How Long Does Cotija Cheese Last?

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How Long Does Cotija Cheese Last

I eat Mexican food very often, and if you are a foodie like me, you are probably aware of the significance of cotija cheese in Mexican cuisine, particularly in the dish carne enchilada and other dishes from the nation. I am a big admirer of Mexican cuisine.

You might also choose to prepare a dish at home that includes cotija cheese, and then find that you need to save some of the cheese for a later purpose, despite the fact that it is commonly accessible in a variety of places, such as Hispanic or foreign specialty markets.

However, since it is still a dairy product, consuming it after milk has gone bad puts you at risk for food poisoning as well as other adverse consequences on your health, such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

Because the consequences on children are more severe than those on adults, the situation becomes much more dire when youngsters consume it.

Because of this, we are going to investigate the matter of how long cotija cheese can be stored for, as well as address the most significant questions about the storage of it and make sure that it stays fresh.

What is Cotija Cheese?

The fact that cotija cheese comes from Mexico is the single most reliable way to identify it.

Cow’s milk is the primary ingredient in this traditional Mexican cheese, which is then aged for a brief period of time after being produced.

After that, one scrapes off the papery rind that has formed on its surface as a result of its short maturing, and after that, one may eat the rind together with their meal or on salads.

It is also fascinating to know that its name originates from the Spanish term cotjo, which literally translates to ‘small basket.’

The flavor of cotija cheese is very salty and dry, and the consistency of this crumbly cheese is rather solid.

In its fresh state, it has a texture that is comparable to that of ricotta cheese, but as it matures, its consistency becomes more akin to that of Parmesan cheese, and its taste gets more robust.

In terms of the advantages it offers, it is flavorful and adaptable enough to be used in a variety of recipes, and you will seldom run out of other foods to prepare with it.

It is rich in calcium, protein, and fat, and it also contains elements that are beneficial to your bone health, including as vitamin A, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.

How Long Does Cotija Cheese Last? Does Cotija Cheese Go Bad?

It is possible for this cheese to become bad.

Cheeses, much like other dairy products and fresh foods, should not be left out at room temperature for extended periods of time since this will just make it easier for germs to develop on them.

If you want to prevent being exposed to mold spores as well, you should keep them covered and store them at room temperature.

In the event that you keep your Cotija cheese in the appropriate conditions, it has a lengthy shelf life.

If you are planning on storing it in your pantry after you have opened it after purchasing it, the best time to consume it is within two weeks after opening it. However, bear in mind that the sooner you use it, the better it will taste.

The good news is that it is a sturdy cheese that can be kept in your freezer, and it will remain edible for up to six months when stored in this manner.

Because the best-before date printed on the container of cotija cheese is the most accurate indication of when it should be consumed, you should avoid opening it until it develops mold or an unpleasant odor.

Even if you store cotija cheese in the refrigerator, you still need to be cautious about its moisture content. This is the primary issue that you will encounter with this cheese.

If you plan to store it in the refrigerator for more than two months, you should eat it within that time frame since it contains extremely high levels that promote rapid mold development, which may be hazardous to your health and modifies the way it feels and tastes.

In contrast to the majority of cheeses, cotija cheese can be stored in your freezer for several months without experiencing any significant changes in texture. However, before placing it in the freezer, you must first cut it into thick pieces to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. After that, you must wrap each piece in greaseproof paper and clear cling film before placing it in an airtight bag that can be sealed.

If you wish to utilize the cheese, you must first allow it to soften at room temperature for two to three hours before putting it to any other use after allowing it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. This will prevent the cheese from drying out.

How to Tell If Cotija Cheese is Bad?

Cotija cheese does contain preservatives; nonetheless, there are some conditions in which it will still spoil, and it is imperative that you be on the lookout for the symptoms of this happening.

They are as follows:

  • Moldy appearance.

This is the first sign that you will notice in cotija cheese, and it indicates that it is older than its aged state, has changed its texture and taste, and is now a haven for microorganisms that include mold and certain bacterial strains. Cotija cheese can be identified as older than its aged state when it has developed mold.

You can also observe that the color of the cheese has changed from a white block to darker hues or specks of other colors like green, gray, or other colors.

If you see that mold is growing on some pieces of the cheese, the best course of action is to chop away those sections and only consume the mold-free portions of the cheese.

In order to eliminate the possibility of adverse effects on one’s health, it is best to just discard the whole block of cheese if the mold has gone too far.

  • Bad smell .

Cheese is a dairy product, therefore it is simple to determine whether it has gone bad or is still fresh based on how it smells.

Since putrid odors are caused by the action of bacteria, their presence indicates that the whole cheese block has been spoiled.

In this particular scenario, your only option is to discard it.

  • Sour taste.

Because excellent cotija cheese should have a sweet, deep scent as well as a taste that is somewhat salty, the presence of a sour flavor in the cheese is an indicator that it is on its way to being spoiled.

However, if you do not mind the taste, you may continue to take it; however, you should be cautious while taking it to prevent experiencing diarrhea as a side effect.


Is cotija cheese good after expiration date?

The fresh form of Cotija cheese may be stored in the refrigerator for about a month, while the aged version can be stored for much longer. It is recommended that it be consumed within the next six months if it is stored in the freezer; nevertheless, many individuals report that it may remain edible for up to twelve months.

Is cotija cheese crumbling?

Because it does not melt when heated, Cotija is best used for crumbling and sprinkling because of its versatility in this application. Of course, you’ll find it most commonly in Mexican food; it’s often used as a garnish on dishes like enchiladas, nachos, tacos, chilaquiles, and posole.

How long is Cotija good in the fridge?

Every time you use your cotija, be sure to wrap it in a new sheet of parchment or wax paper, and then place it inside a container or plastic bag to keep it fresh. When kept in the refrigerator in such a manner, fresh cotija will keep for about a month, while aged cotija has the potential to keep for up to three months.

How long does grated cotija cheese last in the fridge?

When stored in the refrigerator in its original packaging, cotija cheese has a shelf life of about one month. After being opened, it will probably only endure for about a week.

Does cotija get moldy?

Because the best-before date printed on the container of cotija cheese is the most accurate indication of when it should be consumed, you should avoid opening it until it develops mold or an unpleasant odor.

Is cotija cheese unhealthy?

Because of its very high calcium content, it contributes to the preservation of strong teeth and bones. However, cotija has a relatively high amount of saturated fat as well as salt (sodium), both of which, if consumed in excessive amounts, may be factors in the development of cardiovascular disease as well as other ailments.

Which is better cotija or queso fresco?

Because queso fresco has a taste that is more subdued and a tang that is more faint, it is best used in meals and salads that are on the lighter side. The taste of Cotija cheese, on the other hand, is more pungent and salty, making it an excellent compliment to strong flavors. Due to the fact that they both have a mild and milky flavor, you may use either one in lieu of the other.

What is the difference between queso and cotija cheese?

Taste: The taste of queso fresco is less intense, and it does not contain nearly as much salt as cotija, particularly cotija that has been cured for a significant amount of time.

Texture: In contrast to cotija, which is drier and has a more solid consistency, queso fresco often has a creamier and more wet consistency.

Why is cotija cheese so good?

Because of its capacity to provide saltiness, fattiness, and umami flavor to a wide range of Mexican dishes, it is sometimes referred to as the Parmesan of Mexico. The flavor of cotija is noticeably more briny than that of other cheeses.


Because it imparts a taste and texture that are entirely its own, Cotija cheese is a perfect complement to a wide variety of dishes from Mexican cuisine as well as from other types of cuisine.

It is simple to get, but in order to utilize it at a later time, you will need to store it correctly. This involves wrapping it securely and putting it in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to use it.

Ensure that you also check if it is in excellent condition by noticing whether there are indications of mildew, discoloration, or a weird scent. The cheese is durable and may survive for many months if it is kept in good condition; nevertheless, you must ensure that it is in good shape before you consume it.