Seasonal items can be frustrating or fun. For a few weeks, Aldi will sell a cheese that you may not have heard of, unless you’re somewhat familiar with the Spanish language. They are selling it along with other items that they categorize as Mexican and that they are marketing as foods for your Cinco de Mayo celebration. For $3.99 you can take 16 oz. of cotija home with you.
This grated white cheese is something that I was introduced to while living in South America. Cotija can be used to make a griddle-cooked corn meal patty whose name, arepa, sounds much tastier in the native tongue.
You’ll also need arepa harina if you decide to try your hand at making these treats. Don’t get confused and either buy Mexican masa harina used for tamales) or substitute American corn meal. Some regular grocery stores carry arepa harina in their International aisle.
Tonight, the coolness of the Spring evening convinced me that a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a couple of freshly cooked arepas wouldn’t be a bad idea.