- The Spanish word queso comes from the Latin caseus, which means lacking whey.
A white colored dairy product, its flavor tends to be salty.
In Mexico there are different types of cheese, including Oaxaca string cheese, panela fresh cheese, aged manchego, as well as smoked, añejo (aged), botanero (flavored with chiles, pickled vegetables, or other products), asadero (good for melting), Chihuahua (a sharp cheese), and Cotija (a crumbly fresh type) cheese, among others.
The nutritional content depends on the type of cheese consumed. In general, most cheeses have protein, calcium, and vitamins A, E, and D.
A number of different dishes contain cheese. Since there are many types of cheese, it is a common component in Mexican cuisine, for example, in quesadillas (tortilla with melted cheese), chilaquiles (cheese sprinkled on top of tortilla triangles covered with sauce), and molletes (bread, refried beans, cheese, and pico de gallo salsa), to name just a few dishes.
- The State of Mexico, Durango, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Chihuahua, and Querétaro are the leading cheese producing states in Mexico.
- Some 56,819 tons of cheese is produced in Mexico.
- The most popular varieties of cheese in Mexico are fresh cheese, panela cheese, Oaxaca string cheese, and yellow cheese.
- Mexican cheeses are up to 58 percent water in their composition.
- Cuadro cheese and Ocosingo cheese are trademarked varieties.