. Kierzek