Panela is a moist and fresh, mild, and very mellow, cheese. Its texture is very firm and it can be cut into thick slices, broken into smaller pieces easily, or grated for antojos (snacks). In Mexico, this cheese is often used by cooks who want low-fat or healthier options. That doesn’t mean it isn’t irresistible!
Panela is used in sandwiches, tortas, and quesadillas, just to name some. It is a star of every salad it is added on to and it’s fabulous for grilling because it doesn’t melt or string with the heat; instead, it develops a lovely crust.
One of my favorite ways to use panela is to grill it and cover it with either salsa verde or salsa roja. It used to be impossible to find Panela cheese in the US. So it used to be one of the first things I craved each time I travel to Mexico. Fortunately, it is now available in the United States thanks to FUD. The possibilities of Panela cheese in the kitchen are truly endless.