Cotija cheese is a firm, crumbly cheese made from cow milk. It has a distinct white color, and a salty taste. Although it draws roots in Mexico (which is home to most milk by-products), cotija cheese has become increasingly popular in America and other parts of the world. It is mostly used as toppings for salad, and tacos and as an ingredient in sauces.
If you need help finding cotija cheese in your grocery store, we would point you to the aisles to check in this guide. You will also find a list of reliable grocers that sell cotija cheese, as well as exciting ways to use it in recipes.
What Aisle Is Cotija Cheese Located In Grocery Stores?
Cotija cheese is mostly found in the cheeses aisle of grocery stores. However, grocery stores typically sell a wide range of cheeses from different brands, so you will have to scan through the types keenly. Take care not to mistake cotija cheese for another famous Mexican cheese, Queso Fresco, as it has a similar appearance to that of cotija.
If you do not find cotija cheese in the cheeses aisle, your next stop should be the dairy section. Some grocery stores stock cotija cheese here, as it is a by-product of milk. If your grocery store has a specialty aisle, you can also check there or head over to the international/ethnic goods section. In the latter, you will find it amongst Mexican foods.
Read Also: Where to Find Velveeta Cheese in Safeway
Where to Buy Cotija Cheese Near You
There are several grocery stores where you can buy cotija cheese. Most of these grocery stores also have an online platform, where you can order from the comfort of your home. Cotija cheese is also available in either fresh and/or aged versions.
The aged version is usually harder than the fresh, so you might want to consider your preference before making a selection. Cotija cheese also has a longer shelf-life and is relatively healthier than other cheeses. It is rich in high-quality protein, and vitamins B12 and A, so you don’t have to worry about consumption mishaps.
You can get various brands of cotija cheese delivered to you, from Amazon. Another advantage of buying from Amazon is that you can always get the product, even when other grocers have run out of it.
At Walmart, you will find cotija cheese in the cheese aisle or among Latin foods in the international aisle. Cacique, La Chona, and Verole are some of the cotija brands that you will find in the store.
Read Also: Is Publix More Expensive than Walmart?
Target usually has different brands of cotija cheese in stock and they are usually kept in the diary section of the grocery store. Cacique cotija cheese is one of the products they carry. Target also offers door-to-door delivery services, so you can order online and have it delivered to your home.
Kroger usually stocks up cotija cheese in the cheeses section. Queso cotija, Verole, and Cacique are some of the brands you will find here. They also have an online service feature so you can opt for that.
5. Whole Foods Market
At Whole Foods, you can get already-grated cotija cheese; they are usually kept in the diary & eggs aisle. Whole Foods carry products like 365 grated cotija, Queso Del Valle cotija, and Cacique cotija.
You can either go physically to a Safeway store to purchase cotija cheese or order from their website online and have it delivered to you. Safeway usually has cotija cheese like Cacique in the Diary & Eggs aisle.
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At Wegmans, both in-store and delivery options are available, so you can choose whichever suits your schedule. You will find cotija cheese in the dairy aisle at Wegmans.
Publix stocks cotija cheese in the dairy and eggs aisle. You can also use their online shopping feature, and have the product delivered to you.
9. Ethnic Stores
Cotija cheese is a staple in many Mexican cuisines. So Mexican ethnic markets are sure-fire spots to get it.
Costco usually has various brands of cotija cheese to choose from. The El Mexicano Queso cotija cheese is one product you must find there and is kept in the dairy and eggs aisle. Costco also does door-to-door home deliveries.
Read Also: Does Costco Accept EBT/Food Stamps?
You can always get your groceries from Jet’s website. They usually have cotija cheese in stock, so you can get it from there.
Hannaford is a good place to buy cotija cheese from. If you have one of their stores near you, you can stop there to make your choice.
Great Ways to Use Cotija Cheese
Cotija cheese has a wide range of culinary applications, as it complements several other ingredients and gives your dish a savory flavor. Some easy and exciting ways to use cotija cheese include:
1. Use it as a Garnish
Cotija cheese is commonly used as a garnish in several soups. Unlike most other cheeses, it does not melt and can be easily crumbled in soups like a tortilla and black bean. Do remember though, that cotija cheese is salty, so you might want to use other salty ingredients in moderation.
2. Use it as a Filling
You can grate cotija cheese, and add it as a filling to burritos or quesadillas. When the cheese is heated up, it becomes softer thus, adding more flavor to the recipe.
3. Use it as a Dip
To make a dip with cotija cheese, simply grate it into a microwave-safe bowl, add a dash of salsa, and allow it to heat up until it melts to form a smooth paste. This is one of the easiest and most exciting ways to use cotija cheese. The dip goes well with crackers and chips, and you can always try out this recipe at home.
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Having worked in a grocery store in the past, I thought it wise to pen down a few things that you might be interested to know about shopping and navigating your way around the store.