Cacique: Go Autentico!
Cacique products are a line of deliciously authentic Hispanic foods, including cheeses, creams, and chorizo. After making quality products for over forty years, the brand recently partnered with Food Network celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez. Together they have launched a campaign to encourage people to cook with only authentic Latin foods when preparing Hispanic dishes. The idea sounds logical enough, but how well does it really work?
Concerning product availability...we live in Houston, where finding Latin markets or even Latin products in our regular markets is a non-issue. I easily found many of Cacique's products at both my local Kroger and La Moreliana. I have heard you can also find them at Walmart. Though made with quality ingredients, Cacique is not an expensive brand, which is certainly a plus in this economic market.
So we can find them, and they are fairly inexpensive, but obviously the biggest concern when talking about food is taste. I sampled several of Cacique's cheeses, including Cotija, Queso Fresco, and Queso Quesadilla. The Queso Quesadilla was (not surprisingly) delicious when melted between hot buttered tortillas with pickled jalapenos, salsa roja, and Cacique sour cream. It was a super easy but satisfying lunch. The cheese melted beautifully and evenly with less greasiness than when made with cheddar. The Cotija mixed well with the Queso Fresco and Pork Chorizo for a decidedly different take on a baked queso dip. No Velveeta and Ro-tel here! And I was able to turn an otherwise plain chocolate loaf cake into a delicious treat by serving it on a plate of Crema Mexicana with a scattering of fresh berries.
All in all, the products were easy to use and definitely added some Latin credibility to my Mexican dishes. Check back with EOW in the coming weeks for recipes using the authentically Hispanic Cacique.