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Añejo Cheese

Añejo is a firm, Mexican cheese. It is actually the cheese called "queso fresco" (which is usually made from both cow and goat milk) that has been allowed to age. As it ages, it becomes solid, dry, salty and crumbly, almost like Romano or Parmesan, though it remains more white than they do, looking somewhat like feta cheese. It is used as you would Romano or Parmesan, crumbled, grated or shredded over foods or mixed into them.

Because this starts life as a soft cheese it is often classified as a soft cheese; you may encounter it in varying stages of hardness from semi-firm to hard depending on how long it has been aged. Consequently, you will see varying directions for either "grating" or "shredding" it.

Like most Mexican cheeses, this would have been completely impossible to find in North American food stores a few years ago, but with the rising Hispanic population in America, the chance of finding it without heading to ethnic markets can now be said to be upgraded from completely impossible to just highly unlikely (2004.)


Some suggest unhelpfully that you could substitute Mexican Cotija cheese (which has a stronger flavour, is harder and more crumbly), but any place that you schlep to looking for cotija is probably also going to sell Añejo.

Some people, (dismissing the obvious easy substitutes of Romano or Parmesan because the taste isn't the same as añejo), try mixing washed, dried feta with grated Romano, though they lament that the flavour is still not the same.

Since the flavour's going to be different anyway, just use Romano or Parmesan; you think the Mexicans don't make substitutes when making our recipes?

Literature & Lore

"Queso" in Spanish means cheese; "Añejo" means aged.

See also:

Soft Cheeses

Añejo Cheese; Añejo Enchilado Cheese; Banon Cheese; Boilie Cheese; Bonchester Cheese; Boursin Cheese; Brie Cheese; Brillat-Savarin Cheese; Brousse de Brebis; Bruss Cheese; Burrata Cheese; Caboc Cheese; Camembert Cheese; Casu Marzu; Chaource Cheese; Chèvre Frais; Cornish Yarg Cheese; Crottin de Chavignol Cheese; Crowdie Cheese; Cumulus Cheese; Edel de Cléron Cheese; Feta Cheese; Feuille d'automne Cheese; Garrotxa Cheese; Hoop Cheese; Kirkham Lancashire Cheese; La Tur Cheese; Lancashire Cheese; Le Cendrillon Cheese; Le Veillon Cheese; Lymeswold Cheese; Mitzithra Cheese (Fresh); Oaxaca Cheese; Oxford Isis Cheese; Pavé de Chirac Cheese; Pié d'angloys; Pithiviers Cheese; Pont Couvert Cheese; Prescinseua Cheese; Saint-Loup Goat Cheese; Saint André Cheese; Soft Cheeses; Soumaintrain Cheese; Squacquerone Cheese; St-Nectaire Cheese; St Tola Cheese; Tarapatapom Cheese; Telemes Cheese; Teviotdale Cheese; Tornegus Cheese; Vacherin Chaput Cheese; Vacherin d'Abondance; Vacherin Mont d'Or; Wensleydale Cheese with Cranberries; Whirl Cheese

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Also called:

Queso Añejo (Spanish)


Oulton, Randal. "Añejo Cheese." CooksInfo.com. Published 08 January 2004; revised 26 July 2005. Web. Accessed 06/23/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/anejo-cheese>.

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