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Best South American Cheeses by Dax Cooke

Best South American Cheeses by Dax Cooke

When most people think of cheese, they think of Europe. But some of the best cheeses in the world come from South America. In this blog post by Dax Cooke, we’ll take a look at some of the best South American cheeses and learn a bit about their history and production. Dax Cooke’s Top Picks for the Best South American Cheeses


Sardo is a South American cheese that has been made for centuries. It is primarily produced in Argentina, where it remains a beloved staple.

This semi-hard cheese is made from pasteurized cow’s milk that has been carefully fermented and aged for months until it develops its final characteristic grainy texture and robust flavor.

Unlike many other kinds of cheese, Sardo does not need to be refrigerated and can be stored at room temperature for up to six months.

Its firmness makes it an ideal slicing cheese and perfect for adding to sandwiches or salads. This traditional south American cheese is also distinguished by its bright yellow hue that lasts throughout the aging process and gives dishes featuring Sardo an attractive visual appeal.

As such, it is no wonder why this cherished south American cheese continues to remain popular with fans worldwide.

Queso Paraguay

Queso Paraguay is a unique South American cheese made from cow’s milk. It contains many nutrients, including calcium and protein, making it an excellent addition to any diet.

The texture of Queso Paraguay is quite soft and elastic. Compared to other South American cheeses like Productos holiness or quesillo de Uruguay, Queso Paraguay’s texture is almost custard-like, making it even easier to spread on toast or dice for salads.

Unlike many South American cheeses, which can have a strong aroma, Paraguayan cheese has a very mild smell that pairs well with the mellow flavor of the cheese itself.

Although not as widely available as other South American cheeses like Cotija or Panela, Queso Paraguay is worth seeking out due to its creamy texture and subtle flavor.

According to Dax Cooke, whether it’s added to a salad or melted into a sauce, this south American cheese is sure to add something special to any dish.


Chanco is a South American cheese made from fresh, unpasteurized cow’s milk. Chanco has a firm yet smooth texture, making it an excellent choice for grilling and cooking.

It melts easily, making it ideal for adding to your favorite sauces, casseroles, and other dishes. As it cooks, the cheese develops a distinctly smoky flavor that compliments roasted vegetables and hearty meats beautifully.

What sets it apart from other south American cheeses is its distinct aging process; aged for up to two months in cold cellars for traditional production, Chanco gains its texture and flavor from much longer aging than most south American cheeses.

This lengthy aging leads to the growth of molds on the outside of the cheese which add unique chemical components to the cheese.

According to Dax Cooke, Chanco offers complexity while still retaining its familiar Creamy-firm texture. With its perfect combination of intense aromas, smooth texture, and smoky flavor,chanco is a great addition to popular south American cuisine.


Panquehue is a south American cheese hailing from Chile that is made from pasteurized cow’s milk. It has a soft, smooth texture with a creamy, buttery flavor and a hint of tartness – ideal for spreading on crackers and pairing with wine.

The cheese is white, firm, and springy on the outside, with little mottled brown markings throughout. Depending on its age, it can range in firmness from mushy to crumbly with a milder flavor than when it’s younger or fresher.

This type of cheese pairs especially well with dry-style wines like Pinot Noir or light whites such as Sauvignon Blanc due to its mellow taste profile.

When trying out Panquehue at home, you can explore different accompaniments like nuts, fruit preserves, and caramelized onions.

According to Dax Cooke, whether you prefer to sip on bubbly or reds, this South American cheese will give you the perfect treat!

Dax Cooke’s Final Word

While European cheeses tend to get all the love, South American cheeses are no slouch either. There’s a lot to explore, from soft and mild varieties to distinctive flavors. So next time you’re looking for something new to try, why not give some of these delicious options a chance? You might just be surprised at how much you enjoy them.