By Esther Sung
When you think of some of Mexico's most iconic dishes—tacos, enchiladas, frijoles—chances are, there's cheese involved. Crumbled, grated, sliced, and melted, the cheeses in Mexican dishes contribute salty, tangy flavors and offset some of the heat from chiles and spices. But when it comes to identifying some of Mexico's traditional cheeses (and other dairy products)—namely, the ones you encounter in Mexican restaurants and cookbooks—you're probably stuck at queso fresco and Cotija. Or perhaps your idea of Mexican cheese is the white and orange cheese mix found in your grocery's dairy section. Whichever the case may be, we turned to Diana Kennedy, the authority on Mexican cuisine, to help set the record straight on what is—and isn't—Mexican cheese.
Check out the slideshow above to get to know your basic Mexican cheeses.