Cotija is a very old Mexican cheese. It is a yellow or brown molding cheese that is found mainly in the Andalusian region of Mexico. The cheese has been described as resembling a cross between prosciutto and Roquefort cheese. The origin of the cheese is probably unknown. Cotija is known for its usage in Mexican cuisine.
The cheese is created by removing the liquid fat from young milk curds and then rendering it. It is then left to mature, which takes about two months depending on the cheese type. The cheese-making procedure calls for repenting and turning off the cheese-making it softer and more elastic. The longer it matures the firmer and creamier it becomes.
In cheese-making processes, Cotija gets incorporated during the curing stage. During the cheese-making process, a curd is formed and rolled into ball shapes. As cheese blends with milk and the rennet break down, the cotija starts to be churned.
The distinctive taste of Cotija comes from the high amount of fat in it. When the rennet is broken down even further, the milk begins to flow and then curds are formed. Some cheese purists would prefer this over other types of milk-based cheeses because they feel it adds a special flavor to the milk and the whole thing gets fermented.
After the curds are formed, they are then washed and shaped into different shapes. This is why most cotija is square or rectangular in shape. Many modern cheese-making processes have incorporated interesting shapes into the product. Some examples of this are brie, Gouda, and even pimento.
Aside, from shapes, different cheese varieties undergo different processes too. The rennet used for making rotis is actually a mixture of milk curds, water, and herbs. The herbs help enhance the flavor of the product while providing natural nutrients to the milk. In the older times, it is believed to increase fertility.
However, medical research has not proven any claims regarding this. Aside from fertility benefits, rennet is also known to help alleviate colic in babies. When the cheese is made, the rennet is removed from the cots before the cheese is wrapped in waxed paper or other wrapping materials.
The longer the cheese is aged, the fuller it becomes. This process is also called the aging process. What is also interesting about making this cheese is that the older it is, the more versatile it gets as a food item. Cotjis comes in many forms. It can be bought in the market already processed or it can be made freshly.
If you are making it freshly, it is important that you have to know which rennet-type suits your need. Milk rennet is used if you want to add elasticity and body to the cheese. Soured rennet gives a sour taste to the cheese while young rennet adds a pleasant flavor to the cots.
After the reset is removed, the cheese comes out of the cots and is curdled. After curdling, the cheese goes through a cooling process to make it easier for you to make it into the cheddar cheese. This process is called flash heating. What is interesting about this is that cots can come out of the cheese after it is cursed.
The texture of this cheese is hard and chewy. Some people say that this cheese is better with a salty taste. In fact, it is often paired with salty bread and meats. What is this is not only popular in Mexico but also in Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Spain. Know where to find quality Cotija cheese in a supermarket near when you go to this given link.
In these countries, the process of cheese making is different from each other. Although the ingredients and the steps are almost the same, there are some minor differences in the way they do the cheese making. Aside from that, they all use the same equipment and the same methods of cheese making.
Before you buy the cheese, you must first know the basic ways in how it is made. Knowing the basics will help you understand how cotjis is made easier. Cheese lovers must know that there are some countries that use rennet to produce cotjis. They say that this is the best cheese available in the world.