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Where can I buy panela?

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I know an au pair from Mexico who wants to make her favorite dishes using panela, which she says is a fresh, white cheese. She says what is sold as "queso blanco" here is not a perfect substitute. Now she's got me curious and wanting to try panela myself. Can anyone tell us where panela is sold around here? Much thanks!

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  1. I don't know about panela but there are quite a few Mexican markets in the area. Global Market in Woodbridge in the Home Depot Shopping center is one. There's a new one opening up off the beltway in Annandale (I think it is), near the mixing bowl. And, surprisingly Shoppers Food Warehouse has a lot of international foods, especially Mexican.

    1. I don't know about the stores you mentioned, but the au pair said she did try a couple of Mexican groceries in Wheaton, MD, and was surprised not to find panela. I'd hate to send her out to Virgina (the other planet! She's only been in this country two weeks.) without knowing for sure that the store sells panela.

      1. FYI: I've just gotten a tip from a friend that panela can be found at El Chaparral Meat Market, 2719 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA.

        1 Reply
        1. re: browniebaker

          I know panela as brown sugar, not cheese.

          http://www.alibaba.com/catalog/104866...

          Maybe the spelling is off?