Queso blanco, meaning white cheese in Spanish, is a Latin American cheese, firmer with a slightly sweet flavor. It is easy to make and can be made at higher temperatures than most cheeses, which makes it a good summer cheese. This queso blanco cheese is slightly crumbly with a tangy fresh taste since it's curdled with acid rather than rennet and generally used fresh instead of aged. Queso blanco is easy to make at home and is excellent crumbled as a garnish or topping for tacos or a Mexican salad. Queso blanco cheese is also often treated like paneer and fried, like these delicious queso blanco cheese balls.
- 1 gallon whole pasteurized or raw milk
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or distilled vinegar
- Cheese Salt (optional)
- In a non-reactive pot, heat milk to 190°F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Once the milk has reached temperature, turn off the heat.
Add the vinegar slowly, stirring gently, until the curds begin to separate from the whey. If the amount of vinegar you added seems inadequate to make a clean break, you can add more, little by little, until you have achieved a good, clean break. Be careful, though, because adding too much vinegar will make your cheese have an unpleasant sour taste.
Line a colander with butter muslin and ladle the curds into it. Tie the corners into a knot, making a draining bag, and suspend this bag over a bowl to drain for a few hours, or until the queso blanco has reached the consistency you prefer.
Pour the drained cheese into a bowl, salt to taste, and enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.