One Cheese, Five Ways: King Cotija | culture: the word on cheese
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One Cheese, Five Ways: King Cotija

Often called “the parmesan of Mexico” and named after its birthplace, cotija is a dry, crumbly cheese that tastes like a cross between feta and Pecorino Romano—mouth-wateringly salty, in a good way. The cheese’s straightforward flavor (milky, briny) makes it an ideal finishing touch on tacos, salads, casseroles, and, perhaps most famously, Mexican grilled corn known as elote. Here we shower classics such as tortilla soup and huevos rancheros with the curds and cast them in a starring role with green vegetable tamales. Buen provecho!

Chicken tortilla soup. Photographed by Lauren Volo

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Dial up the warm and cozy factor at your next gathering with a pot of this soup.

green pozole

Green Pozole

Zippy tomatillos and salty cotija offset rich pork and creamy hominy in this classic south-of-the-border stew.

green vegetable tamales. Photographed by Lauren Volo

Green Vegetable Tamales

Cotija kicks up the flavor of these earthy, veggie-forward tamales.

Huevos rancheros. Photographed by Lauren Volo

Huevos Rancheros

Our all-time favorite brunch dish, smothered in crumbly cotija for the win.

avocado radish salad. photograph by Lauren Volo

Avocado Radish Salad

Crisp and refreshing, this salad feels hearty thanks to creamy avocado, briny cotija, and crunchy tortilla strips.

written and styled by Molly Shuster; photographed by Lauren Volo

Molly Shuster

Molly is a freelance food stylist, writer and recipe developer. She is one of the co-recipe editors of Gather Journal and has had her work published in various publications including Boston Magazine, Yankee Magazine, The New York Times, Food and Wine, Family Fun, The Boston Globe and Edible Vineyard, among others. Molly currently divides her time between New York and Boston.

Photographer Lauren Volo

New York City-based photographer Lauren Volo has been shooting our "One Cheese, Five Ways" feature for over a year—hard job, huh?