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The Mexican cheese custom and present outlook

The Mexican Cheese custom and present outlook

By: Luisa Liceaga

The historical past of cheese making in Mexico is reasonably quick in comparison with that of nations like France, Switzerland, or Italy. Within the time interval earlier than the conquest of the Mexican territory on behalf of the Spanish crown, dairy cows, sheep, goats, and different cattle which can be milked for cheese manufacturing weren’t discovered throughout the nation. With the arrival of the Spanish traditions and cattle started the manufacturing of cheese and the introduction of dairy to the Mesoamerican weight loss plan. The primary cheeses that had been produced within the New Spain had been these of Spanish origin just like the well-known Manchego.

Throughout the colony epoch, cheese fabrication developed and tailored to suit the combination of style of the indigenous peoples and the Europeans. This led to the origin of probably the most broadly identified Mexican cheeses that embody queso fresco, quesillo or queso Oaxaca, queso asadero, queso panela, queso chihuahua, queso cotija amongst different extra artisanal and regional cheeses like queso bola de Ocosingo, queso poro de Balcan, and queso crema de Chiapas. Most cheeses in Mexico are produced utilizing cow’s milk and it’s estimated that there are at the moment about between 20-40 artisanal cheese varieties, a few of that are at risk of extinction (Villegas de Gante and Cervantes-Escoto, 2011).

These days about 80% of the cheese consumed throughout the nation falls underneath the class of queso fresco or contemporary cheese (Jiménez-Guzmán et al., 2009). This class encompasses the cheeses that take round 24 hours to set and which retain from sixty to eighty % of moisture. The usage of pasteurized milk ensures the dearth of presence of pathogens that will in any other case stay within the last product since these cheeses don’t endure any ageing or ripening processes. Nevertheless, many artisanal contemporary cheeses are manufactured utilizing uncooked milk; analysis across the antagonistic impact that lactic acid micro organism might have on pathogens current throughout cheese manufacturing with uncooked milk is required (González-Córdova et al., 2016).  Queso fresco is crumbled simply and is normally used as garnish over conventional dishes like enchiladas, chilaquiles and sopes, or over aspect dishes like mashed beans and nopal salad.

A crowd favourite cheese is queso panela. It has comparable traits to Greek feta cheese. It’s gentle and white and takes the form of the basked wherein it’s pressed. In contrast to different contemporary cheeses, it doesn’t crumble, nor it melts. It has change into one of the vital consumed cheeses in recent times resulting from its low-fat content material (Lobato-Calleros et al., 2006) and delicate, versatile style.

Queso Oaxaca or quesillo might be one of the vital well-liked cheeses within the central area of the nation. It seemingly originated within the state of Oaxaca (De Oca-Flores et al., 2009), therefore the title it normally receives. It’s at the moment produced each in artisanal and industrial scale in a number of areas from both uncooked or pasteurized milk. Additionally it is thought of a contemporary cheese and should comprise as much as 50% of moisture (Cervantes-Escoto et al., 2008). Its artisanal manufacturing course of is paying homage to mozzarella cheese making because of the stretching and braiding of the curds. It’s offered in a knotted ball presentation and is utilized in dishes like quesadillas and tlayudas the place it completely melts and oozes if you chunk into it.

One of many few semi-hard cheeses that exist in Mexican delicacies is queso chihuahua or Mennonite cheese. It’s native to the state of chihuahua, positioned within the northwestern area of the nation. It’s matured for 3-6 weeks and is usually offered in block type. This melting cheese’s origin is linked to the Mennonite communities that migrated from Canada to Mexico within the Twenties and settled within the state of Chihuahua (Cervantes-Escoto et al., 2008).

Because the presence of cheese in Mexican delicacies is comparatively latest, the makes use of and purposes of each regional and international cheeses are nonetheless maturing and always reworking. As an example, one of the vital well-known road meals from my hometown, León, Guanajuato, turned popularized solely 50 years in the past. It’s referred to as ‘Caldo de Oso’ which accurately interprets to bear broth. However you shall not fear, it doesn’t obtain its title for its elements however reasonably for its origin. One of many tales that flow into across the start of this dish states that there was a person nicknamed Oso (bear) who requested native fruit distributors to arrange him an assortment of chopped cucumber, jicama, onion, mango, or pineapple dressed with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, powder chili… and shredded cotija cheese. Different folks began asking for this concoction out of curiosity till the dish turned a metropolis staple related to the nickname of the inventive thoughts behind it. These days folks can even add peanuts and chips to create their very own model of caldo de oso.

Within the 12 months 2020 an issue sparked throughout the nation when the Federal Client Safety Workplace (Profeco) and the Ministry of Economic system (SE) of the Authorities of Mexico, ordered the prohibition of the commercialization of 19 manufacturers of cheese for allegedly not complying with the provisions of the Official Mexican Requirements (NOMs). The primary raisons they had been taken of the market had been for the usage of incorrect labeling, this contains marking cheeses as 100% milk when they aren’t and the misuse of cheese names.

Lack of characterization of artisanal cheeses is among the most important points that impairs the standardization of cheese manufacturing practices and consequently their labeling and standing available in the market. Increasing the scientific data and details about these regional dairy merchandise would open the likelihood for these cheeses to change into merchandise of protected designation of origin and correctly label dairy merchandise that don’t adjust to the required traits to be labeled as cheese. This could allow to proceed broadening the usage of regional cheeses and popularizing them in different elements if the world.

Reference Record

Cervantes-Escoto, F., A. Villegas de Gante, J. A. Cesín-Vargas, and A. Espinoza-Ortega. 2008. Los Quesos Mexicanos Genuinos. Patrimonio cultural que debe rescatarse. 1st ed. Mundi Prensa México, México Metropolis, Mexico.

De Oca-Flores, E. M., O. A. Castelán-Ortega, J. G. Estrada-Flores, and A. Espinoza-Ortega. 2009. Oaxaca cheese: Manufacture course of and physicochemical traits. Int. J. Dairy Technol. 62:535–540.

Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia-Banco de Movies. (s. f.). Recuperado 25 de octubre de 2022, de

González-Córdova, A. F., Yescas, C., Ortiz-Estrada, Á. M., De la Rosa-Alcaraz, M., Hernández-Mendoza, A., & Vallejo-Cordoba, B. (2016). Invited evaluate: Artisanal Mexican cheeses. Journal of dairy science, 99(5), 3250–3262.

Jiménez-Guzmán, J., A. Flores-Nájera, A. E. Cruz-Guerrero, and M. García-Garibay. 2009. Use of an exopolysaccharide-producing pressure of Streptococcus thermophilus within the manufacture of Mexican Panela cheese. Meals Sci. Technol. (Campinas.) 42:1508–1512.

 La Jornada del Campo. (2010, 13 febrero).

Lobato-Calleros, C., L. Ramos-Solis, A. Santos-Moreno, and M. Rodriguez-Huezo. 2006. Microstructure and texture of panela kind cheese-like merchandise: Use of low methoxyl pectin and canola oil as milk-fat substitutes. Rev. Mex. Ing. Quim. 1:71–79

Villegas de Gante, A., and F. Cervantes-Escoto. 2011. La genuinidad y tipicidad en la revalorización de los quesos artesanales mexicanos. Estud. Soc. 19:146–164.

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In regards to the Writer

Luisa Liceaga is an undergraduate on the Tecnologico de Monterrey the place she is working in direction of her BSc in Meals Engineering. She additionally serves as a Venture Collaborator for her IFTSA Chapter at ITESM Monterrey.



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