Oaxaca cheese (Spanish: queso Oaxaca)(wɑhɑka) also known as quesillo, is a white, semihard cheese from Mexico, similar to unaged Monterey jack, but with a mozzarella-like string cheese texture. Outside Mexico, Oaxaca cheese is often confused with asadero (queso asadero), a cheese produced in the northern state of Chihuahua. They are similar in texture, but they are produced with different methods, making Oaxaca cheese more moist.
|Other names||Quesillo de Oaxaca, Oaxaca cheese|
|Country of origin||Mexico|
|Source of milk||Cow|
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
It is named after the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, where it was first made. The string cheese process (pasta filata), originally from Italy, which is used to produce mozzarella, was brought to Mexico by the Dominican friars that settled in Oaxaca. As water buffalo milk was unavailable, they used cow's milk, instead. The cheese is available in several different shapes.
The production process is complicated and involves stretching the cheese into long ribbons and rolling it up like a ball of yarn. Italian mozzarella is another cheese which is processed by stretching (the pasta filata process).
Queso Oaxaca is used widely in Mexican cuisine, especially in quesadillas and empanadas, where the queso Oaxaca is melted and other ingredients, such as huitlacoche and squash flowers, are added to the filling.
A tlayuda topped with tomato and strings of quesillo Oaxaca
- Long Towell Long & Luis Alberto Vargas (2005). Food Culture in Mexico. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 116. ISBN 9780313324314. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- Villegas de Gante, Abraham (2004). Tecnología Quesera. Editorial Trillas. pp. 451–456. ISBN 9789682469992.
- Yu, Chenxu; Gunasekaran, Sundaram (August 2005). "A systems analysis of pasta filata process during Mozzarella cheese making". Journal of Food Engineering. 69 (4): 399–408. doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2004.08.031.
- "The Cook's Thesaurus". Lori Alden. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- Hurt, J.; Ehlers, S. (2008). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cheeses of the World: A Tasteful Guide to Selecting, Serving, and Enjoying Cheese. THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE. DK Publishing. p. 196. ISBN 978-1-4406-3618-9. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- Media related to Oaxaca cheese at Wikimedia Commons
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