4 types of Central American Cheeses that you have to try
March 31, 2023
The richness of Central American gastronomy comes from the diversity between cultures which offers us a mixture of flavors and ingredients which is a unique fusion!
Since ancient civilizations, cheese has been stored for times of scarcity and has been considered a food with numerous benefits due to its high fat, protein, calcium and phosphorus content.
Cheese in its different presentations has become an essential ingredient in Central American cuisine.You will find a variety of delicious cheeses in typical dishes or famous recipes throughout Central America.
Below we share 4 Typical Central American Cheeses that you should try on your next trip or visit to the supermarket.
Soft Hard Cheese
Hard Soft is a Hispanic cheese introduced by the Spanish in the 15th century, it is a dry, aged cheese with a firm but crumbly texture. It is salty and strong in flavor providing a slightly pleasant mild smoky flavor that goes perfect with quesadillas, pupusas, salads, enchiladas, tostadas, refried beans, pasta, traditional bean dishes, and baleadas.
Uses for Semi Hard Cheese: Tamales, Salads refried beans
Dry hard cheese is aged and it has a texture similar of fresh cheeses but a little firmer still: it is solid , heavy and slightly rubbery, easy to cut, easily crumbled with the fingers. It has more salt than fresh cheeses and has been pressed into a small barrel shape to remove more liquid. The exterior is rubbed with a paprika and red pepper paste to prevent mold from growing during storage. The taste of this cheese is salty and very “milky”.
This cheese is perfect to eat grounded over beans, broiled over pastas or soups.
Uses for Semi Hard Cheese: Refried beans, soup and pasta
Fresh cheese is a type of cheese that unlike semi-cured or cured cheeses, does not require maturation time. This means that it retains a large part of the whey and makes it a very moist cheese, with a percentage of water between 60 and 80%. It is a white cheese, with a soft texture and a mild flavor, making it perfect for sprinkling on dishes, sandwiches or beans.
This cheese it’s very popular between Salvadorans, it can be used in stuffed chayote squash, or enchiladas.
Uses for Semi Hard Cheese: Enchiladas, toasts, and fried tacos
Cheese with chili is a cheese with a firm but elastic consistency, with a smooth and well-defined flavor with a spicy touch. It is pressed and subjected to a certain temperature in an atmosphere of certain humidity in order to reduce its water content, which ensures an incomparable flavor. To this process different types of chili are added such as (guajillo, chile de arbol, and green chili).
This is a very popular cheese in Honduras, you can enjoy it as a side to your favorite foods, in sandwiches, crumbled over rice or beans.
Without a doubt, there is a wide variety of options in our Central American gastronomy to enjoy.