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Queso panela

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[[Image:|thumb|300px|right|Queso panela]]

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Queso Panela (Panela Cheese), also called "Queso Canasta" or "Queso de la Canasta" (Basket Cheese) because it carries the impression of the basket in which it molds itself, is a white, fresh and smooth cheese of pasteurized cow milk, served most often as part of an appetizer dishes such as nopal salads or quesadillas. It is derived from the Greek word for basket cheese.

It absorbs other flavors easily and is covered at times with a paste of garlic and [[Chili pepper|. Good, genuine, fresh Panela inhabits a similar watery environment to mozzarella and can be used in quite the same fashion. It may also be fried, although it holds its shape and does not melt very easily. It is utilized in many diverse Mexican foods such as enchiladas or tacos, as well as in some variant preparations of guacamole.

Regional differences as well as different degrees of maturation yield a sufficiently diverse universe of cheese within the Panela family. The cheese does not yet have a D.O.C but a remarkable regional variety is that of the ever-green mountain town Tapalpa Panela. It's got pines.

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