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Looking for the best cheeses in Bogotá? Here’s my top six

best cheeses in Bogotá
Valeria Garbin

Valeria Garbin

I was born in Venezuela, but I've also lived in Mexico, Colombia, and Belgium. One of my passions is politics and Human Rights, so I studied International Relations and specialized in Human Rights and Development. My other passion is traveling and food, and writing about it makes my days. Bogotá is a city that I love! and I hope you can love it too through my articles, and of course, when you come and see it with your own eyes!

A cheese lover has to know all the cheeses they needs to try when they visit a new place, right? Bogotá is no exception, and this article will guide you through the Colombian cheeses that you will have the chance to try when you visit this great capital.

Throughout the country, different types of cheeses are made that will awaken your senses. Most of them are fresh cheese, because Colombia does not have a tradition of aged ones. In Bogotá, you can try a wide variety of soft cheeses full of flavor that will make you add a few to your favorite cheese list (I know I did!).

Campesino

best cheeses in Bogotá
© Photograph by Eddy Mildford

Campesino cheese is one of the most consumed cheeses in Colombia. It is a white cheese, fresh and compact. When heated it becomes soft but does not melt. It is perfect with bread or with the typical Colombian arepa! It is also widely used for typical Colombian sweets like “brevas con arequipe”, which is figgs with dulce de leche and sometimes this cheese is added.

You will not want to miss trying this cheese at breakfast over an warm arepa with butter and salt (I think it made my mouth water a little just writing that line).

Cuajada

best cheeses in Bogotá
© Photograph by muycolombiano.com

The Cuajada is an extremely fresh cheese and is the basis for the production of other cheeses.

It is a very soft cheese with a fairly neutral flavor, so it is used mostly for desserts and to combine with jams and nuts.

Believe me, you can not leave Bogota without trying the “cuajada con melao”, which is this soft cheese bathed in sweet cane sugar syrup.

Doble crema

 The doble crema cheese is another cheese widely consumed in Colombia. It is a string cheese, like mozzarella or oaxaca, firm and smooth, not as white as fresh cheese and tastes moderately salty and fresh, and it melts easily, making it perfect for sandwiches and filled arepas.

This cheese is typically used for the traditional afternoon snack of Bogotá (called “las onces” in Spanish), which is cheese with hot chocolate! I know it may sound a little weird, but when you try it you’ll understand why they work together Imagine a piece of cheese melted by the hot chocolate fusing the salty and the sweet perfectly. You have to try it!

Costeño

best cheeses in Bogotá
© Photograph by Bertahan Luxing

Costeño cheese is a typical cheese from the Colombian coast, but is eaten all over the country. It is one of my favorites to be honest, it is  fresh and salty, compact and a bit dry, but its flavor is incredibly rich, especially for a fresh cheese.

 It is perfect to eat alone or a little roasted, since it does not melt. It is also delicious incorporated in other preparations, such as in the flour of arepas, the delicious buñuelos, or with  sweet corn, where the combination of salty and sweet will leave you wanting more.

Paipa

It is the only semi-aged cheese in the country. It is pale yellow, slightly bright with a great flavor, and also slightly acidic with a salty finish and a strong aroma. It is not a very mature cheese but it is reserved between 10 and 20 days in maturation cellars.

It is a perfect cheese to gratinate a dish, to eat with a glass of wine or in a salad, and it is also sometimes used to eat with hot chocolate like the doble crema cheese.

Pera

The pera cheese is fresh, acidic, not quite ripe, and also string-like. Its name means pear in Spanish, because it is usually presented in small quantities in the form of a pear, so it is consumed a lot as a snack, but it is also available in a larger quantity in cube form.

It has a light flavor perfect to eat alone as a snack or for salads. You can also find it mixed with bocadillo (sweet guava), a combination you don’t want to miss.

Cheesy Bogotá 

Surely you are anxiously waiting for the moment you arrive in Bogota to try these delicious cheeses. Believe me, the quality of Colombian cheeses will leave you more than satisfied.

These cheeses you can find in any supermarket or neighborhood store. Since they are national products, you will also notice that they are not very expensive; you can find them for between 5,000 and 15,000 Colombian pesos ($1,5 -4,7 USD).

Also, you can try them in different preparations in restaurants and coffee shops. For example, if you want to eat a good cheese with hot chocolate on a cold Bogotá afternoon, you can go to La Florida, a traditional pastry restaurant in the center of Bogotá, or you can go to Chibchombia in the neighborhood of la Macarena for some cuajada con melao.

If you have a few extra days in Bogotá you could go to visit the cheese town of Colombia called “Ubaté”. This small town on the outskirts of the capital is known for its production of milk and cheese, and is the perfect place to get super fresh and super good cheeses.

Do you know any other Colombian cheeses that you like? Share it with us! And go to our website to discover all the other delights you can find in Bogotá and everything you can not miss on your trip to this great capital.

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