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|Country of origin||Mexico|
|Source of milk||Cows|
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
Oaxaca cheese (Spanish: Queso Oaxaca) 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 cheese" (or "queso asadero" in Spanish) a cheese produced in the Northern state of Chihuahua. They are similar in texture and taste but they are produced with different methods making Oaxaca cheese slightly dryer.
It is named after the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, where it was first made. The string cheese process, originally from Italy, which is used to produce mozzarella, was brought to Mexico by the Dominican monks that settled in Oaxaca. However, as goat milk was unavailable, they started using cow milk instead. It 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 stuffings, such as huitlacoche and squash flowers are added to the filling.
A tlayuda topped with tomato and strings of quesillo Oaxaca.
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