Queso de Mano Cheese Making Recipe

This is a generic recipe for making Queso de Mano. Queso de Mano is a very popular Venezuelan cheese who’s translation from Spanish to English means “Handmade Cheese”. As per it’s name, this cheese is generally produced on a small scale.

Queso De Mano cheese is a soft, elastic and creamy unripened cheese of the “pasta filata” type and is historically made from raw whole cow’s milk.


  • 3.8 liters/1 US gallon whole Cow’s Milk.
  • Optional: Calcium Chloride if using store bought pasterurized milk, amount as per manufacturers directions or your experience.
  • Rennet, amount as per package directions or your experience, use little extra if using pasteurized milk and no Calcium Chloride.
  • Salt for brine.


  1. Place milk in stockpot or double boiler on stove and gently warm to 39°C/102°F then turn heat off.
  2. Note, if using store bought pasteurized homogenized milk then dissolve the calcium chloride in ~50 ml/1/4 cup, trickle into milk while whisking for 1 minute to fully dilute.
  3. Dissolve or dilute the rennet in ~50 ml/1/4 cup water, trickle into milk while whisking for 1 minute to fully dilute.
  4. Cover and set aside at room temperature for ~15 hours.
  5. Cut curd as normal into 1 cm/3/8″ diamonds, set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Ladle curds out of stockpot and into new stockpot with light brine, discard whey.
  7. Heat curds in salted water and worked by stretching and kneading.
  8. When the elasticity of the curd is adequate, form by hand into small flat disks.
  9. Use immediately or store in container in fridge, or if available, wrap in banana leaves, the old way.


  1. Start this cheese making early in morning or night before so that you don’t have to form the cheese in the middle of the night.