In the southern mountains of Mexico in the state of Michoacan a small town high in the mountains lends his name to an incredible cheese, little known outside this country.
Cotija is a mountain cheese and a lot of its flavor comes form the milk, cattle graze in the mountains and the herbal notes form the milk are present in the finished product, Cotija it a salted cheese, however it rarely over powers the sweetness and buttery notes.
There are many imitations of Cotija cheese but the real stuff is easy to distinguish, it has a hard edible rind very similar to parmigiano reggiano, and like it I have found that it can be used in the same way, its a very special cheese and its worth the time you spend looking for it.
Cotija also has a nutty taste that people love and its very hard to find, I live in Mexico and have to arrange a person to mail it to me, but if you are lucky to have a good cheese shop in your city I am sure they will find a way to get it for you.
Good eating, Enjoy.