Queso Oaxaca: The Mozzarella of Mexico


queso oaxaca in package

I have yet to try a Mexican cheese, so queso Oaxaca (wuh-hah-kuh) is on the plate this week. The package says “A delicious buttery snacking cheese, melts like a dream. Let kids unknot and enjoy!”

Origins

Queso Oaxaca, known as quesillo de hebra in Mexico, is a semi-soft, cow’s milk, stretched-curd cheese similar to Mozzarella. It is the most popular cheese in Mexico [1].

Queso Oaxaca was first made in Etla, Oaxaca. It was traditionally made with part-skim milk but now you can find varieties that are made with whole milk [1].

This particular cheese is made by Cacique. They follow the queso Oaxaca cheese-making tradition of first making it into a long rope then winding into a knot [2].

Taste

queso oaxaca coil

Mild. It tastes very much like Mozzarella or string cheese. In fact, I can’t tell a difference in flavor between it and string cheese.

However, the texture is different. It doesn’t “string” like string cheese does and it’s slightly softer. It’s closer to the texture of Mozzarella but not quite as moist.

Since it melts so well, it would be great to use on Mexican dishes like refried beans, quesadillas, and enchiladas.

I like it but it’s not a stand-alone cheese. But, I don’t think it’s meant to be. I would buy again but only if I needed it for a Mexican dish.

And if you’re looking for a good cheese for kids, this would be the one!

Recipe

This is THE cheese to use in quesadillas so here’s a delicious chicken quesadilla recipe that shows off this cheese’s melty, mild qualities! Use queso Oaxaca in place of the Monterey Jack here.

Pairs Well With

Food – Tomatoes, basil, olive oil, tortillas
Wine – Riesling, Grenache, Malbec
Beer – Dubbel, Belgian-style lager

Queso Oaxaca Trivia

It is said that like most Mexican cheeses, queso Oaxaca was first made by European immigrants that settled in Mexico. Queso Oaxaca was most likely first made by Italian immigrants who had experience making Mozzarella.

Next week I’ll be trying another Swiss cheese, raclette!

 

References
[1] Donnelly, C. (2016) The Oxford Companion to Cheese. Oxford University Press.
[2] (2017). Oaxaca. Retrieved from https://www.caciqueinc.com/products/oaxaca/

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