April 1, 2010 4:35 PM
Queso Fresco, which translates to Fresh Cheese, can be found throughout Mexico with slightly different variations. It is also called Queso de Pueblo, Queso de Rancho and sometimes just Queso Blanco. In some small towns it may be found sold wrapped in banana leaves and if you are lucky, in the small baskets where they are sometimes made.
It generally comes in rounds. Though it appears to be firm and can hold its shape nicely when cut into sticks or squares, it is very soft and crumbles easily. It is used in many ways, such as a side to guacamole and salsas, crumbled on top of hundreds of antojos like tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, refried beans and even soups. I also love it diced or crumbled in salads. Possibilities are endless (continue for more information and photo).
It is mild, slightly salty, very fresh and a bit tangy. If you can't find it -though these days it is readily available abroad, not only in Latin stores but also in places like Costco- you can substitute it with a farmers' cheese or a mild young feta.
One of the wonderful things about Queso Fresco, is that even if you cut it in sticks or squares, once in your mouth, it deliciously crumbles....