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Nov 30, 2011 07:04 AM

Mexican cheeses

Does anyone know a source for Mexican cheeses -- queso fresco et al. -- in the UK? One that ships and/or one in the West Midlands would be especially nice.

Arthur Lindley

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  1. Can't help with the specifics, other than suggesting trying to make contact with any Mexican (or Mex. style) restaurants to see if they can point you in the right direction.

    By the by, I'm hoping that Friday lunchtime finds me on the M40 in your neck of the woods. I'm overdue a lunch at the Bluebell.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      You'll enjoy that, I think. Next time you're in the neighbourhood, try the Bull's Head in Wootton Wawen, a mile down the A3400 toward Stratford.

      1. re: adlindley

        Noted with thanks, Arthur. I have a list of halfway (and better) stop-offs near to the M40 exits, as I'm down that way a couple of times a year. .

        Good luck with your Mex quest.

        John Hartley

    2. i can't help with a supplier but wanted to mention that thomasina miers uses lancashire cheese in place of queso fresco in her recipes, in case that is helpful. i'm not sure what other substitutions she suggests.

      6 Replies
      1. re: abby d

        I'd try to find a Spanish retailer (I like R Garcia & Sons on Portobello Road -- its an amazing shop and I believe they ship) and buy Queso Blanco. It's probably the closest thing you'll find to real queso fresco in the UK.

        For more American Mexican cheese you can get Monterrey Jack at some specialist cheese shops, or occasionally, at Sainsburys or Tesco (I've bought it at Sainsburys on Cromwell Road in South Kensington).

        If you do go the Lancashire route, make sure you get the crumbly young Lancashire and not the aged crumbly or the regular variety. Only the young crumbly one is at all similar to queso fresco -- the others are very creamy rich nutty cheeses (which I love but aren't mexican-esque).

        I'd try and ask them where to get cheese -- they're the most robust Mexican food supplier in the UK and run a restaurant so they must have a fair idea.


        1. re: brokentelephone

          Some Waitroses have a nice selection of Lancashire cheese. I can only vouch for some of the Central and South London ones though. Have seen some queso blanco/fresco in the Columbian cafe in Brixton Market that sells the food outside; name escapes me! It's in the road that leads to Station Road. Inside they have a refrigerated section. Not much good if you are in the Midlands though.

          1. re: cathodetube

            Thats a good call -- I totally forgot about the Columbians.

          2. re: brokentelephone

            If you do go to a Spanish supplier please realise that Spanish Queso Fresco is quite different from the Queso Fresco inquired about in this thread.
            Spanish Queso Fresco is very soft, kind of how cottage cheese might be if it didn't have that maggoty texture but was set like a firm Greek yogurt. I'm Spanish, know the Spanish stores well and have yet to try American Queso Fresco.

            1. re: MoGa

              Hey MoGa -- your description is similar to American/Mexican queso-fresco. It's a bit feta-ish but not as dry.