Cotija cheese is a mild and salty cow's milk cheese. Because of its ability to add salt, fat, and umami to a variety of Mexican foods, it is known as the Parmesan of Mexico. Cotija cheese is named after the town of Cotija in the state of Michoacan and is available in two varieties: fresh and aged (or aejo).
Though both are salty, the fresh version is soft, whereas the aged version is much harder, similar to Parmesan. Because Cotija cheese does not melt, it is frequently used in Mexican cooking as a "finishing" cheese to enhance the flavor of dishes such as beans, tacos, enchiladas, and tostadas.
✵ A milky cheese with an addictively salty taste
✵ Cotija doesn't melt like other cheeses
✵ great option when topping a hot dish
✵ Its aroma is quite overpowering, and some would compare it to sweaty feet
✵ fresh cotija will last around a month in the fridge, but aged cotija may survive as long as three months