MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Chef Aaron Sanchez is seen during his demonstration during the South Beach Wine and Food Festival on February 26, 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
By Kalea Martin
The Ingredient Aarón Sánchez Hates Using
There are a lot of foods Aarón Sánchez has to stomach as a recurring judge on "Chopped," as the show has challenged contestants to cook with unconventional ingredients like reindeer pâté, sheep testicles, and geoduck. However, when he's outside the "Chopped" kitchen, Sánchez refuses to eat or cook with certain ingredients, including a particular type of cheese.
Sánchez revealed that he finds any cheese that is extremely old or fermented difficult to work with and unpleasant to eat, particularly goat and sheep cheese. "It dominates and saturates your palate, and it's hard to get past," he says; however, not all aged cheeses are off limits for Sánchez, as the chef doesn’t mind the ones that have a milder taste.
In fact, one of the celebrity chef's go-to cheeses is the traditional cotija, a type of Mexican cheese that’s made from cow's milk and aged for at least three months or up to a year. While goat cheese undergoes a similar amount of maturation as cotija, cotija has a balanced flavor that allows Sánchez to use it even as a seasoning or a garnish.